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Speaking of connectivity...

Polaroid announced at CES 2012 their new SC1630 "smart camera" powered by Android. Smart camera, Smart phone? Ah, I get it, the device looks like a smart phone, but its primary function is taking pictures. It's "smart" because it uses Android, which powers smart phones. Actually, I think the camera deserves the "smart" moniker because it does what other cameras have yet to do properly: seamless connectivity.

Here are the two most important line in their press release: "Backed by the power of Android, thePolaroid SC1630 Smart Camera uploads images to social networks with the touch of one button and can hold up to 32GB of memory via a microSD card." and "The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and optional cellular data connections empower digital images to be shared from anywhere in a snap."

In short, take a better picture or video than you would typically with your phone and upload it directly to whichever social network you prefer through Wi-Fi or cellular data. It's probably a safe bet that users will be able to tether (i.e. connect) the smart camera to their smart phone data plan, which means they also won't need another mobile account.

This is a great step forward, and will hopefully galvanize smart phone manufacturers to integrate better camera modules in their phones, add more camera-centric functionality and meet minimum quality requirements demanded by photographers. The convergence is inevitable, it's a question of time, and it has begun (somewhat). Before you know it, you will have in your hands a single device that will meet your needs from a photographic and connectivity perspective, making Polaroid-like bridge devices obsolete, in addition to point and shoot cameras.