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Eye to Eye

Sending photos by mobile phone is getting easier.

You just took a camera-phone photo of a finished project and sent it off to your client. That's a great convenience, but your client may not be able to view it. As with many aspects of mobile phone use in the United States, there are interoperability issues when it comes to swapping photos. You're on solid ground when your recipient has the same service provider, but transfers between services get iffy.

That's a relatively temporary inconvenience. With tech research and consulting firm Zelos Group predicting the mobile photo market will grow by a factor of 40-to more than $440 million-by 2008, industry figures have great incentive to make their systems compatible. Look for improvements to begin this fall, expanding to full interoperability within a few years.

Carriers will likely rely on third-party developers to help them get there. For example, LightSurf built the engine that lets Canadian Bell Mobility and Sprint users exchange photo messages across the border. In the meantime, you can fall back on attaching photos to e-mail or swapping images via Web sites designed for that purpose. When in doubt about who can receive your pics, check with your service provider.

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This article was originally published in the August 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Eye to Eye.

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