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Toys

Digital Camera With Wireless Browser 62

pfignaux writes: "From Steve Fox's CNET Insider, 'The world's first Internet-ready digital camera, a 3.34-megapixel model with a built-in Web browser ... You can also use the camera to send and receive images, movies, text, and voice memos via e-mail, and you can fax images directly from the camera as soon as you've taken them.' I seem to remember something like this in the movie, Until the End of the World, where Solveig Dommartin sends Sam Neil a video snapshot." Well, this probably must be qualified as the first (any counterarguments?) digital still camera with a built-in browser, but the Sony Vaio GT1 looks pretty Internet ready to me;)
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Digital Camera With Wireless Browser

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  • by Sheeple Police ( 247465 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @06:30PM (#576528)
    From the specifications page:

    "Fax text images..." Is that like listen to text sound? "Oh my, your voice sounds simply operatic when I listen with it through ASCII"

    "User-friendly 3.5 inch touch-screen LCD" - since when has anything that small been user friendly?

    "Stylus pen inputting" - mandatory election comment: Look out Palm Beachers, this camera is not for you.

    "Text mode" - someone want to explain to me why a camera would have text mode? The only possible use I can see would be having it "Matrix-fied" [sic], but I doubt that is what they mean.

    Oh well, nothing like reading English translations from Japanese pages, if I do so myself.
  • sorry-timothy actually posted the story, so he should get credit for pointing us to the GT1


    47.5% Slashdot Pure(52.5% Corrupt)
  • Thanks for the reference to one of my favorite movies. It's a surreal epic and at over 2.5 hours should show the dune folks how to get a complex story on film. (William Hurt is also in this BTW) It combines apocalyptic stuff, technology, drama and intense characterization.

  • But LightSurf [lightsurf.com] camera snaps into your cellphone, quite a bit more convenient than this Ricoh.

    Wired [wired.com] had a great article entitled "The Big Picture" [wired.com] on LightSurf a few months ago. I recommend reading it. (of course I recommend reading most of what runs in Wired)
  • by the_tsi ( 19767 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @07:19PM (#576532)
    Text mode is there for running ASCIIQuake, silly.

    -Chris
    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • Shoe/Lightbulb... don't we have those? They light up when you stamp your feet...
  • When will people learn that the internet is useless on a small screen? What good is having a web browser on your digital camera. It may be good it if could view all sites but for that to be possible it would have to really shrink them down. So much so that they could not be viewable. I guess some sites make versions of there site for these special devices. But is this really worth while? Why do people really need to have internet access on a cellphone or on a digital camera? Like your digital camera be just that a camera. You can use your computer to browser the web the way it was meant to be. I think we should boycott lame stuff like this. Just people trying to get us to pay more money to have the internet on like a 2 inch by 2 inch screen. I hope people are not stupid enough to think that this is a good idea. Don't buy this garbage use a computer. I can just imagine what slashdot would look like on a digital camera screen.
    >neotope
  • I don't dare ask, but do either of these camera's run Linux? ;-) What do they run actually?

    Not that I'd buy one considering the pricing, however.
  • I'm guessing the transmitted image is first compressed anyway. But yeah.. at those low transfer speeds, you are not getting a lot of throughput.
  • If you get Wired and hang on to back issues, go back 2 or 3 months. They had a whole article on some new software technique this guy was going to market using cell phones to distribute digital pictures. It was a good read...that is, it was a good read instead of paying attention in my mind-numbing communications class.

    That doesn't sound like the guy though. It sure would suck if he did that interview only to have someone else read it and beat him to market!

  • by Monkeyman334 ( 205694 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @06:51PM (#576538)
    Now we will have even more cameras pointed at peoples genitals.. You know that's what they made it for.
  • Hey, people still think WAP is neat, right? I never quite understood why people are willing to pay $$$ for that.
  • Perhaps I am not smoking enough dope, but that THING (Vaio Gt1) looks like crap to me. Much more sexy imho is the Sony PictureBook [sonystyle.com.au] followup, the one with the inbuild camera and the Transmeta chip. it's only about 3,800 Aussie dollars which is about half that in US dollars. Not to mention it's portability - PURE Sex .. =)
    --
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When will people learn that the internet is useful on any sized screen? I think we should boycott sites that go out of their way to hide ACTUAL CONTENT behind flash animations, messes of frames, banner ads, and so on. There's a hell of a lot of content that's perfectly easy to read on a little tiny Palm screen (see AvantGo [avantgo.com] for one good offline browser. It even does a good job on pages not designed for it, but there is a lot of content made specifically for it as well). You don't need a big screen to make good use of the internet. I'm sure there are blind people who would argue that you don't need a screen at all.

