Once a new technology hits the deck we are constantly surprised by the different scenarios in which it gets applied, so I guess that means we should have seen this one coming. iHouse has unveiled a new concept product which brings facial recognition
into the home bathroom. Dubbed the SmartFaucet, this indulgent piece of plumbing recognizes you when you stand in front of it and delivers water flow and temperature to suit your individual tastes, all while checking your email on the inbuilt touch-screen.
General Imaging, the licensee for GE digital cameras, has launched its first-ever waterproof model at PMA 2009 - the G3WP. The 12.2 megapixel compact is waterproof to 10 feet, has a 4x optical zoom, Image Stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD screen that automatically adjusts to changes in ambient light.
Joining the megazoom compact class of 2009, already featuring the 26x Olympus SP590
, 24x Nikon CoolPix P90
, 24x Kodak Z980
and newly announced 20x Sony Cyber-shot HX1 is the 24x Pentax X70. Now they all have small bodies, optical zooms that run from wide angle to super-telephoto (26mm to 624mm equivalent in this case) and more than enough pixels (12 MPX in this case), the technology is being shoehorned in (high-speed burst mode that captures 11 images per second, face recognition and more) to enable camera klutzes to produce near pro quality at the ridiculously reasonable cost of USD400. It ships next month.
Samsung Electronics seem to be busy beavers of late, with new products landing on the shelves all over the place. The latest releases, just in time for PMA09
, are the TL320 and HZ15W, the former featuring a hi-tech, hi-res three-inch AMOLED screen and the latter, a class beating 10x optical zoom.
Olympus has extended its digital SLR range with the unveiling of the E-620. The new addition will sit in the middle of the company's SLR line-up led by the flagship E-3 and extending through to the compact E-420
. The E-620 is pitched as an "all-in-one" model that combines some of the best elements of the higher end units - like the flip-out rotating screen - with a high-degree of portability.
In an announcement that seems hot on the heels of Nikon's last major COOLPIX update
(though five months is a long time in the digital era), the company has released details of eight new cameras due to hit shelves soon. The four Style Series, one Performance Series and three Life Series cameras all share NIKKOR lenses and EXPEED™ digital image processing along with new features such as Blink proofing, "Enhanced Face-priority Auto Focus", which can detect up to 12 faces-per-image, and an automatic scene selection function.
Designed to keep up when your weekend exploits get a little rough, Panasonic's new SDR-SW21 compact camcorder is dustproof, waterproof up to 6.5 feet (in both fresh and salt water) and shockproof enough to sustain a 4-foot drop. Due for release in April at a price of around the USD$400 mark, the SDR-SW21 records to SD/SDHC Memory Cards and includes a 0.6 second quick-start recording feature.
Samsung is looking to satisfy consumers who want more than a second string performance from their mobile phone camera with the announcement of a new full-touch screen, 8-megapixel unit dubbed the Pixon. The slimline (13.8mm) design does look more like a camera than a phone and incorporates a number of features usually found only in the stand-alone camera realm such as face detection, shake-reduction and geo-tagging. The unit's 3.2 inch, 240x400 touch screen also enhances its photo browsing capability and with auto-focus, dual power LED Flash, a music player, FM Radio, Bluetooth connectivity and video recording at 30 fps (720 x 480) including slow motion playback, it looks to be another useful example of convergence in the mobile handset market.
Only a few short weeks ago we heralded Nikon's HD video ready D90
as a landmark "first of many all-in-one imaging devices" that pack the combination of processing technology and quality lenses necessary for capturing BOTH still images and video of the highest standards... and we haven't needed to wait long for the next mouth-watering installment. Canon's
EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera not only features a full frame (24 x 36mm), 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, low noise, extended sensitivity range, improved performance in tricky light conditions, two different file size options for shooting in RAW format and a host of other impressive specs, it also captures HD video at an unprecedented 1920 x 1080 resolution at 30 fps.
Billed as the world's first high-definition camcorder with both "Smile Shutter" and face detection technologies, Sony's
HDR-CX12 Memory Stick Handycam camcorder automatically takes a 10 megapixel still photo when it encounters a smiling face - even when in standby mode. Due for release in August at an estimated price point of USD$900, the compact 2.8" x 5.3" x 2.8" camera records full 1920 x 1080 HD video onto Memory Stick PRO Duo™ and Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark2) media cards and boasts a Carl Zeiss 12x optical zoom lens, a built-in zoom microphone with Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround and image stabilization.