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Wifi Camera Uploads without Computer 134

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the user-interface-is-everything dept.
* * Beatles-Beatles writes to tell us NewsDay is reporting that Kodak has released the first "computer-free wireless camera." The new widget can connect directly to the Internet wherever there's Wi-Fi available to download and e-mail pictures. Users can even use the camera to view photos stored in Internet photo albums via Kodak's Easyshare Gallery service.
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Wifi Camera Uploads without Computer

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  • But I thought cell phones with cameras and a service area could already do this?
    • by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:23AM (#13697571) Homepage
      Nikon's D2X, the holy grail [nikonusa.com] of cameras, can upload wirelessly via ftp when in range. All I'm seeing in the article is that the camera forces you to use some service that they offer, something more annoying than straight up FTP. Nothing to see here. What am I missing?
      • by NickFortune (613926) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:37AM (#13697605) Homepage Journal
        What am I missing?

        Kodak thinks it has found a solution to plumetting revenue as everyone in the world suddenly goes digital. If everyone in the world pays five bucks a month rent^H^H^H^Hservice charge then even after T-Mbile takes a slice, Kodak are going to be happy unies once again. And of course you have these Kodak branded print kiosks as well.

        I can't see it working myself, both for the reasons you describe, and for the fact that after paying $600 for the damn thing, I;d be anoyed to have to pay $5 a month to keep it working.

        Especaially since the damn thing doesn't seem to have an option to talk to my computer direct. To say nothing of all the folks who already pay T-Mobile or similar for basically the same service for their phones...

        • That's because even beyond that, Kodak is well behind the eight ball.

          When digital loomed as a threat, they held a big strategy meeting, and they brainstormed, and came up with the conclusion "digital is a passing fad", sat on their hands and waited for the market to return to film. Their accounts are significantly worse now, for obvious reasons.

      • by neonstz (79215) * on Sunday October 02, 2005 @06:34AM (#13697716) Homepage
        Well, with $5000 for the camera and $500 for the wireless addon, I don't think the target audiences for the D2X and the kodak product don't overlap.

        The D2X is one heck of a camera, and if I ever get the money I'll replace my D70 with one...
      • You're not missing anything.

        Canon's EOS 1Ds Mark II [canon.jp] and 20D [canon.jp] cameras do Wireless + FTP Uploading too, given the appropriate wireless adaptor (WFT-E1, for both of them).

        Note for anyone fact checking: The Canon EOS 20D needs a firmware update [canon.jp] (free) to support the WFT-E1, but otherwise works fine on wireless.
        • Yeah, but why would you buy a Canon over a Nikon? It doesn't make any sense.
          • I know jack-all about the quality differences between these models, but assuming that the comments along the line are more or less accurate, it looks like there's a positive correlation between price and quality, just as you might expect:
            • Nikon: $5,000 (plus $500 for wireless)
            • Canon: $1,900 for EOS-1, $1,400 for EOS-20 (according to a couple of Froogle searches)
            • Kodak: $600 (plus $5/month)

            Obviously the original "first wireless computerless camera" claim is overblown, but Kodak may well have the firs

            • Uhm, if you're looking for a more expensive model of camera as a measure of quality as it seems, then you might want to look for the Canon EOS 1DS Mk-II, a 16.7 Mp digital SLR that goes for around $7500. How that compares to Nikon's top of the line camera body is (and always was and will be) really a matter of apples, oranges, patented features, preference and evangelism...
            • Might refine that search. A $1,900 EOS-1 is a film, not digital, camera. EOS-1 series DIGITAL cameras are the 1D, 1Ds, 1D MII, and 1Ds MII.
          • This is rather OT, but since you ask: wider variety of choices in both lenses and bodies. Canon has found the sweet spot for serious amateurs with the 20D and the new 5D. Nikon has nothing comparable to offer. If you already have a lot of money invested in Nikon glass, it doesn't make sense to switch. If not, Canon seems to be way ahead at the moment.
            • This is rather OT, but since you ask: wider variety of choices in both lenses and bodies.

