Handheld Computers Get Another Gizmo

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

At last week’s Demo 2000 festivities in Indian Wells, California, new digital camera hardware for both the Handspring and Palm was unveiled. Kodak jumps on the Palm bandwagon with the PalmPix for the Palm III and VII series organizers. The other offering, a Visor module called eyemodule, will be sold directly by Handspring. Both offer low resolution digital photo solutions for under (US)$180.

The Kodak PalmPix camera enables users to take pictures and to transfer them to their desktop through the device’s HotSync cradle. Pictures are viewed on the Palm’s LCD screen (2.3- x 2.3-inches) as grayscale images. Once on the computer desktop, the pictures are stored as standard jpeg or bitmap files. They can be accessed as full-color VGA (640 x 480) pictures then manipulated, emailed, printed and saved.


The PalmPix camera is small and ultra-lightweight (1.5 ounces); so it can be easily carried anywhere a Palm goes. The camera features a fixed focus lens, 2X digital zoom and self-timer. Until images are transferred to a computer, they are stored in the Palm organizer, each VGA file requiring approximately 100K of memory.

The PalmPix will retail for (US)$179 and should be available in April. It will be sold at the usual Palm outlets. The Web page lists no Mac support for the included software bundle, but all you need to do is perform a HotSync and your pictures will be transferred to your Mac.

The eyemodule digital camera will enable capture of either color or black & white digital images. eyemodule users will be able to beam images from Visor’s infrared port to another Visor or to any other Palm OS-based handheld. With a fast and simple HotSync? operation, images can also be transferred to a personal computer to edit, e-mail or print in color or black & white.


Palo Alto-based IDEO Product Development Inc., one of the world’s most innovative design and product development consultancies, designed the eyemodule. Blocks Products, the manufacturing arm of IDEO, will manufacture the product. The eyemodule is expected to be released in the spring of 2000 and will be sold through Handspring’s web store (www.handspring.com) for $149.

If style and size count for anything, the eyemodule wins hands-down. It’s thirty bucks cheaper too. Real world tests will prove out the issue of quality. Stay tuned!

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