9/29/2004 - Consumers will be less dependent on the computer when editing digital camera pictures with multiple, in-camera photo editing technologies enabled by Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN). Utilizing the latest programmable digital media processors from TI, camera manufacturers are integrating a multitude of photo editing and special effects capabilities "in-camera," including red-eye removal, image enhancement, picture borders and more. (See www.ti.com/editing.) For demonstrations of these technologies, visit TI at photokina at Hall 11.1, Stand B028.
"Our research indicates that, on average, over 50 percent of digital camera owners and those intending to purchase a camera in the next 60 days would like to have the ability to edit and manipulate digital photos in the camera - the same way they are able to on their home computer," said John Daniels, worldwide marketing manager for TI's Digital Camera Solutions group. "TI has answered this call by partnering with third parties to enable photo editing capabilities directly on the camera - providing the consumer with more perfect pictures, and lessening their reliance on the computer."
Photo Editing Capabilities at Your Fingertips...In Your Camera
Although the capability to completely remove the appearance of "red-eyes" after a picture is taken is available in some cameras today, consumers can expect to see new products this holiday season that include multiple features such as:
"Photo editing features embedded in the camera is the most important shift in digital camera offerings to emerge in the latter half of 2004," said Chris Chute, senior research analyst, Digital Imaging, IDC Research. "New emerging technologies are all pointing towards image correction and editing moving into the camera - and away from the PC. Technologies like TI's programmable digital media processor platform will accelerate this trend as they allow camera manufacturers to integrate several of these photo editing and special effects features on one camera."
Itīs All in the Chip: Silicon Drives Camera Features
TIīs DSP-based digital media processor platform influences digital picture quality, performance and the ability to integrate new advanced features. Because this programmable processor is able to crunch greater volumes of data at higher speeds, it not only is able to provide higher resolution images, but it also allows OEMs to add these new features much faster than if they had chosen a non-programmable solution, such as the ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit).
But itīs not just about silicon. TI takes the time to understand the needs and wants of both the manufacturer and the consumer. The annual consumer research that TI sponsors gives the company insight into how owners use cameras, what features they value, and what they would like to see in the future. In addition, TIīs team of digital camera engineers has developed its own camera demonstration platform to better understand the design challenges and needs of the manufacturer. (For more information on TIīs digital camera consumer research visit www.ti.com/eurores.)
Because image processing power continues to increase, camera users can look forward to many new advanced features in 2005 and 2006. "Smart" cameras will automatically recognize and switch to the appropriate picture mode (portrait, landscape, action, etc.). The mass market, wireless Internet-connected camera is just around the corner, allowing the user to email directly from the camera via a local hot spot. In addition, you will be able to annotate pictures with embedded audio files as well as GPS data. While it is challenging to forecast what consumers want in the future, Texas Instruments will enable our camera OEM partners to innovate faster based on our programmable digital media processor.
A Leader in Programmable Digital Camera Solutions
With greater than 20 percent marketshare for programmable processors in digital cameras, TI's DSP-based digital media processors have become the technology platform of choice because they give manufacturers several key advantages. The programmability of these processors allows manufacturers to "customize" the chip through their own image pipeline technology. In addition, TIīs high-end processors more than double computational power and performance from previous generations, allowing manufacturers to implement user-requested functions and add special features that differentiate their products in a highly competitive market. Because of the advantages of programmability, TI has been instrumental in helping the market achieve its already phenomenal growth. In fact, seven out of the top 10 point-and-shoot camera OEMs currently use TI technology. The technology is readily available and can be quickly deployed, allowing new cameras to reach store shelves in less than 12 months. This is particularly important given the development time for a hard-wired ASIC can be as long as 12-18 months.
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