    I would agree that it's probably a bit early for a combination camera/browser, but I also don't think the day when all of the electronic crap people carry around can be combined into one device (without, for example, swapping springboard modules) is very far off. Certainly there are people who need to carry around a cell phone, PDA, and camera around often, doesn't it make sense to have 'em all in one? And once you've got all that, doesn't it also make sense to be able to get information to and from it anywhere in the world? Just because you're always in front of your P4/1Ghz machine with a 25" monitor doesn't mean the whole world is.

    Also, when will people learn that the <pre> tag is not a toy?

  • Ya, that's what my first thoughts were: instant reporting is here; but In a flash I realised that perhaps the speeds involved may not be so instant. And you could still be caught in the process of transmitting that "sizzling page or picture" and then perhaps there will be a "Transmiision aborted" or such snazzy bit of message blinking at you if the camera is still in front of you..

  • A local retailer pointed me to this fixed webcam the other day:

    http://www.axis.com/products/cam_2120/index.htm [axis.com]

    It's motion sensitive, and has it's own webserver built in, and attaches to the network instead of a PC, either that or it can dial up a modem for you! :)
    And the best bit is it runs on Linux! :)
    Check out the live demo too..... seems to work pretty well in poor light conditions!


    "How much truth can advertising buy?" - iNsuRge [insurge.com.au] - AK47
  • Wow...recursive sig. Such a simple concept, but one I have never seen. Pretty clever, really.

    Oh, and since I already put an OT on this... I can reply to your question about the OS without being too annoying.
    That is, if they do run Linux...
    Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

  • Got a digital camera, takes huge jpegs which I have to crop, reduce, compress before they're of any use on the net. Can't see what the fuss is about using a browser on a camera, either, it's like watching TV on the fridge (not really a bad idea, closer to the beer and stuff), but just poses the ultimate question of "Why?" I'd prefer a wireless way to dump my images to my compter, but I'm certainly not even thinking, "Hey, let's put a wireless modem in this thing!" it all begins to make Stimpy's Cheese-O-Phone look intelligent by comparison.

    --

  • They arent. Its bombing.
  • Actually, it uses Boa [boa.org] as the web server, not Apache.

    Strangely, right now I am in the middle of modifying one of these for a portable wireless application (The 2100, not the 2120). I was in the middle of debugging a C cgi program for the camera when this slashdot story appeared. :)

  • I saw this New Years Day and was enthralled.

    It went on and on for hours, yet I wasn't bored. The cinematography was astounding, and Wim managed to weave a few different story lines into one movie.

    Any other good Wim Wenders movies to rent?
  • I think a web server would be more useful on a digital camera than a browser: you could take a picture and immediately share it with the entire world.

    And while you're implementing this, a webcam would also be handy.

  • Ditto! Check out www.axis.com They've got some really great products including a line of digital cameras. Yes, they're not portable, but you can hang off them directly on a network or use a modem and they can FTP files directly. Very cool stuff. The Axis website has application examples and product specs.
  • Ah HAH! That's what this thing is for. At what optimum speed u/ling? 2k/sec? So they have these huge pics, about 100k, so that's almost a minute it takes, and charging you per minute for acess....
  • even with the internet acccess, I still don't think the quality can ever compare to a real camera. the digital world still has a long way to go before it can compete.
  • I agree with Perdida... thanks for the reference to a brilliant movie! I will admit that I watched the film due to the U2 connection (in the awesome soundtrack and their friendship with Wim Wenders), but the movie itself was amazing. Great cast, with Neill, Hurt, Dommartin, Max Von Sydow, and a great sweeping storyline through countless countries and languages. Wenders' other films are good, Wings of Desire in particular, but UTEOTW is still my favourite. Too bad it's a bit dated now that it's 2000 and the film's predictions were a little off on the technology. Although it's not too far off the mark on the concepts like the camera and the onboard car navigation system. The Greenpeace space station isn't quite there yet though. :-)
  • IIRC, his company is looking to provide the infrastructure to allow just this sort of device to easily transfer pictures etc. Wasn't there some sort of new compression involved to make it feasible over slow links?
  • Try "Wings of Desire" (1987) and it's sequel "Faraway, So Close" (1993). They're not as accessible as "Until the end of the World", but with a good story and overall look. I've heard "Buena Vista Social Club" (1999) is a great documentary but I haven't seen it yet. And "Million Dollar Hotel" (2000) was good, but not released in very many places. It's yet another U2 connection as it's Bono's story idea, a U2 soundtrack, and he's in it as himself very briefly. Avoid "The End of Violence" (1997), which I found pointless and boring IMHO.
  • Why not? The bleeding edge is never all that practical, but five years from now everyone will look at digital cameras with disk storage the way we look at those wired remotes that came with early TVs.
  • Hmm.
    Or I could just be wrong.
  • by fluxrad ( 125130 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @06:26PM (#576558) Homepage
    seems that the deal of the day is to come up with two different concepts and merge them for no aparent reason.

