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Microsoft Partners With Vicon Over Sensecam Lifecorder

A camera that was developed by Microsoft Research in Cambridge and destined at helping those affected by diseases that causes memory loss is set to be sold by Vicon.

The company, which develops motion capture products for life science, engineering and entertainment industries, has confirmed that it has signed an intellectual property license with Microsoft and will sell the device, called the Sensecam.

In a nutshell, it is a camera that is worn around the neck and takes a picture every 30 seconds with a capacity of 30,000 images stored on a 1GB internal memory - enough for 10 days worth of pictures. With an average size of 33KB per file, one can guess that the sensor is a VGA model (640x480 pixels).

It also comes with a built-in accelerometer as well as light sensors to take a picture when the wearer moves around. The $820 camera also has an infrared sensor to detect people located in front of its lenses.

Douglas Reinke, CEO and President at Vicon, said in a statement that “We’d like to thank Microsoft and Microsoft Research Cambridge for allowing Vicon to get involved in such an important product that can support a variety of researchers, including those investigating memory-loss”.

Our Comments

A consumer version will certainly come out fairly soon and then people will start losing hours trying to sort out the good pictures from the bad ones. There are certainly similar devices available, like the Spy cameras/Sunglasses but none have the same features as the Sensecam. But then, they don't cost $820.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.