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Kodak debuts wireless digital camera system

updated 12:10 am EST, Thu January 6, 2005

Kodak EasyShare-One

  Eastman Kodak today introduced a new wireless digital photography system featuring the Kodak EasyShare-One digital camera (pictured at right), a new pocket-sized "digital photo album" device, and new ImageLink technology to enable one-touch printing from a variety of different digital camera vendors. The company also introduced WiFi support for its EasyShare Printer Dock Plus snapshot printer via a standalone wireless card that conveniently brings support for direct wireless printing from any wireless-enabled device, including digital cameras, PDAs, and PCs. Kodak also launched its new EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3, which is bundled with both models of Kodak's new Z-Series digital cameras and will be available as a standalone product later this year.

At the heart of the Kodak's new wireless system Kodak's EasyShare-One zoom digital camera. The camera allows users to e-mail pictures directly from the camera via optional wireless connectivity; to view online albums in the Kodak EasyShare Gallery (formerly Ofoto) on the camera; to store and organize up to 1,500 favorite pictures for instant display on its high-resolution, 3-inch touch screen LCD; and to take both still pictures and full-motion video. Kodak also announced that the camera will offer integrated access via special subscription plans to T-Mobile HotSpot service, which is available at more than 5,000 locations across the United States.

The EasyShare-One digital camera features 4-megapixel LCD resolution, a Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon 3x optical zoom lens, 256MB of internal memory (stores up to 1500 pictures), and a 3.0-inch rotating touch screen and stylus. Other features include VGA-quality movie mode at 30fps, audio capture, six-shot burst mode, SD/MMC media card support, on-camera editing tools, a 3.3x digital zoom, TTL auto-focus with selectable modes (multi-zone and center-spot), anda rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.

The Kodak EasyShare-One camera will begin reaching select retailers this June and will be available for $600. The optional Kodak Wi-Fi card will be available separately for $100. Other accessories in the Kodak EasyShare One system include the Camera Dock Series 3 ($60) and Printer Dock Plus ($200), which along with the optional WiFi optional can become a wireless printing hub.

The Kodak 802.11b Wi-Fi card can also be used with the Kodak Printer Dock Plus. In addition to printing real Kodak pictures in as little as 60 seconds without a computer, it can now transfer pictures from a docked camera or memory card to networked computers throughout a home. With the card, the Printer Dock Plus can also receive pictures for printing from Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, PDAs, and other devices without requiring them to be in the same room.

New printer dock supports ImageLink technology

The new EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3 allows users to print authentic Kodak 4- x 6-inch pictures with just one touch in as little as 90 seconds. The Printer Dock Series 3 also transfers pictures to a connected computer, and recharges and reconditions the cameras' batteries. Kodak says that pictures made from EasyShare printer docks are borderless and waterproof under typical home display conditions. The new Printer Dock Series 3 also will be compatible with the EasyShare-One camera Kodak's new Picture Viewer as well as upcoming cameras from other manufacturer's using Kodak's new ImageLink print system. Manufacturer's such as Konica Minolta, Nikon, Olympus,
Pentax, Ricoh and Sanyo, have pledged support for the new one-touch printing system.

The new EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3 will be available worldwide
(including Canada) beginning in February, packaged with new Kodak EasyShare
Z740 and Z700 zoom digital cameras and will also ship as a standalone
product beginning in May 2005 for $150.

Kodak also showcased its EasyShare Picture Viewer, a pocket-sized "digital photo album" that fits in the palm of your hand. Due in May, the credit card-sized device features a 2.5-inch high-resolution display screen; stores up to 150 digital pictures; offers an SD/MMC memory card slot for expandability; and both single-view and slideshow features using the easy-to-use menu and four-way navigation buttons. The Picture Viewer incorporates a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which
provides up to three hours of picture viewing. [Kodak currently lists the product as Windows-only, however, it offers standard USB connectivity.]

Kodak also showcased its Kodak Mobile Service, which offers subscribers anytime, anywhere access to their digital photos and phone-captured video, using their mobile phone handsets or Web-connected computers and demoed its Picture Maker kiosks with wireless transfer technologies for printing authentic Kodak pictures in seconds.

by MacNN Staff



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