              That's just not true. Nikons can use lenses going back the the 70s. Every pro photographer has at least a few Nikon lenses. They are widely available on the second-hand market. Given that Canon changed their lens mountwhen they went from MF to AF, how can you trust them not to do it again? On Slashdot, I thought backwards compatibility and trust would be important. Canon screwed their customers in a huge way. Nikon se

      • *flamebait*
        It'd be the holy grail if it were a 1ds MK II
    • Yes, but how would that make money for Kodak?
    • true, most of the hi-end cell phones are capable of doing this; but, we are talking about a digital camera here -- 4 megapixels, 3x optical zoom, etc. (if i am not mistaken) the highest resolution you can get from a built-in cell phone camera is 2.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My cell phone already does that.
    • Your cellphone has a multi-mega pixel resolution and doesn't require a service plan? Wow.
      • In all fairness to the GP post, the reality is we're already paying for a service plan and multi-mega pixel camera phones are right around the corner... plus I ALWAYS have my cell phone on me, so this functionality already exists but it is "no additional cost" not "free".
      • ...Kodak has released the first "computer-free wireless camera."...

        i.e. the camera is the computer. This has allways been the case with digicams too, no matter how small and crappy or big and full-featured there's some sort of microcontroller in there, often several. Nothing new except for the wifi feateure. (Which is pretty good)

        --
        Use your bluetooth phone as a modem for Linux [arpx.net]
      • Your cellphone has a multi-mega pixel resolution and doesn't require a service plan?

        Yes - and there's nothing special about it either. What back-water country do you live in?

        • I was thinking much the same thing. I had a 1.3 mp camera in my phone nearly 3 years ago, with Bluetooth. No transfer charges there. And since then the current of that model is now up to 2.5mp.
  • clever maneuver (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:09AM (#13697544) Homepage
    Apple made a product that seemlessly connects users to their online service, and iTunes as I understand it, and I'm guessing as a result, has a 90% marketshare of online music sales. Though the ability to "view photos stored in Internet photo albums via Kodak's Easyshare Gallery service" without a computer involved is an untapped market, you can expect other companies to follow Kodak's lead. But, in addition to having a great brand, Kodak will dominate this new market largely because they got there first. From the article: "Cameras, I believe, are moving from the wired world towards the wireless world," said Lee, director of consumer services at InfoTrends. "It's not going to happen this year but, starting next year, you're going to definitely see some more cameras coming that incorporate wireless-transfer capabilities."
    • But, in addition to having a great brand, Kodak

      Since when has Kodak been a great brand? They peaked with the Instamatic and it's been down hill ever since.
  • No FTP upload? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TuxPaper (531914) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:11AM (#13697548)
    The provided URLs don't say whether it allows FTP upload, so I'd say no.

    Ahh, businesses always thinking about the users, by leaving out obvious features so that they can sell services that provide those missing features.
  • ..to cut the marketing bs, its a PDA, with a wireless card, stuck to a digital camera.

    Of course all this misses the real point that all anyone really wants is a phone with cheap net access where-ever you are, and bluetooth etc so you can connect your nice digital camera to it.
  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot@@@mavetju...org> on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:14AM (#13697554) Homepage
    and e-mail pictures

    When will people understand that SMTP isn't a file transport medium?
    • When nerds understand that their precious IEEE specs don't mean shit in the real world and people want a way to easily send someone else a picture and don't want to have to use yet another program.

      Adapet, Adopt, or get your ass run over please.
      • I had some trouble adapetting to your attrocious spelling, but then I learned to love the bomb.
        • I had some trouble adapetting to your attrocious spelling, but then I learned to love the bomb.

          Whereas spelling 'adapt' as 'adapet' is obviously a typo, turning 'adapet' into 'adapetting' rather than 'adapeting' and spelling 'atrocious' as 'attrocious' is obviously plain old stupidity, especially in a post complaining about spelling!

