By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Milpitas, Calif. — Creative Technology announced a new Web camera last month designed for video instant messaging. The Live! Cam Voice model features the company's Directional Live! Audio technology which integrates dual adaptive array microphones to capture the user's voice while minimizing background and environmental noise, Creative said. The 1.3-megapixel camera can capture still images up to 5-megapixels via interpolation. The camera, which ships this month for a suggested $99.99, ships with Creative WebCam Center software that lets users remotely monitor a Creative Web camera, set up motion detection alerts and create time lapse video. Other Creative software includes Advanced Video FX for adding video effects, a photo manager and calendar creator.
Los Angeles — SanDisk hit the E3 show, here, with several new memory cards for use in Sony's PSP, hoping, in part, to muscle aside Sony's Universal Media Disc as the platform for viewing video on the portable gaming device. San-Disk's RapidGX Memory Stick PRO Duo is a high-speed card in SanDisk's gaming series that can be used to store video, music and other multimedia files for viewing on a PSP. For a limited time, the card will be bundled with software from Media-four that lets PSP users convert multimedia files stored on a PC to PSP-compatible formats. The card will also be bundled with the new MicroMate high-speed card reader, which is capable of transferring files at 15MBps. SanDisk will initially offer a 1GB RapidGX card this summer for a suggested $84.99. SanDisk also announced a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo Game that ships this month for a suggested $219.99.
New York — Following a growing succession of marquee camera brands, Canon announced that it will cease development in its film camera line to focus on its booming digital business. According to published reports, Canon plans to continue to market and sell its existing film cameras and will track the market to determine whether to alter its strategy. Canon's rival Nikon announced last year that it was ceasing production of nearly all of its film cameras. Another 35mm stalwart, Konica Minolta, left the photography business all together, effective the end of March.
Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft took aim at the JPEG file format — the standard in which all digital images are saved — with the announcement of the Windows Media Photo (MWP) standard. Microsoft claimed the new MWP standard will offer improved image quality with lower file sizes than JPEG images and will correct some of the problems inherent in the existing JPEG standard. The new format will be incorporated in the forthcoming release of Windows Vista but no camera companies have announced support for the format to date.
Deer Park, N.Y. — Imaging peripheral maker MediaStreet announced a new Personal Media Player (PMP) last month. The eMotion PMP features a 3.5-inch TFT LCD flip screen three-in-one flash-memory card reader, a DVD player and USB slot. The unit supports a number of file formats including VCD, DiVX/MPEG-4 for video and audio CDs, MP3 and WMA. The unit retails for a suggested $129.99.
In the May 8 issue of TWICE, a story on p. 112 incorrectly referred to the Exilim EX-Z1000 as having a 4x optical zoom. The model has a 3x optical zoom.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.