Canon Introduces Combination Digital Camera Printer

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New York -- Canon USA presented a sneak peek of several product prototypes, including a digital camera with a built-in Bubble Jet printer, during its Expo 2000 held here last week.

The Bubble Jet digital camera (no price or ship date available) was joined by a Bluetooth-equipped Bubble Jet printer and digital camera. Canon also showed, via a video presentation, plans for other high-tech products, but prototypes for these were not at the show.

The Bubble Jet camera will have the ability to take digital images and then make prints. The printer part of the camera is housed in a "media pack" that contains 20 sheets of photo paper and a 1,200 dpi print engine.

The pack cannot be opened for refill, and Canon has not determined whether the packs will be disposable only or can be turned in by the end user for refills, nor has it decided which of its digital cameras will be altered to receive the media pack, a company spokesman said.

A demonstration of the camera showed it could make a single business-card-size print in just over 60 seconds. While no details on shipping or price were available, a spokesman said the product definitely would not be ready by the end of this year.

Olympus will beat Canon to this market by shipping next month the Camedia C-211 Zoom, which it co-developed with Polaroid. The C-211 is essentially an Olympus 2.1-megapixel digital camera mated to a Polaroid instant camera. It will carry a $799 suggested retail price.

Canon also displayed its ability to embed Bluetooth wireless technology into its Bubble Jet printers and digital cameras. The digital camera prototype at the expo had a wireless module attached to its side, with a 1-inch antenna poking up from the top of the device.

A spokesman said the camera could transmit a digital image directly to any other Bluetooth-equipped device, such as the printer, without having to use a PC. Pricing and shipping information for both products was not available.

Other products and services mentioned, but not shown, were:

* · A paper-like video display, made of a thin, flexible material capable of displaying images as an LCD would.

* · A personal multifunction device desktop product about one-third the size of a current MFP.

* · A next-generation Internet search engine.

* · And an Internet document-delivery service that would send documents anywhere in the world to be printed out on the receiving end. Unlike a common fax machine, the documents could contain data-rich image files and other information too cumbersome for a fax to print.


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