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CASIO Wrist Camera Watch

August 15, 2001



A watch has never been just a tool for measuring time. It was always a symbol which allowed an owner to express its individuality and social position.

There are watches with a thermometer, barometer, GPS receiver, that is why a watch with a camera is no wonder. But still, when comparing a watch with a thermometer and this one with a camera I arrived at the idea that these categories are completely different. A thermometer in my watch doesn't yield to a good electronic thermometer with a digital display - the accuracy is 0.1 degree, while the camera is a decorative element.

The model from Casio we have tested can make black-and-white shots, write comments, record about 100 shots into the 1 MBytes camera's memory and transfer them via an IR port into a computer. There is already a model with a color camera, but it is still a watch and not a photo camera.

The lens with a 1.1 mm focal length and a fixed aperture equal to F:2.8 shots objects located at the distance from 30 cm to infinity with a 1/14 CMOS sensor. An electronic shutter works with the exposure from 1/11 to 1/1660 sec depending on illumination. The illumination range you can make photos at varies from 100 to 45000 luxes. Since an image is registered and recorded line by line, it's important at what frequency the surrounding light flickers. In order to avoid banding connected with flickering of glow-discharge lamps there are such settings as "daylight", "50 Hz line frequency" and "60 Hz line frequency".

The display of the watch measuring 20 by 20 mm is used as a viewfinder and for the following watching of photos. It displays a complete image: 120 X 120 pixels at 16 grey gradations. You can make comments for each photo consisting of 24 symbols at most.

The watch ships together with an IR receiver which is to be connected to a serial port. The WQV Link program is used to transfer photos into a computer and order them in an album.

Although the WQV Link allows us to choose a computer receiver instead of the one supplied with the watch, I failed to connect the computer with an IR port of the notebook.

Time is displayed on a graphics screen. Although figures are quite big, I accustomed to a usual digital display since it's more convenient and contrast. Unfortunately, the camera works in the energy-saving mode, and you have to press a button to find out the time. The description says the battery CR2032 suffices for 6 months if the camera is used during 60 sec every day. The procedure of opening the case is very simple: you don't need any special-purpose screwdrivers and can open it with any coin.

The watch also contains a timer, a stop-watch, a calendar. Besides, it can be implemented in cases with different water-proof degrees (including cases meant for diving with an aqualung). But I think light under water is not enough to make photos.

In general, today such watch measuring 40X52X16 mm and weighting 32 g is a good competitor against a golden cuckoo-clock.

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