A front-facing camera is one that has the lens facing the user on the same side as the screen on a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer monitor. A front-facing camera, generally known as a "selfie camera" on a smartphone or a "Webcam" on a laptop, is necessary to make video calls (PCMag.com n.d.).
Moreover, the front-facing camera significantly contributes to the selfie-taking process. It enables users to see themselves on the phone, and thus they can change the gestures or angles to achieve a better selfie effect. Most of the time, the preview image is a mirror image by default, which is more intuitive for most people (Wikipedia 2021). The resolution and quality of the front-facing camera are often inferior to the rear, primary camera (Phone Scoop n.d.). The Game Boy Camera, introduced in Japan in February 1998, may have been the first front-facing camera on a handheld device. The Game Boy Camera was an accessory ("Nintendo: Game Boy Camera" 1998). The Kyocera Visual Phone VP-210 was the first front-facing camera phone, debuted in Japan in May 1999 (Yegulalp 2012).
At the time, it was referred to as a "mobile videophone, (CNN.com 2019)" and had a 110,000-pixel front-facing camera. It could save up to 20 JPEG digital photographs and send them by e-mail or via Japan's Personal Handy-phone System (PHS) wireless cellular network at a rate of up to two images per second (Yegulalp 2012). Sony released a squat flip phone with a 0.3-megapixel camera that could be turned to face the caller in 2003. The Ericsson Z1010 was the first mobile device with a front-facing camera. However, Front-facing cameras were never designed to be used for selfies. Sony's mobile-phone designers, for example, anticipated that the camera-flip feature would be utilized for video-conference sessions, which would remove the need for users to be tied to a desktop or laptop to initiate Skype conversations (Quito 2017).
“Nintendo: Game Boy Camera.” 1998. Web.archive.org. May 30, 1998. https://web.archive.org/web/19980530121628/http://www.nintendo.com/gb/gb_camera/index.html. PCMag.com. n.d. “Definition of Front-Facing Camera.”
PCMAG. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/front-facing-camera.
Phone Scoop. n.d. “Front-Facing Camera Definition (Phone Scoop).” Www.phonescoop.com. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://www.phonescoop.com/glossary/term.php?gid=473.
Quito, Anne. 2017. “Front-Facing Cameras Were Never Intended for Selfies.” Quartz. October 26, 2017. https://qz.com/1104742/front-facing-cameras-were-never-intended-for-selfies/.
Wikipedia. 2021. “Front-Facing Camera.” Wikipedia. October 24, 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front-facing_camera.
Yegulalp, Serdar. 2012. “Camera Phones: A LookBack and Forward.” Computerworld. May 11, 2012. https://www.computerworld.com/article/2473084/camera-phones--a-look-back-and-forward.html