Ricoh has a new 500SE GPS-ready digital camera, developed for outdoor location-based photography that features integrated GPS and is capable of receiving NMEA data streams from external GPS devices via its on-board Bluetooth radio.
The 500SE’s waterproof and shock-resistant shell protects a high- resolution 8MP sensor that is image stabilized and has an ultra rapid shutter response. Additional features include GPS track log capability, GPS lock (to record the position of an object as opposed to the position of the photographer), and the ability to send images wirelessly to handheld devices via Bluetooth or WiFi.
“Geo-images” and “geo-video” files can be automatically converted to shape files or merged into geo- databases for instant integration into Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Points representing each file’s position may be hovered over to display a thumbnail of the file, or clicked on to access the original image or video.
In addition to storing GPS data in the image and video files, the camera also utilizes a user-configurable “data dictionary” to tag files with workflow-related information. These attributes become part of the GIS layer table for automated database integration.
The Ricoh Pro G3 GPS-ready digital camera line integrates digital images into map-based software applications.
Ricoh could get competition from Smartphones with integrated GPS hardware and software. They include:
- The iPaq hw6900, a GPRS/EDGE Windows Mobile 5.0 handset with Bluetooth, 802.11g, a 1.3 megapixel camera, miniSD slot, keyboard, and 240 x 240 pixel screen.
- The GPS Pharos Phone includes; SiRFStarIII GPS receiver, quad-band GSM/EDGE, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 2 megapixel camera, FM radio and a $699 price. tag
- The Nokia N95 (photos) phone features a five mega-pixel camera and GPS navigation.
- The Nokia N93i features MPEG-4 VGA video capture at up to 30 frames per second, with digital stabilization, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and 3x optical zoom. A free personal blogging service is available from Six Apart.
- Globalsat has a GPS-enabled wristwatch. The watch houses a SiRF Star III GPS antenna, supports WAAS / EGNOS, and offers up tracking, positioning, and time alert functions. Furthermore, the watch can be connected via USB to double as a GPS receiver for laptops and PDAs.