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Mark Peters : April 27th 2004 - 14:00 CET

SMaL enables slim & stylish digital cameras by NHJ

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SMaLSMaL Camera Technologies, a developer of digital imaging solutions and enabler of award-winning super-thin digital still cameras, announced today that it has enabled two new ultra-slim digital cameras by NHJ, which is making its debut in the North American consumer electronics market. In the OEM partnership between the two companies, NHJ leveraged SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 3 and 4 rapid development kits to design and develop the Foxz1 (1.3-megapixel resolution) and Foxz2 (2-megapixel resolution), respectively. Due to the industry-leading low power (Longevity), Autobrite wide dynamic range, and high integration of SMaL's Ultra-Pocket kits, the Foxz products feature stylish designs, worry-free battery life, and ease of use at an affordable cost.
SMaL enables slim & stylish digital cameras by NHJ"Over the past several years, NHJ has successfully launched quality consumer electronics products in Japan that push the envelope on style, portability, and affordability," says Maurizio Arienzo, SMaL's president and chief executive officer. "Partnering with NHJ to develop the world's thinnest digital cameras with LCD displays made perfect sense. If the initial reaction of retailers and consumers is any indication of their popularity, expect to see consumers of all ages wearing and using NHJ's Foxz cameras all across North America."

"Only SMaL's low power solution, Autobrite technology, and expertise in miniaturization could help us design lifestyle digital cameras that pack fashion, fun, and technology into such a slim design," says Maj Harilela, chief executive officer, NHJ Limited. "We are proud to enter the North American market with the launch of SMaL-enabled digital cameras at Target stores."

Foxz Line-up Combines Fashion, Fun, and Innovation for Users of All Demographics

The Foxz1's sophisticated credit card design is a mere 11.5mm thick and comes in a stylish assortment of colours (silver, red, blue, pink, and black). At 9.8mm thin, the metallic silver Foxz2 fits perfectly in virtually any pocket, handbag, or backpack. The cameras pack highly coveted features into their slender bodies. Users of the cameras enjoy anywhere, any time picture-taking and sharing, thanks to the 1.5" color TFT LCD screen, built-in flash, and 2-times digital zoom for better framing of the subject matter. Autobrite wide dynamic range enables crisp prints, so users avoid the weakness of competing digital cameras that are unable to adapt to varying lighting conditions. The cameras feature 8MB of internal flash memory and the SD card slot allows for expanded memory. The simplicity of use is enhanced by "worry free" uploading of images and automatic recharging of the camera batteries, by simply connecting the cameras to a PC or Mac via the provided USB cable.

About SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 4 Rapid Development Kit
SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 4 kit features two proprietary technologies that are unmatched by any other CCD or CMOS-based solution. SMaL's Longevity ultra-low-power design with rechargeable battery uses 90% less power than traditional digital cameras and stores enough charge for hundreds of pictures, even with the constant usage of the TFT LCD display and strobe flash that quickly drains the battery life of competing cameras. The combination of low power use and rechargeable battery creates the SMaL "always ready to shoot" advantage.

SMaL's Autobrite intelligent exposure technology provides hundreds of times more dynamic range than standard cameras, so details in both bright and dim areas are clearly visible at the same time. Camera users no longer have to worry about the position of the sun when snapping a photo; Autobrite solves this problem for them by adapting to the lighting conditions.

High Integration Means Small Form Factors, High Quality
The high level of integration in SMaL's kit results in cameras with only one-half the number of components required by designs with other chipsets or platforms. This low component count means smaller form factors, higher product reliability, and higher manufacturing yield. SMaL's vertically integrated imager and optics produce sharper, crisper images compared to cameras using off-the-shelf optical components.

Fast Time-to-Market
The Ultra-Pocket 4 kit includes everything OEMs require for fast time-to-market: a 2-megapixel color CMOS image sensor with Autobrite, ASIC controller, lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, taking lens, optical viewfinder and complete reference design specifications. SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 3 kit features a 1.3-megapixel resolution image sensor.

The 9.8mm thin Foxz2, the thinnest digital camera in the world with an LCD display, is now available nationwide in Target Stores for $99.

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