        • Of course, following some Internet law of unspecified name, any post which lambasts someone for making spelling errors will, of course, contain one of its own -- it's 'atrocious', not 'attrocious'.
      • People would likely also not mind nor notice if the standards were adhered to .
          Of course it doesn't matter in the real world , so long as it gets the job done .
        We are not all in the real world (not literally )though , a lot of us here are in the IT industry and do mind when standards are not used properly .

      • Actually, this causes TREMENDOUS problems for just the sort of people who don't want to use another program.

        One of the most common tech support calls we get is from someone who can't receive their email, because some equally technically inept person decided to email them several megabytes worth of photos. Whether due to slow connection speed or their email or anti-virus software choking on a large file, it just doesn't work properly.

        Many of these people stubbornly continue to use email for file transport,
    • by CdBee (742846)
      Everyone who uses gmail as a low-tech backup medium might disagree with you.

      Its flawed but not everyone can securely configure a remote file-server. Email's a tool that's universally available to net-connected people, and the rise of large inboxes makes it highly practical.
      • Do gmail clients even use SMTP? If so, why? I'm guessing if one gmail user sends a message to another (or to himself, using it as online storage), SMTP is completely out of the picture. It's also not very hard to imagine large webmail providers exchanging email (say, gmail to hotmail) without SMTP. If we're ever able to get away from SMTP that's how it will happen.
        • Yes [google.com]
        • It's also not very hard to imagine large webmail providers exchanging email (say, gmail to hotmail) without SMTP. If we're ever able to get away from SMTP that's how it will happen.

          Hahaha. Microsoft and Google, and pretty much everyone else for that matter would love to kill eachother in their overlapping markets. Why on Earth would they cooperate to develop a special, non-standard, non-SMTP way to exchange mail between their two services? For one, it would have to do something very, very, very big for t
    • People will understand that it isn't a file transport medium when it stops BEING a file transport medium.

      It's many other things, but it's also a file transport medium. Been that way for decades now.
      • by Ziviyr (95582)
        Its a text transport medium. Files are ground up into text and stuck in it. It is inefficient at best, and doesn't change the nature of the medium at all.
    • Probably when it stops functioning as one! As in, never! :)

      Yay I'm an ISP sysadmin.
    • "and e-mail pictures"

      When will people understand that SMTP isn't a file transport medium?


      Who claims that it is? FTP isn't a file transport medium either. They're both *protocols* and the medium is generally the internet. SMTP happens to be a protocol for transferring mail, the contents of which can, by incorporating other RFC standards, include binary attachments. You've heard of MIME -- Multipart Internet Mail Extensions?

      Do you also complain when people download files using HTTP instead of FTP?
  • And... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gobelet (892738)
    Does it support WPA? WEP? If it doesn't it's not even worth it.
    • Indeed. I have a list as long as my arm of the reasonably useful "Wi-Fi-enabled" devices and network applicances I've turned down because (seriously) they don't support WPA with EAP-TLS, which is how I lock down my network.
    • Are you planning on sharing some private pics? Even if it does support wireless encryption, the only file transfer protocol supported is FTP, which is also very insecure.
  • That it only connects to Kodak's own shitty gallery service?
  • by imsabbel (611519)
    Just putting the logic into the camera doesnt make it "computer free"
    • Just putting the logic into the camera doesnt make it "computer free"
      It does as far as having to carry a separate computer around is concerned, if you want to upload images.
  • I'm waiting for showing in the public of "habit" of downloading ohers pictures out of thier cameras...
  • by Kream (78601) <hoipolloi&gmail,com> on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:36AM (#13697602)
    Coming from a country where major riots and civil disturbances have flared up several times in a decade, and where the electoral process in certain areas is inflected with violence, this may be a very positive development.

    Visual documentation of violence, including street violence, is something that is very powerful in these circumstances. A network of WiFi cameras that connects to a battery-powered wireless switch(es) could turn this into an extremely powerful journalistic tool.

