Sanyo links digital cameras with the network

Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. says a new system it has developed which links digital still cameras to wireless LAN networks has been attracting considerable attention from potential users and camera makers.

The system, which is still in the prototype stage, saves images directly to a server on the Internet rather than to a memory card.

The company developed the system for commercial users, some of which have to take images and then send them back to a central server as soon as possible, said Ryu Katayama, a senior manager at Sanyo's technology R&D headquarters, as he demonstrated the system at the Ceatec 2002 exhibition.

Pressing the button to take an image results in the image appearing within seconds on the hard drive of a network server, from which other people can be given access.

Katayama sees a variety of uses for the system.

"It can be used on a construction site, where images need to be taken to prove that something has been done," said Katayama. "We have had interest from many companies including newspapers, which want to get images from late baseball games into the morning newspaper."

Its prototype is a slightly modified Sanyo digital still camera. The internal software has been rewritten to support writing to a server and driver software for a wireless LAN card has been added. The card connects in the Compact Flash slot usually used by memory cards.

Trials of the system have just begun and are expected to last into next year at which time Sanyo will decide whether to commercially offer the service.

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