MIT’s Media Lab has a weblog by interactive cinema group , where they use Nokia 3650 camera phones to make little videos. The videos are stored in a format that ends with .3gp and thus presumably has something to do with 3GPP. But they use the H.263 codec. The video is tiny, and the sound is poor, but it’s a start.

The MMC card is a new alterative to CompactFlact and Secure Disk (SD) cards. It’s a tiny little card that is designed for the cell phone market, and currently you can get up to 128MB cards. Incidentally, the Nokia 3650 accepts MMC cards. Someone uses it for something I consider a little odd Loud Thinking uses a 128MB MMC card to load simpsons and seinfeld onto the card, plugs it into the phone and watches them on the phone, on the train.

Wi-Fi networking is also creeping into the cell phone space. With 3G still in vaporware stage, people are trying to make do with 2.5G standards like EV-DO and 1xRTT. The speeds on these cell phone data standards aren’t so great, and upload is quite low, maybe 40Kbps. (Thanks to Alan Reiter for some of this info and stimulating discussion). With hot spots spreading, and companies installing blanket Wi-Fi networks, people are starting to add Wi-Fi support to cell phones. Mostly these days it’s for VoIP purposes, but data is data. In fact, at least one article already mentions video applications.

3GP is in my opinion too poor quality to be interesting. But, MPEG-4 ISMA layer-1 is a better looking video codec/format. I used it myself for the videos here. It runs at 50KBytes/s which is too much for a 2.5G network to handle, but fine for a Wi-Fi hot spot backed on a business DSL line. Also, the data rate is small enough that the previously mentioned 128MB MMC card could hold 45 minutes of video.

Put it all together and what you have is a “video phone” a cell phone with video capability. People might use them to capture moments on the street, with friends, at the club, etc. I don’t personally have any interest in that. But lots of people already do this with their camera phones, so it seems reasonable to think they’d add video.