    Journalists, especially some very courageous ones, have had their (expensive) equipment seized and smashed - even by the police. In effect, the very act of powerfull and provocative reportage causes the reportage to be fuitless. A couple of cheap wireless cameras clipped onto someone's lapel or mounted in places where there is a clear field of view could provide (highly incriminating?) video data even upto the moment the cameras were destroyed.

    And think of the possibilities for exposing corruption. If you were to go to, say, a police station where you knew a bribe would be demanded of you, with the intent of secretly filming the proceedings, you'd be banking on the camera remaining undetected and being able to take the recording away with you. With a WiFi camera broadcasting to an Internet-connected laptop(s) across the street, things change quickly :)

    Cheers,

    Aniruddha "Karim" Shankar
    • "Coming from a country where major riots and civil disturbances have flared up several times in a decade, and where the electoral process in certain areas is inflected with violence, this may be a very positive development."

      You must be from the United States.
    • by DrXym (126579) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:54AM (#13697643)
      Except of course now you're expecting there to be wifi spots at the same places there are riots and civil disturbances. It's hard enough to find wifi access at the best of times, let alone in a pitched battle rolling back and forth between streets. And if there were, no doubt you'd have to stand quite still while your pics were uploaded which wouldn't necessarily be convenient at the time. If that weren't unlikely enough a totalitarian state is likely to have little internet access or extremely restricted access. On top of that is Kodak itself. Their site probably pitches itself as "family friendly" so you can bet that any civil disobediance pics would be wiped off their site without a second's thought.

      I wouldn't diss the idea completely - after all if your camera would connect to an ad-hoc network you could perhaps arrange for someone with a PDA or small laptop to shadow you at some distance and broadcast the pics back to them, but it would still be an awkward arrangement. And its doubtful that this camera would help you do that.

      Perhaps it's simpler and equally effective to use redundancy - multiple photographers, with each passing their filled memory cards to runners.

      • NOT INSIGHTFUL. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hummassa (157160)
        The parent poster had already said: infiltrate the cameras and some battery-operated hotspots. The cameras, policeman can see and seize and smash. The hotspots will be connected to the Net (via GPRS for instance) and will be invisible to the Man.... and even if found and seized the damage would have been done already.

        It's not "simpler" not "equally effective" to have "runners" getting memory cards. Supposedly a wi-fi camera has the option to upload immediately each foto after taken.
        • It's not "simpler" not "equally effective" to have "runners" getting memory cards. Supposedly a wi-fi camera has the option to upload immediately each foto after taken.

          Yes it is. Much simpler. No wifi is required, no hotspots, no interference, no mobile phone - just a guy with a pair of legs. You assume this camera supports ad hoc uploading or "guerilla" style photography when in fact it would do no such thing. It is likely that everytime you wanted to upload you would have to flip the camera into a speci

          • I disagree. I just played in an international sporting event [singaporeultimate.com] which was documented by a team of photographers using wifi-enabled digital cameras. They set up a couple access points around the field area and then the photographers were able to freely shoot unlimited photos without having to worry about passing cards around, running out of space, or coordinating anything with anyone once they had their mission briefing. At some of the related venues, they set up projection screens and displayed photos of event

      • Bring the wireless with you. It wouldnt be the most efficient (or cheap), but if you had the right cellphone/pda/laptop/external aentenna/wireless router combo sitting in your car, you'd be able to take unlimited[1] pictures and have them stored remotely before anyone can destroy your setup.

        [1] Atleast, a lot more than you could get out of a conventional rig. You don't want to slap in a new roll of film or another memory card in the middle of something like this. Hopefully this will be hackable enough that
      • Except of course now you're expecting there to be wifi spots at the same places there are riots and civil disturbances.

