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A Digital Camera the Size of a Credit Card

Techstination feature for Monday, July 8, 2002

A digital camera... the size of a credit card. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They use technology developed by a company called SMaL Camera ... where CEO Maurizio Arienzo tells us...

"The company was founded in 1999 by three professors of MIT and a graduate student who is the vice president of engineering."

And now Logitech and FujiFilm have begun selling the thin credit card sized digital cameras capable of taking decent snapshot sized photos. They use a built in rechargeable battery... don't have LCD screens or a flash... .but Arienzo says...

"With the CMOS technology we have auto bright, which has a very wide, dynamic range. So we can take pictures in a back light condition and we can resolve that picture without the need for taking a flash. This camera does not need that. We collect a lot more information, we collect about 20 bits per pixel. We process that, so we preserve all that information."

The Logitech model being sold in the U.S... .the PocketDigital... sells for under 130 dollars. Product manager Dave O'Brien says software interpolation is used to create images up to 1.3 megapixels... .

"This is perfect for emailing pictures to your family, quick snapshots, things that you're not going to blow up to 16 by 20 on the wall, but 3 by 5 prints come out very well."

I wouldn't recommend it as your only camera... .but if you like gadgets and playing James Bond... it's a fun camera to play with. And the inventors tell us by next year at this time... they expect to be able to double the resolution. But there is competition, more on that coming up. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.