At some point during my month-long cold I ran out of cough medicine, decongestant, etc. so I showed Jay the empty medicine containers and asked him to pick up some replacements at the drug store. After about an hour and a half, at which point I wondered if he’d run out of gas or gotten lost (can you actually get lost in Davis?), I received a text message with a photo of the half-mile-long Cough & Cold aisle at the drug store and the question: “Which one did you want me to get?”
To be fair, there are no less than 16 versions of Robitussin and at least 14 of Mucinex (not counting the pediatric formulas), and multiple versions of any and every cold remedy under the sun.
I looked at the picture Jay had sent me and knew immediately what to do – I snapped photos of my empty medicine containers and texted them back to him. Now all he had to do was match the photos to the correct products on the shelf – a simple “pattern recognition” task. And he got ‘em all right.
Do you use your smartphone’s camera to its fullest capacity? Here are some of the other ways we’ve saved time and made daily life a little more convenient with our phones. Have you tried any of these?
Has your gym posted a sign on the door with their special holiday hours? – snap a quick pic of that sign and now you’ve got the holiday hours at your fingertips (or in your pocket or purse…).
Do you need to order a part for your malfunctioning dryer? Open the door and take a picture of the plate on the inside of the door with the model number and other specs you may need. Now go order the part online or head to the store with the information (i.e. the photo) on your phone.
Did you lose your wifi connection in a power outage? You’ll need your wifi network’s name and password which is usually printed on the side or underside of the router. Which is usually hiding on the floor in a dark corner (and often behind a desk). Don’t unplug and disconnect the router so you can see the number and write it down. Instead, take a photo of the router plate, then go to your computer, look at the photo and re-enter the password.
Leaving your car in long-term parking at the airport? Or a downtown parking garage? Take pictures of the row/aisle number where you parked your car. No more having to jot the number down and make sure you don’t lose whatever scrap of paper you jotted it down on.
Have you ever been in physical therapy and once home wished you could remember exactly how to correctly do that exercise the therapist showed you? While at PT, ask someone nearby to take a photo – or even a short video – of the correct form or movements that you can refer to later at home. We’ve had some great therapists and assistants who are happy to film demos for us.
What are some of the other creative ways you’ve used the camera on your smartphone? If you’re reading our column online, leave a comment with your ideas and suggestions.
As for sending Jay to the store – I’ve learned to always create pictorial shopping lists for him. He’s got images on his phone of low sodium soup cans, peanut butter jars, salad dressings, pasta packages and even the bin numbers of items we buy in the bulk grocery section. Now he comes home delighted and confident that he’s purchased exactly what was on the “list,” and I get to feel very appreciative that I’ve got a hubby with a willing spirit and a good sense of humor!