What if your Phone Could Have a Front-Facing Camera Without Actually Having One?

onemoreface

Video-calling is becoming all the rage and will certainly be a huge selling point for all types of devices in 2011, but there are still some phones, notebooks, and tablets coming without front-facing cameras. While you can still video chat using these devices, it’d be quite the cumbersome and awkward experience (you either won’t be able to see the other person or you’ll have to be in front of a mirror.)

Someone took that mirror idea and actually conceptualized it for the Nexus One. It’s quite simple, really: a clip-on attachment – being called the OneMoreFace – goes onto the top of your phone and has two mirrors: one that grabs your face and sends it to the second mirror that’s pointed directly at the camera sensor.

The designer has plans to put these into production soon, and it’s a great alternative to buying a completely new device just to “SpaceTime” with your “MyFace” buddies. Did I get that right? [via Android Police]

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  • mw

    so simple…I should have thought of it first:)

  • Kumar

    Better option than having junk VGA camera.

  • IncrediBill

    Brilliant! I bet that guy came up with that idea in a second.

  • Austin

    I actually built a prototype similar to this from some mirrors and balsa wood a few months ago. Mine went around the side though instead of over the top.

  • SavageJeep

    Yeah but most app software still knows that your phone has a rear facing camera and doesn’t allow video chat.

    At least that is what I have found out on my Droid 1.

  • rick

    use tango and ya get free talk and video chat. That mirror idea is brilliant

  • Austin

    SavageJeep, Qik is the only one I’ve come across like that. Tango and fring both will use the rear cameras. But I think the main purpose of this is geared toward gingerbread’s built in video chat. Google is smart enough to have it use the rear facing camera.

  • Austin

    But I seriously hope this guy was able to fix the problem I had when I tried to do the mirrors over the top, it made me upside down on the screen! If he can overcome that then great. That’s why I made my mirrors go around the side of the device, so I’d at least be rightside up.

  • Lo

    Thought about something like that sometime ago.

    @Austin
    The upside down problem could easily be overcome in software

  • jroc

    Very neat idea…lol.
    .
    SpaceTime and MyFace…that was funny…

  • Jeff J

    @Austin That’s what I was thinking…it LOOKS like that bottom mirror is curved though, which would fix it if properly implemented. Surely they’ve worked that out, otherwise it seems like it would be a lot of trouble for nothing.

  • su2lly

    That girl is kind of cute but why is she talking to that guy who’s doing a very offensive impersonation of a Japanese game show host.

  • ismail khan

    already using a small mirror as front facing camera, good they come up with some accessory where can i find this as using a small mirror cover 25% of the fone area thanks good work

  • tramsgar

    Fine print: Cute girl not included.

  • Chris

    Touché physics… touché.

  • Andy

    Mirror idea is great, but what about blocked lighting? that would be my only concern…however, if the device is under $10, i would be willing to buy eitherway!

  • Austin

    Yes the problem could easily be overcome by software, but that would require software that’s made to compensate for it. If they managed to overcome the problem without a software solution then I will be impressed, and of course purchase one.

  • Chris

    Had the exact same idea when my friend picked up his HTC Evo and we were trying out the video chat..why didn’t I market it…dooh.

  • teleknEsis

    Funny, had the exact same idea. D’oh!

  • Ernest

    A mirror “grabs your face and sends it”?

  • racinwarrior

    Yeah once it sends your face it punches you in the nuts and takes your phone.

  • john the lesser

    cheaper and easier than the solution i thought of. i always thought it would be cool to make a USB camera like what people have for laptops or desktops. the main problem being the location of the USB port varies from phone to phone.

  • gene

    would need to have a software fix, the mirrors would show the image upside down in their current setup

  • Craig nelson

    someone already has a product out lie this. They are called Snapme and they make one for the Droid X and old iPhone. It doesnt go from the top though but rather suction cups from the side.

  • Dave

    It’s actually called “ISnapMe” and can be found at

    http://www.isnapme.com/

    Costs $19.95…

  • andres

    yeah, great idea, but obviously not a new one. i built one that works, but it would be really nice to have a small sleek version that is actually likely to be used.

    i have a reprap 3d printer, maybe i should try to make a printable version.

  • Mike

    Why is it that so many people apparently do not know their front from their back?
    Just think about driving, or walking along, and wanting to take a picture or a video. Since most people walk (or drive)forwards you would need to point the camera to the front in order to see which way you are going.
    So once and for all a front-facing camera looks AWAY from the user, and this is usually the higher resolution camera for obvious reasons. However if you want to use 2-way video-calling then you also need a camera that points BACK towards the user. Pretty simple isn’t it !

  • Liferules

    someone needs to come up with a sleeve to go over the mirror to match their phone sleeve!

  • Jeff J

    @gene – It wouldn’t NEED a software fix. The lower mirror could be curved to invert the image as it’s reflecting it into the camera. They would likely have to tailor the focal point of the mirror for each phone/camera, but it can be done. It might not be cost effect, though, I don’t know..

  • http://blog.tkassembled.com TK Kocheran

    Can’t wait for this.

  • bobby

    damn it to hell, i thought of this few years ago i should have done something about it >/

  • Nate

    Mike-

    It’s a phone, not a camera. Would you say that the screen of your phone is on the back?

  • Jason

    brilliant! this guys gonna make a fortune off of such a simple idea..and the best part is it will be using my 5mp camera from my nexus one to video call :D ill be first in line to buy

  • Gnoxy

    Where can I buy this?!

  • Alexander

    Sigh… it sucks not having the money to mass produce/market something like this… I had a similar idea, but mine had more than just mirrors for optics.

  • Nick

    @GENE

    No it wouldn’t. The image would be normal. You don’t know much about mirrors if you think the image would come out upside down. Just think of it this way. Put yourself in the 1st mirror’s perspective. You would see the image bounce toward you at a 90 degree angle. Now place youself in the 2nd mirror. You would see that image straight and normal. Nothing gets flipped.

  • http://shahz.net shahz

    Those Nexus Ones are running on GIngerbread..Can spot it? :P

  • Rissa

    Sounds like the same sort of mirrors they used in my closed MRI so that I could see out. No software involved with those mirrors so it sounds like a great idea to do it on phones with no ffc!

  • pat

    i wish they’d make it for iphone 3GS, i have facetime running on mine. i would buy it today.

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  • http://yeow.com.ar Prof.Yeow

    jajaja que buena idea! como para salir del paso, no?

  • austin

    lil late but this is pre gingerbread announcment and its running 2.3 O.O