Digital Cameras
with Audio Capabilities

T   
his is probably the greatest screw up in the short history of digital camera development. It represents a complete meltdown of R & D in this field. Every time I go to an electronics store I look for this and never find it.

Same ... same ... all same ...

"The experts in any field of endeavor do not know the fundamentals of their craft." - EBTX (over and over).

If the people (employed by every company) who sit around all day getting paid to think things up can't do it ... well ... for cripe sakes this is getting disgusting (as disgusting as waiting for them to put velcro on kids sneakers for 10 freakin' years!).

I am looking for this simple tool

audiovis.gif - 4kb Please bark if you have seen it. And yes, I've seen pieces here and there too.

This is a digital camera in the shape of a pen. It has a protective cap covering a USB input end. You have it in your shirt pocket and when the moment strikes you ... you either take out the pen and aim it ... or ... just press on the top with one finger while putting another finger under the clip to hold it steady.

Just like pressing the top of a ballpoint pen to write, you press the top to take a picture.

But that's not all folks ...

In addition to taking a picture, your click activates the digital tape recorder which takes say, 10 seconds, of audio. Thus, you have a sound bite to go with your graphic byte. Get it? You take a picture to remember the moment ... eh? Sound is equally important as vision in the remembrance of events involving people (especially friends and relatives) ... eh? Get it? Get it?

Well, no one involved in the digital camera industry in the past five years gets it.

I'm not looking for much here

This particular gizmo would be low res 320 x 240 pixel, 8-bit, gray scale. It would find an immediate niche in the security business where every guard could have at his disposal a visual and audio record of an unfolding event without having to think twice about it ... just "Click your Bic" and you've caught 'em red handed. Yeah ... a Bic Pic ... yeah that's what they do best ... an ultra-cheap version of anything at all ... maybe even disposable (except the memory stick).

What would this cost?
Best guess based on the costs of other "useful" things:
$49.95 ... for the Bic Cliq !!!

Well, sez you "Maybe it's not that easy"

Consider this. I have a Fuji Cool Pix Camera (which by the way takes beautiful pictures) that now has a 128 mb Smart Media card. At normal resolution I could take around 1800 pictures before running out of memory. That's not a typo ... 1800 pictures ... as in Eighteen Hundred.

Today, I'm in WalMart SuperCenter and I see a digital voice recorder with an 8 mb Smart Media card. It said "Up to 200 minutes of recording time". That's like ... over three hours. Hmmmmm ... I would gladly trade 20 megs of my Fuji camera memory for some record time. Wouldn't it have been nice to take a picture of my "17 years lost brother and sisters" last week ... and ... get a few precious seconds of their voices to boot?

Well, certainly not.

Someone would have to think of that first wouldn't they? Then, put the digital recorder capacity into the camera for an additional ... ~ $20. Then my camera would have cost me $220 instead of $200. Wow! that sure woulda' put me off that purchase !! (~2 years ago).

You see what I mean?

I should be able to set my camera to take a sound bite, associated with the current picture, of a number of seconds specified by me from 0-... whatever. And ... decide whether I wanted to have it start taking sound on the first click then wait for a second click to take the pic ... or ... just take the sound and pic simultaneously. This is all obvious stuff. But not to the ...



R & D "planners"

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