Maybe I'm getting too old for this. What I initially dismissed as a mere toy for teenagers may turn out to be pervasive computing's Purple Cow. Seth Godin, who wrote the book, Purple Cow, defines it as "something truly remarkable." A Purple Cow stands out from the crowd, it's new and exceptional all at once. Does a cell phone with an itty-bitty camera on it meet these criteria? "C'mon, can't be," was my initial thought. It appears that I was wrong, and the multitudes of users buying these devices are indeed right.

Camera phones have already been a tremendous success overseas and are well on their way to achieving similar success in the U.S. Gartner predicts that in 2003 more than 30 million camera phones will be sold worldwide and estimates that by 2005 one out of every four cellular phones being made will include an integrated camera.

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