    Introducting the Sony Shoe/Lightbulb

    wireless access isn't even fast enough to make the cost justifiable for this type of thing.


    FluX
    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • for the .jp site. The cnet article didn't say too much about it, and the ricoh site is slow as all get-out... :(

    Anyone got any mirrors of this?

    The cnet article DID mention taking a picture, 'converting to HTML' and uploading to your website automatically. I wonder if it'll break it up for you ala fireworks, or just make a static ' and tags.

    The part of the flash movie I saw asked 'can you create and edit at the same time?' or something to that effect - meaning edit footage as it's happening. Not sure how I'd go about that, or why. I don't normally know what edits I want to make to video until after I've got everything.

    Am I just too linear in my thinking?!?!

  • from what I could tell, there is the option to get some kind of expansion card so that it will attach to a cell phone; it seems to come with some sort of PPP dialer so you can login to your ISP and directly upload your photos when you are on the road, rather than downloading them into a laptop first, then uploading to your website/ftp server/whatever. Interesting concept, except I would imagine that cell phone PPP uplinks would be pretty slow. Unless you have airtime to burn, it doesn't seem like a really useful toy.

    Wasn't there a story some time ago about someone hacking Doom to run on a digital camera? Now, having a portable Doom terminal that you can hook up to a cell phone and play deathmatch while you are on the road...that might be worth it :)

    Oh yeah, ObTroll: it would be cool to make a Beowolf cluster out of these! :P


    ---
    Santa Claus: "Ho ho ho!"

  • but seriously, I think this is just an inevitable result of faster/smaller/better.

    it's really just a question of having the hardware for a particular application (storage for mp3's, comm device for wireless) in a small enough form to make it useful in a portable device.

    just like the new samsung cell phone/mp3 player. that's a crazy combination too, but soonenough, you can have a full strength computer in your pocket and it'll be redunant to say what it does.

    Or better than in your pocket, on an earring. heh, maybe we'll have supercomputer tongue rings you can keep concealed in your mouth. now that's a party. listen to your mp3's and your conversations through your teeth to your skull bone. yeah baby!

    ___________________________
    http://www.hyperpoem.net [hyperpoem.net]
  • I seem to remember a digital camera mentioned on slashdot a few months ago that saved to minidisks and had a built in ethernet card, complete with cat5 connector and web server. I would think that would be the first net-ready one, unless they just mean the other way around...
  • Maybe not for normal everyday use for the average Joe but this is pretty sweet for business customers who constantly have to go out and take pictures of things for clients or whatever. It would be incredible to instantly send the picture back to the office or to a client if you needed to.

    Also digital cameras have advanced a ton since your friends. I recently purchased a Canon w/ a 64meg memory card and that thing is amazing. Nice little USB reader and things are down to my computer in seconds!

  • He bought the thing because he thought that the discs would mean he would never run out of memory like I often did with my 8Meg-Flash card. He negelected to remember the blazing speed of the 3.5" floppy, and soon grew tired of the camera.

    He never ran out of space for pictures though!
  • I love technology. First, cellphones get wireless web, and now digital cameras. I can just imagine what this will do for the porn industry, as well as everyday use. Next, I'd like to see wireless web capabilities in a camcorder. Then, I could be at... oh, say Botcon (the Transformers convention), and update my site on the fly with streaming video.
  • ahh...but THESE [lightbulbs.com] ligh-shoes you can screw into a lamp.

    what will sony think of next.


    FluX
    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • by tewwetruggur ( 253319 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @07:04PM (#576567) Homepage
    I always hate it when all those pesky wires get in my way whilst browsing... 'specially that damned barbed wire - just trying to read /. when "BAM!" a big old scratch from a wire stickin' right outta netscape.

    and, wow, I'd never have thought of stickin' a web browser in a camera - that's jsut soooo much better than using the browser built into my toster.

