Casio's wrist watch camera gets colourful

James Bond would appreciate this when he sends secret mission images taken by his wristwatch camera to M's personal computer. The images, which used to appear in black and white, can now be viewed in colour. Casio will put on sale from July 31 a new version of that spy necessity, a digital still camera on wrist watch, which can take colour pictures.

The Wrist Camera WQV-3 features colour CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor with a 2.5-million pixel resolution and colour recognition of to 16.77 million colours.

The colour images can be only viewed after they have been transferred to a PC because the wrist camera's display still remains in black and white. The company kept the monochrome display because a good quality colour LCD (liquid crystal display) would cost more, according to Kohichi Nishizawa, a spokesman for Casio. But the company is planning to put a colour display on the camera in the future, he said.

Casio unveiled its first wrist camera, a monochrome model, in June last year. Its size and weight coupled with the digital still camera function caused a sensation, yet, since then, users have requested the company develop a colour version.

Data transfer between the devices can be accomplished using an infrared link from the wrist camera to any PC with an IrDA interface. "The product is basically a watch," Nishizawa said. "A wrist watch with a port does not look smart, so we decided to use infrared light for networking."

Up to 80 images can be stored on the wrist camera which is equipped with a 1MB flash memory.

The product will be priced at 30,000 yen ($420) when it goes on sale in Japan. Casio plans to put the camera on sale at the end of August in North America and other Asian countries, and in October in Europe

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