By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Digital imaging peripheral vendors reason there's no shame in coattail riding, particularly if those tails are affixed to the coat of the upwardly mobile digital camera market.
With sales of digital cameras topping 14 million units in 2003 and with U.S. household penetration pegged at over 40 percent in 2004, peripheral suppliers are keen to capitalize on the current success.
ColorVision will introduce its monitor calibrating software suite, called Spyder, for the consumer market. It helps users color-correct their monitors and printers so digital images are accurately reproduced.
The new Spyder Suites are available in a consumer and pro SKU. The consumer suite includes the Spyder colorimeter, PhotoCAL software and Adobe Photoshop Album for a suggested retail price of $149. SpyderPRO is for the advanced hobbyist and includes the Spyder colorimeter, OptiCAL software, and Adobe Photoshop Album for a suggested retail price of $229.
JJ Communications introduced a PC-based camera with ultra-high magnification to 150x. Called the MagniCam, the unit connects to a PC via USB and is manipulated through software included with camera. The software controls contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpness levels.
The camera is shaped like an electric toothbrush with a lens on the head end and produces highly magnified color images of objects or areas too small to be captured in detail by a standard camera. A focus knob on the device allows users to achieve the desired magnification. The resulting 320,000-pixel image can be displayed at resolutions ranging from 160 by 120 to 640 by 480 (VGA).
The MagniCam can also record up to 13 minutes of audio and double as a Web-cam for video conferencing. It ships with a stand, a 3.5-foot USB cable, and a sanitary cover for use in taking mouth, ear and nose photos, if one were so inclined. Replacement covers are available separately. The MagniCam ships this month for a suggested retail price of $199.95.
IQ Gadgets introduced its riff on the tripod called the PullPod. The device is a cord that screws into a camera's (or camcorder's) tripod socket and unspools to the floor. The user then steps on the cord and stabilizes the camera by pulling up until the cord is stretched taut.
The PullPod will sell for a suggested retail price of $12.99.
Pacific Digital announced a new MemoryFrame digital photo frame that offers 802.11b wireless-networking connectivity. The MF-810S features a 10.4-inch active matrix TFT LCD screen and a USB port for connecting to a computer or digital camera and transferring photos. Images for display are stored on the frame's 20MB of internal flash memory. The Wi-Fi is enabled by an accessory USB dongle, which is sold separately.
The frame features built-in speakers to play back WAV audio files with photos, is wall-mountable and can fit inside a standard 8 by 10-inch picture frame. The unit ships with one frame and PixMaster software for creating slideshows and managing digital image collections.
The frame will be available in two configurations. One SKU ships this month and is the standard frame for a suggested retail price of $429. The other, shipping in February, includes the 802.11b USB dongle for an estimated retail price of $469.
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