Transforms your existing smartphone into a true videophone, solving the "opposing camera and display" problem, allowing simultaneous viewing and transmission of relevant video -- the fundamental requirement of videophones.
The potential benefits are having video chat and conferencing for the masses; accessibility to remote, mobile locations on demand rather than limited to reserved conference rooms. "The deaf and speech-impaired … can use them with sign language … those with mobility issues or those who are located in distant places and are in need of tele-medical or tele-educational services" can benefit from videophones -- Wikipedia.
My idea is an improvement over the currently available videophones enjoyed by merely a few. Consider: Does anyone you know make daily pocket-sized portable video calls? Compare that to the number of smartphones you can personally count in your household's possession or your neighbors'. Apply this wherever there are smartphones.
The market potential is somewhere between 180 million units worldwide since 2009 and projected to 804 million units by 2015 per Parks Associates and Global Industry Analysts respectively. The window of opportunity slowly closes if and when manufacturers build in such capability and consumers begin discarding their older models.
My design works by affixing reflective surfaces to the rear facing camera lens of mobile phones via a modified suction cup having a hollow base, thereby reorienting the camera's view. Existing and future [free] video instant messenger smartphone software applications [Fring ®, Skype (™), etc.] could be used in conjunction with this device and a Wi-Fi or wireless [phone] network.
Manufacture could be done by CNC routing of the main reflective prismatic solid; molding of the modified suction cup or CNC routing of stock suction cups; super glued adhesion of the two parts; applying various coatings; packaging. The production cost compares with that of smartphone accessories such as headphones or cases.
Example Applications and Marketing Campaigns:
Bringing home the correct [flavor] item the first time.
Easier to create [YouTube] videos and self-portraits.
Video chat with the inevitable new model smartphones using your current smartphone.
Convenient visual communications with remote loved ones.