2005 was the biggest year yet for camera phones, those pocket-size precursors to the participatory panopticon and potential planetary protection tool (yes, I got a special deal on "p"s, why do you ask?). Market research group NPD reports:
In 2005, 45 percent of all mobile phones sold in the U.S. were camera phones, up from 26 percent in 2004. Asia followed a very similar trend. Western Europe had a higher incidence of camera phones at 64 percent, and Japan had a much greater adoption rate with more than 90 percent of all mobile phones sold with camera capabilities both in 2004 and 2005.
This tells us two things: we're on the verge of seeing a major blow-up between advocates of strict control over recordings of intellectual property and advocates of universal use of communication tools; and we're approaching a point where location-based information and communication systems relying on cameraphones will have a large enough base of potential users to really make a go of it.