Panasonic shows IPv6 camera, printer

Matsushita Electric Industrial, better known by its Panasonic brand name, has unveiled a network camera and printer that offer support for IPv6, the latest version of the Internet Protocol.

The devices, one of which will go on sale soon and one of which is a prototype, were unveiled in Tokyo this week at the Networld+Interop 2004 Tokyo exhibition.

Matsushita already sells several network cameras and the BB-HCM311 looks similar to an existing model , but comes with two major upgrades, one of which is IPv6 support. The second upgrade is a microphone on the front of the camera case which enables audio to be picked up and transmitted alongside the video back to the monitoring point.

The camera measures 100 millimeters square and is 73.5 millimeters deep and requires no external control unit. It supports both IPv4 and IPv6 and ID/password and IPsec security. It can transmit full quality VGA (640 pixels by 480 pixels) at 12 frames per second or quarter-quality VGA (QVGA, 320 pixels by 240 pixels) and 160 pixels by 120 pixels resolution video at 30 frames per second.

The video and audio is streamed across an Ethernet connection. The camera can also be connected to an external speaker so a two-way conversation can be conducted. Other features include the ability to control the pan and tilt of the camera from a remote monitoring point.

There is also an SD memory card slot in the side of the camera and the device can be set up to record images at predetermined intervals onto the card. Set to record one image per second, Matsushita's 1G-byte SD Card has enough capacity to record 42 days of images, the company said.

Matsushita also used the exhibition to show a prototype color-laser printer with native support for IPv6. The device is the first such printer to earn the IPv6 Ready logo, according to the company.

The camera will go on sale in Japan on August 3 and be priced at ¥69,800 (US$650). The company said it has not decided launch plans for the printer.

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