Thursday, January 13, 2005

Palm powered camera?

I recently exchanged my T630 for a Siemens SX1, because the T630's camera only shipped interpolated VGA(just as info). The new mobile phone creates better images, but is pretty difficult to use because of the lack of control possibilities. Also, quite a few of my collegues have digital cameras-and all of them struggle with the difficult on-screen menus.
Now, users do not want to carry huge digital cameras along other gadgets. It was pretty evident that small cameras were going to be integrated into PDA's-but of course, these hybrids still mainly are PDA's- its a PDA with a camera.
Now, I wonder why nobody goes the other way round-create a camera with an on-board PDA instead. You may wonder how I imagine this to happen, but its simple. Use a good, small camera and put the touchscreen on the other side instead of the buttons,.. . Then adjust the OS of the PDA to let it share memory with the camera.
The result would be a superb camera with a full-fledged computer in the size of an average digital camera. Even if the user does not use the camera as a scheduler, he still profits from the simplicity and size of the touchscreen. Users who understand more about the PDA can benefit from its advanced functions-e.G. mail the pictures away immediately.
Now, why is the Palm OS so well-suited to a task like this one? There are three main reasons here:
1)Stability
A untampered PalmOS-if done right-is ten times more stable then any other system. No photographer wants to reset his camera regularly. In addition, the PalmOS bloats less. Try using a PPC(or a Symbian phone with multiple apps trying to use the camera at the same time,..) for a short time-you will understand me...
2)Screen resolution
Different camera housings require different screen sizes. While a PocketPC restrains device manufacturers to rectangular(VGA,QVGA) displays, the PalmOS works with square screens too. Licencees can adjust the operating system to the camera instead of having to go the other way round.
3)NVFS
Beleive it or not-this is a legitime use for this new system. While PDA users have little trouble with always keeping their handhelds charged, camera users do not expect to permanentely keep their units charged. They are used to only use SD or CF-cards. While a integrated PPC will loose all data sooner or later, a NVFS storage system will be just like a 'real' digicam.
Well, now PalmSource needs to find a hardware licencee and help with the implementation. I would be willing-but which company employs a 16-year-old austrian(even if he is darn cheap.....).

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