  • by isaac ( 2852 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @07:09PM (#576568)
    A digicam that uploaded images as you shot them to a remote server would be perfect when confronted with cops and/or other hired goons trying to confiscate the incriminating snaps you just shot of them. Now *THAT* would be useful.

    Might take something like 128k Ricochet to upload high-res images in reasonable time, but a 640x480 jpeg at a high compression rate is small enough to send usefully at 19.2k (CDPD) or even 9.6k (GSM) rates.

    -Isaac
  • by Daemosthenes ( 199490 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @07:13PM (#576569)
    Taco was quick to point out that the Vaio looked pretty sweet, and it damn sure does. However, the fact of the matter is, its hugely too expensive.

    With a pricetag of $3899US, the Vaio GT1 as well as other hybrid camera-laptops are WAY out of reach for the average consumer. I could buy a p3 800 laptop and a higher quality digital video camera for the same amount of money.
    The sad truth is that there is not yet a market for these hybrids except for video professionals or the ultra rich. As cool as it may be, I don't see hybrid camera/laptops gaining a foothold in the market for a while yet to come.


    47.5% Slashdot Pure(52.5% Corrupt)
  • Posted by timothy on 11:09 PM December 6th, 2000
    from the answer:-jumprope-with-rj45-cable! dept.
    fignuts writes: "From Fox Mulders's BNET Insider, 'The world's 50 millionth-or-so Internet-ready Pentium PC, a 200-megahertz model with a built-in Web browser ... You can also use the PC to send and receive images, movies, text, and voice memos via email, and you can fax images directly from the PC as soon as you've taken them with your digital camera that doesn't have a web browser because it is stupid for a camera to have a web browser.' [insert boring, whore cares, movie reference here" Well, this probably must be qualified as the ~50 millionth (any counterarguments?) PC with a built-in browser, but every other PC, and now toaster, looks pretty Internet ready to me :O=%+= (puking emoticon)

    Thank you.
  • Well, all of these devices are all really just computers. Adding things like MP3 players, web browsers, or any other software application is pretty much free (other then memory space, and ROM is always cheap).

    The reality is, not putting those things in is more like actively removing them then anything else.
  • Remeber way back then when digital watches were so new and wonderful? And they start adding more and more features on it...

    • Games. (who needs Gameboy)
    • annoying beeps and "music" (sort of like the today's cute ring tones for cellphones)
    • Stop watch (okay this makes sense)
    • Calculator (with all the big @$$ keys)
    • Radio (ookay)
    • Heart monitor (....)
    • Some other crazy stuff I can't remember any more.

    Who knows, any day now someone may create an all-in-one watch that is also a video camera, mp3 player, web server, phone, razor (just rub it on your face) and whatever!

    Wait, didn't IBM put Linux on a watch [slashdot.org]?

    "My watch has better uptime then your server!"

    ====

  • yeah, of course, check this at : http://digita.mame.net/ :D enjoy the pics, and try also Donkey Kong Jr ;o)
  • I can also see this as being useful to realtors, insurance adjustors, et al. At least it saves the "download to laptop" step before "upload to home office".

    If the thing has an IP stack, does it have an FTP server? That'd be cool. Plug it in to a serial port running PPP and just FTP the pictures out. No more messing around with reverse-engineering proprietary drivers.


    Chelloveck
  • but it still annoys me that none of the really cool, top of the line toys come up with any support for Linux/Unix while still supporting Mac OS at the same time info here [ricoh.co.jp]. The first place I ever saw a digital camera was in a physics lab, and I know that some of the consumers of this technology are going to be high end computer users, maybe even webmasters who own Suns. Now what is the point of not supporting any Unices. The other thing is that these undeniable geek toys appeal to technophile types in high paying tech jobs...prime Unix users.

  • Cool, my first troll status! Oh by the way, some one wish me a happy birthday. ;-)
  • I sent this info [sony.co.jp] to Slashdot on November 19th!!! The day it came out in Japan. Of course like every other story I submit to them it was rejected. I think it's one of those anti-asian baises or is it just that Slashdot doesn't want to post new news, just news from other websites? Otherwise, reading some of the comments. It is NOT, $4000, at least not in Japan. It's selling for 278000 yen or less than $2600 US. Also, it is NOT wireless. Wireless is an option. You can buy one of the about 20 different wireless internet cards available here in Japan. There are cards that are 64K bits and there are cards that are basically 2 cards so you get 2 64k connections at twice the price (for the service not the card) The cards are available from all 6 different cell phone companies over here. NTT DoCoMo even has a CompactFlash wireless card. These are wireless USE ANYWHERE cards. They are NOT the 11mhz ethernet cards. The thing that sticks out about the PGC-GT1 is that it comes with internet broadcasting software [sony.co.jp] so connected to some service so if you want to broadcast video it's all setup to do it.
  • wake up and smell your species. There is nothing unnatural about it. It's not a drug.
  • Carrier pigeons.