        Let me clarify. A civil society organisation or an NGO or a news gathering organisation could easily put in place combos of wifi hubs with cheap UPS battery backup during conflict situations since the worst violence is often orchestrated and happens a few days after the initial flareup. That would allow it's reporters / photographers / videographers to capture events and constantly keep

  • by bsyd (795309) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:37AM (#13697603)
    I've got a Sony SNC-RZ30 at work since two years and it has got wireless, smtp, ftp, web and alarm capabilities... See it here [sony.com]
    • The camera in the article is a geniune, point and click, carry it with you camera, not a webcam. It also has four megapixels, compared to 680k pixels. Finally, the wireless capability is built into the camera, instead of an optional PCMCIA card (or however its spelled). What you've got is a webcam, and what they're boating about is a camera intended for photography without the hassle of firewire cords, changing out storage devices, or erasing pictures you've already taken.

      That's a pretty useful idea, actual
  • I don't think any Kodak innovations are going to take at this point. Kodak has carved out a niche as a major player in the digital camera market... But it's at the low end. They make a great $89 digital camera that does exactly what it says it does. But if you're willing to pay more, you're going to buy a Canon, Nikon or Sony.

    Also... I don't see why so many printers, and now cameras are working so hard to bypass the computer. The beauty of digital photos is that you can store and edit them on your PC.
    • Re:We'll see. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DJCF (805487)
      Most people don't like PCs -- they see them as slow and ugly behemoths, and most of them don't work without crashing every five minutes (spyware, etc.). That's why there is a percieved 'demand' for devices which bypass the computer.

      It...really... annoys me.

  • by chigun (770799)
    If I could synch a decent camera (3+ megapixels min) with flickr, I'd be sold.

    Is there such a camera capable of this?
  • Front page /. "A hack firmware hack has been published that enables a person with a kodak wireless camera to specify the photo uploads to multiple websites, not just the Kodak easyshare gallery. Streaming video features have also been enabled." The living room of an unspecified porn star: "Wow! This is the seventh camera I've recieved today!"
  • by putko (753330) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @05:51AM (#13697638) Homepage Journal
    One problem at demonstrations is that the cops attempt to seize and destroy images (video/cameras) made by people there attempting to document abuses by the cops.

    This would solve that problem -- realtime uploading of the images to a location where the cops can't get them.

    This doesn't apply to America, where cops are all lawful and good (/sarc) -- but rather, to countries that have repressive governments and no free exchange of information.

  • by John Hurliman (152784) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @06:05AM (#13697663) Homepage
    Wouldn't a camera that could upload pictures be more useful? Sorry to be pedantic but this is Slashdot we're talking about.
    • Uploading and downloading pictures are the same thing, depending on the perspective you're using. Think about it.
      • If were talking about the Camera then the perspective thing is out the window .
        I would be interested in getting one , Depends how hackable it is .. Would be great if someone could implement some firmware hack so you could use your own server .
    • Well, you can download "pictures" in your camera and impress your friends with your "artistic talent"...
      (hint hint nudge nudge, know what I mean?)
  • Well, we know how well wireless cameras work [rhetorik.ch]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I like this :)

    I think that this camera would have two 'partitions' (not literally, but you can think of it as such) one for its photos and another for read-only firmware. Aside from the software for image rendering, the software on the client need only do http GET and/or POST. I'd think probably POST for entering the user's Kodak account credentials, GET for grabbing the data for display but, of course, the two can be interchangeable. My point is that the camera need not require a full-fledged browser. Just
  • To claim that this one is the first "computer-free" camera is bogus. First of, it still uploads to a computer so technicly it's not independent of computers. Secon, almost all network cameras can upload by it self. Axis have been doing this for close to a decade now. http://www.axis.com/products/cam_206w/index.htm/ [axis.com]
  • Users can even use the camera to view photos stored in Internet photo albums via Kodak's Easyshare Gallery service.

    Wow man that's really great(tm). Notice the marketing speech. Nice advertorial.
  • The new [camera] can connect directly to the Internet wherever there's Wi-Fi available to [upload] and e-mail pictures...

    Enjoy those annual endless photo-album recaps of your neighbor's summer vacation? Good news... now they're going real-time...

