NEW YORK -- Intel and Ezonics refreshed their digital camera offerings with new models designed for the booming video phone market.
Intel last month introduced the Pocket PC Camera, the company's first model that is fully detachable from the PC and also can be used as a digital camera.
Ezonics' new EZPhone Cam can also work as both a still and video chat camera, but it is tethered to the PC, said Mike Ostwind, Ezonics' sales and marketing director. The new model's best selling points, he added, are its ease of use and plug-and-play capability.
"With all marketing hype aside, this camera really is easy enough for my grandmother to operate," Ostwind said.
Intel's retail channel manager Troy Severson said Intel's devices are now playing a more important role with retailers as both stand-alone products and for bundling opportunities because of the high margins they deliver, up to 30 points in some cases.
The Pocket PC Camera, which carries a $149 suggested retail price, has 8MB of internal memory, capable of storing about 100 680 x 480 digital still images or two minutes of video.
The camera comes with a small stand allowing it to be used for video-phone or chat applications, and it connects to a PC's USB port. Despite the popularity of e-mailing still images and video, Severson said, Intel research has found that more people use these cameras for live video-phone conversations.
The EZPhone Cam also uses USB for PC connectivity. It captures video at about 30 frames per second, and to drive home the fact the EZPhone Cam is intended for video-phone communication, it "rings" like a telephone when an incoming call is detected, Ostwind said. It is shipping later this month with a $119 suggested retail price.