  • Wouldn't this toy be useful if, say, you were on vacation and wanted to take lots of shots without buying expensive memory upgrades? If it has a modem built-in, you could dial-up your ISP (uh, from your hotel...) every night and email yourself all of the day's pictures. I realize that the pricetag of this makes it ridiculous to buy this camera instead of a regular digital camera with extra memory, but its a neat idea I think. And it will get cheaper with time.

    "Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts." ....Governor George W. Bush, Jr.
  • This story inspired me to write a play. I call it Behind Closed Doors.

    The Characters:

    Mr. Moron: a 50 year old engineer who's an alcoholic, drug user, and generally stupid person. He feels he's about to get fired, and in a desparate attempt to salvage his job he's contacted management promising them a new product that will save their company.

    Exec 1, 2, 3: typical Pointy Headed Boss

    Begin

    Exec 1: Ok, Mr. Moron wanted to pitch his new idea to us today. According to him, this will enable our company to grow its revenue by 300% while realizing 400% profit. Go ahead Mr. Moron...

    Mr. Moron: Ah... err... ya... Ok, ummm, how about if we make a cell phone where you can, umm, maybe browse the internet on...?

    Exec 2: They have that already.

    Mr. Moron: Oh...did I say cell phone? I, ah, meant, ummm..., camera. Ya, camera.

    [blank stares from execs]

    Mr. Moron: ... digital camera ?

    [blank stares from execs]

    Mr. Moron: It, ah, would, um, allow us to leverage the synergies of these two paradigms while being proactive ....

    Exec 1, 2, 3: Love it! Mr. Moron, you're a genious!

  • the nice ppl at handhelds.org can do something funky with it. :) Slashdot headline: Webserver on a camera. Live webcast.
  • Dunno if I'd want that sucker hanging arround my neck. It's cool though...but I wonder how well it works in execution. I had a friend who bought one of those cameras that stores pictures on 3.5" Disk. He hated the thing.

  • Hey Ma, could you buy me some batteries. This way i will able to chat with Jenny in the car with this camera. It sucks that it takes 1 minute per character with that thing. Whoa I am recieving a fax!! Tell dad that by tomorrow will have a beautiful picture of Aunt Rose.

    Whats that, the car wont start. Here, put the camera on top of the motor and let it just sit there awhile. Okay now try it.......
  • The Axis 2120 [axis.com] is a digital still camera running an embedded version of Linux.

    It is not designed to be portable, as its power supply and case are aimed at security and permanent webcam use, but you could modify it appropriately.

    It's also got motion detection and inbuilt Apache.

  • I'd like to show that little gizmo off, but I think it'd involve selling most of my possessions to buy one - though most of my possessions do what that little thing does. ;) Christmas is only a few weeks a way, however...I can only hope *drool*.
  • Ok, so if I'm in my own house, sending files from my camera via wireless ethernet is not much easier than transferring them to a computer via IR, where I can actually do something useful with them.

    If I'm in a friend's house I have to configure my camera to be on his network before I can make anything work. That's assuming he even has a network.

    In fact, I am hard pushed to think of a way that this is more useful than having the same web-enabled functionality on my toaster ("to: root@camera Subject: toast is done").

    Come on guys, I might want to hook my computer up to my hifi to play mp3s. I might want a computer in my tv to show me schedules. I only need one way to get pictures from my camera to my computer/paper, and this isn't any easier.

    not_cub

  • All they need now is a built in wireless modem.

    I think this would end up going to end being something that every journalist will want/need. No more worrying about people confisgating your film after you take a picture that someone didn't want you to see. Just take the picture, and have it automatically upload it to a server somewhere.

    Of course there's the other side of it. Trying to work security when there's someone out there with something like this.
  • I checked the specs on the website. It appears to be dialup. I'm guessing there's a modem built into this thing.

Sendmail may be safely run set-user-id to root. -- Eric Allman, "Sendmail Installation Guide"

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