The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has superior resolution and color than any other mobile device on the market. And while a lot of people use those facts to highlight how much better it’ll be to watch Game of Thrones and the like, I see this technology as an empowering tool for lots of people. Samsung has managed to make this technology affordable. It’s not cheap, mind you, but it’s within the realm of possibility for most North Americans to purchase if they really wanted to. The amount of technology and faculty that exists within this device is remarkable, the sum total of which could cost more than a house just ten or fifteen years ago. One of the most significant technologies of all is the Edge’s excellence in photography and video.

Baltimore has been in the news constantly over the past weeks. It all stems from the events surrounding Freddie Gray’s death due to alleged police abuse and negligence. Possibly the most important piece of evidence gleaned is the cell phone video recorded by a passerby, as Gray’s limp body was lugged by cops into the waiting paddy wagon. Because of what we have learned from this and other evidence, this case will likely create a precedent by which measurable changes will be made in American life.

The mobile device in the pocket of the observer demonstrates how important it is to always have the ability to take a video or a picture of something that is happening around you. As devices like the Edge become even more affordable and plentiful, abuses like the ones alleged in Baltimore are going to be harder to hide. Life as it is really lived is going to be recorded and shared. Laws will be made accordingly, not according to legislative whim, but according to facts as presented in consumer recorded video, image, and audio. It is naive to think that the Edge and other mobile devices will bring about Utopia, or that all legislative changes from here out will be good. But the ability to record reality in detail, in the pocket or millions of people, is an empowering development for normal people, a freedom granted that exceeds the power of many given in the American constitution. The people have always had a voice. But now they can amplify it, better than ever before.

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