  • I'd be very surprised if Apple doesn't take advantage of Wi-Fi in digital cameras and create some really compelling community-building tools for the homepage section of their .Mac service. First step might be co-opting Flickr's user-assignable keywords. That's a killer feature that encourages casual browsing and random connections between people. I've used .Mac for years now and (although I reckon they'd prefer you use iPhoto as the gateway to the service) I'd love to just connect my camera to a network w
  • Post-PC world (Score:4, Interesting)

    by G4from128k (686170) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @07:08AM (#13697802)
    This is the type of device that's perfect for someone who wants to take digital pictures, but doesn't want a PC (or a Mac or a Linux machine). I was talking to an engineer from a large European telecom company and he told me about an increase the numbers of non-PC-owners with digital cameras. They keep all their photos on memory cards (cards are so cheap its pennies per photo), print directly from the card (at shops or with printers that accept memory cards), show their photos on TVs, etc. No PC required.

    With a camera that can email or post photos to a website, its just another reason not to get a PC (for some people).

  • Security (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Crouty (912387)
    Am I the only one that thinks an access point that fakes an Easyshare connection could be fun? It would not only give you the pictures currently uploaded but also access to the rest of the user's Easyshare galleries. Who would have thought sharing would be *that* easy?
  • BFD (Score:2, Informative)

    by pcjunky (517872)
    Dlink has had WIFI equiped video cameras with built in FTP to send stills to an Internet server for over a year now.
  • old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by greggman (102198) on Sunday October 02, 2005 @08:54AM (#13698111) Homepage
    This may be the first WiFi camera but it's not the first camera that can upload images without a computer.

    Sony has had bluetooth enabled cameras that can connect to the net and upload images if you have a bluetooth cell phone for 2-3 years now. (no computer needed)

    And of course all the cellphones with camears built in do it just fine without a computer including the 7 megapixel samsung.
  • Imagine how useful this camera would be if Kodak would put an X server in it. The camera would become a wireless graphical X display terminal. I'd buy one immediately.
  • Similar to many bluetooth devices, new and old. One such example is the Sony Ericsson S710a. This is a cellular phone with integrated 1.3 megapixel camera, 2.3" screen, mp3 playing abilities and of course the ability to upload directly to the web or email. (Obviously this assumes you've got a bluetooth enabled router) My brother's got this phone, it's just plain amazing. The only bummer is the service he gets with cingular is rather sub-par in his area.
  • I'm really glad I didn't buy a subscription to Slashdot this year, or I'd feel really ripped off. This "article" looks like nothing more than an ad. Mod me as a "troll" if you will, but I think I'm seeing more and more of these "slashvertisements" in the last few months. I hope Kodak paid for this ad.

  • This is a closed system. Notice that besides wireless, there is another way to get the pictures off the camera: take the card to a Kodak kiosk. Again, closed.

    Who benefits by having this system "computer-free"? Kodak, of course.

    Every photo upload, download, and printout will be ringing Kodak's cash register. This is not progress.

  • Axis did this ages ago. It even runs Linux for extra bonus points.

    http://www.axis.com/products/cam_206w/ [axis.com]
  • According to this [yahoo.com] and other articles I've read about the camera, it's restricted to T-Mobile (subscription-based) hotspots: "subscribers to other Wi-Fi services will not be able to connect an EasyShare-One to those wireless accounts." The T-Mobile subscription price is $4.99/month. The article linked in the original post does not get this point across very well.
  • Imagine living in a WiFi City and being able to INSTANTLY publicize evidence of Crimes caught in the Act - or Political Dramas ocurring in Real-time. Or being able to communicate with a Loved one - after a tragedy. Soon VIDEOS and AUDIO will be added to this technology - it will change Real-Time Communication Globaly!
  • I want a wireless card that emulates CompactFlash. Something with on-board memory to hold the pictures while they transmit, or while the camera is out of range.

    When it gets in range, establishes connection, uploads. Would have to be remotely configured the first time, after that it just FTPs the pictures wherever you want them. Could even auto-upload to website or photo service. No more cables, funky camera software, etc.

    OTOH, battery life would undoubtably suffer.

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