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SMaL announces new Rapid Development Kit
Dennis Hissink : September 27th 2003 - 08:19 CET
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SMaLSMaL Camera Technologies, a developer of electronic imaging solutions and enabler of award-winning super-thin digital still cameras, announced today the availability of its new Ultra-Pocket 3 rapid development kit for 1.3 Megapixel credit card cameras with color TFT display. The Ultra-Pocket 3 kit enables OEMs to deliver the world's thinnest, most portable and most fashionable digital cameras with unparalleled long battery life and high dynamic range to their customers quickly and affordably. SMaL created the ultra-thin digital camera category in 2001 with the introduction of the Ultra-Pocket VGA prototype camera at the 2001 International Consumer Electronics Show, where it was awarded "Best of CES" for digital imaging.
To date, SMaL has enabled over 1 million credit card cameras launched by FujiFilm AXIA, RadioShack, Logitech, Oregon Scientific, and Creative Labs. SMaL-enabled cameras have distinguished themselves in the crowded digital camera market through sleek designs, unparalleled portability, uniquely long battery life and ease of use. The newly announced Ultra-Pocket 3 kit builds on that foundation by offering 1.3-megapixel resolution and support for 1.5" or 1.8" color TFT LCD displays. As result, OEMs can now meet the growing demand for ultra-thin lifestyle cameras that take pictures suitable for making popular 4 x 6-inch and 5 x 7-inch prints.

"Consumers no longer have to spend $300 or more to get a stylish thin camera with LCD that produces film-quality prints", says Stuart Nixdorff, vice president of sales and marketing at SMaL. "They're tired of lugging around bulky and power-hungry cameras. Cameras enabled by SMaL's Ultra-Pocket 3 kit will offer consumers attractive alternatives at a price they can afford with the features and benefits they want."

All SMaL credit card camera kits, including the Ultra-Pocket 3 kit, feature two proprietary technologies that are unmatched by any CMOS or CCD sensor in the industry: Autobrite and Longevity. 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.

SMaL's Longevity ultra-low-power design with rechargeable battery uses roughly 90% less power than traditional digital cameras. Since the camera charges automatically during USB download and stores enough charge for more than 200 shots (with 1.5" LCD and 100% strobe flash usage), it is virtually impossible to run down the battery.

The high level of integration in SMaL's kit results in cameras with only one-half the number of components required by designs from other companies. This low component count means smaller form factors, higher product reliability and higher manufacturing yield, all contributing to lower overall cost. Due to the vertically integrated imager and optics, SMaL designs produce sharper, crisper images compared to cameras using off-the-shelf optical components.

The Ultra-Pocket 3 kit includes everything OEMs require to get to market fast: 1.3 Megapixel color CMOS image sensor with Autobrite, ASIC controller, lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, taking lens, optical viewfinder and complete reference design specifications. The all-glass lens has been optimized for the sensor.
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