Sound Vision, a developer of signal processing circuits, made several announcements at the ImageScape press conference here last week that could impact the digital imaging market if product designs are adopted by manufacturers.
The company's previous designs have been adopted by RCA, Agfa and Polaroid, among others. The current designs are targeted toward the low-end of the digital imaging market with low-cost models that can be brought to market quickly.
"Sony has a lock on this market but we can help manufacturers break that hold with flexible products that can make it to market quickly," said Mitchell Rosenberg, marketing VP for Sound Vision. "The consumer electronics market is like the fashion industry, it's obsessed with the new. You need to constantly come to market with new products every six months."
To that end, the company introduced its Rapid Development Kit for digital imaging based on their Clarity brand signal processing ASIC chip for manufacturers. Three mocked-up, production-ready designs were on display: My Karaoke, the M1 digital camera, and the TV Cam.
My Karaoke is a concept for a low-cost, portable device that can include a library of up to 500 MIDI karaoke music files in internal memory. The unit can then be hooked up to a TV to display the lyrics.
The M1 digital camera design features what the company claimed is the first megapixel CMOS sensor.
According to Rosenberg, with advances in CMOS resolution, manufacturers can come to market with a very cheap megapixel camera rather than relying on more expensive CCD sensor technology. He predicted that a 2 megapixel camera based on this design could come in under $100 in two years.
Finally, the TV Cam concept seeks to attract the large swath of the market that doesn't have a PC. According to this design, a digital camera can mount on a set-top box and display the various images stored in the camera's internal memory onscreen, with several onscreen menu options to navigate back and forth. The set-top box would also feature a built-in floppy disk drive so that images can be previewed and then archived on disk.