That's the idea behind CoSync, a software system that links devices together via their Bluetooth or Wi-Fi antennas, allowing multiple users to share their phones' features, such as camera, microphone and sensors, with other devices around them.
In a prototype, built by Eyal Toledano at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, six phones were linked and their camera flashes synchronised with the shutter on a master phone. This phone controlled the devices, sending out a signal on the peer-to-peer network to let them know exactly when to flash. In tests, the multiple phone rig outperformed single phones by evenly lighting subjects and avoiding washed out, overexposed images. Flashes going off from different angles and set to go off at different times could also make for more dramatic lighting effects, or be used to avoid red-eye, Toledano says.