iBOT: The first FireWire Web cam
CNN reports the first FireWire Web cam demonstrated for Macworld.
"The iBOT shows near digital-video performance, thanks to its use of FireWire rather than USB, the technology used by most other cams. FireWire can support a sustained data transfer rate of up to 50MB a second, while USB can only manage 1.5MB a second. This bandwidth boost is what allows the iBOT to blow away the average Web cams by six or so frames a second at large image sizes."
There are two models, the basic iBot for about $119 and iBot Pro for $149. Primarily targeted to the videoconferencing market, the pro version includes a headset microphone, video teleconferencing software, photo-editing software, and video-editing software.
While I’m amazed and thrilled to see this technology so accessible and affordable, all of a sudden I’m beginning to wonder just how long I can continue working in my home office in my sweats. Uh-oh. Does this mean I’ll have to dress up for that next conference call? At least I’ve learned the secret of news reporters. They dress nice from the waist up with their jeans on that don’t get seen. I’ve already got a strategy.
FireWire technology is also new to me. I bought a FireWire external hard drive as a Christmas present to my computer and then learned that I needed the proper FireWire card for it, which will hopefully arrive within the next couple of days. I hadn’t read about that first. So if you’re considering buying anything using FireWire technology for PC or Mac, be sure to check that your computer is set up for it or purchase the card, too.
MacWorld provides a handy chart in its December review, More FireWire Hard Drives: Expanded Capacity Means Extensive Choices. The prices for hard drive space have certainly come down in the past few years. Incredible.
MacWorld’s October review, FireWire Hard Drives: Add Storage Easily and Quickly, also reviews FireWire hard drives. Whether you have a Mac or a PC, the two reviews linked here can provide an introduction to the world of FireWire technology.