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Idruna's Pocket Phojo, shown running on the Compaq iPaq. Courtesy of Idruna Software Inc. with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Idruna: new handheld photojournalism solution! (UPDATED)
(Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 15:32 EST)

Pocket Phojo allows for preview, editing, captioning, transfer and more - all from the palm of your hand...

A new software package for the Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 operating system (an offshoot of Windows CE) from Idruna Software Inc. promises to make it easier for photojournalists to view, edit, and caption their images in the field before sending them back to the office either wirelessly, over a standard phone line or over a network. Pocket Phojo, available either as a bundle with Compaq's iPAQ H3850 Pocket PC ($1299 and up) or as a standalone software license ($499) is available immediately, and (as can be seen in the animation below) allows for quite a range of functionality.

Photographers can view images with a choice of two thumbnail sizes or at 100% magnification, and then rotate, crop or scale them, add captions and categorize the images with industry-standard IPTC information, view a histogram, adjust levels, color and sharpness, before saving the resulting images and uploading them via FTP.

Pocket Phojo can handle image files up to 26MB in size, and reads images directly from the camera's CompactFlash card. It can be configured to only show images tagged in the camera, and quite a selection of mobile phones are supported for wireless transmission of images - along with a choice of 802.11b wireless or 10/100 wired ethernet, and CompactFlash modem cards.

For more details, visit Idruna's website...

Idruna's Pocket Phojo: Photojournalism on the fly. Source images courtesy of Idruna Software Inc., and animation by Michael R. Tomkins.
Idruna's Pocket Phojo: Photojournalism on the fly.

UPDATED 2002-01-31 15:43ET: Rob Galbraith of the Rob Galbraith Online website has posted a brief preview of Pocket Phojo. With his background in photojournalism, Rob's really about the best qualified to comment on the software.

Our friends at the Digital Photography Review, meanwhile, have been hands-on with Pocket Phojo and have posted a fairly lengthy preview (or a short review, depending on how you look at it!), concluding:
"Pocket Phojo is unique in its functionality (especially considering the built in IPTC and FTP support) and appears to work well. Using it on the new more powerful PocketPC 2002 devices it felt relatively quick (considering the sizes of files I was working on) and didn't "hiccup" apart from the GPRS problem. Wireless technology is advancing every six months or so and we all live in hope that broadband wireless is just around the corner, when that happens applications like Pocket Phojo will be perfectly placed for use by everyone, not just photo journalists."

Source: Idruna Software Inc.

Original Source Press Release:

Idruna Software Launches Pocket Phojo, the First Handheld Photo-Editing and Wireless Transmission Solution Specifically for Photojournalists

San Diego, CA -- January 30th, 2002 -- Idruna Software Inc., an innovative provider of desktop and mobile graphics software is pleased to announce the launch of Pocket Phojo, the first handheld photo editing and wireless transmission solution specifically designed for photojournalists. Instead of requiring a bulky laptop to get photos to the press agencies, photojournalists can now fit all of the tools they need in their pocket. For situations such as rapidly breaking stories, or in locations where laptops are impractical, this represents a breakthrough in the time required to get a photo from the camera to the photo desk.

"We are privileged to have been able to work with several highly respected photojournalists in tailoring Pocket Phojo to the unique and demanding needs of the photojournalist in the field." said Paul Nolan, CEO of Idruna. "We feel that our handheld solution is poised to completely replace the laptop in this market, not only greatly reducing the amount of equipment the already burdened photojournalist requires, but making the whole process of getting images from the front lines to the front page quicker and easier."

"With Pocket Phojo I'm able to have a photo ready to send in less time than it takes to boot up my laptop." said Ed Betz, a well known NY based photojournalist. "Because of it's small size, I can take it anywhere and transmit images from the sidelines while the game is still in play, which gives me an edge over my competition who have to wait until the end of the period or risk missing some of the action."

"Even in scrum of photographers, all it needs is a five minute break in the action, and my images can be transmitting, which is crucial for the immediacy of the web." said John Cornell, past President of the NPPA. "Once transmitting, I can put the device back in my pocket and continue to cover the event."

Pocket Phojo is available either with the required hardware included, or as a standalone software license. It runs on the Compaq iPAQ 3800 series Pocket PCs, comparable in speed to a Pentium class laptop, yet less than 10oz in weight, and utilizes the latest Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC 2002 Operating System.

How it Works
A photo can get from camera to photo desk in five quick and easy steps:

  1. The photojournalist shoots photos using their professional digital camera, then ejects the CompactFlash card used to store the digital photos and inserts it into the Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC. The photos can then be loaded into the Pocket Phojo software.
  2. Once loaded, all of the standard image editing functions photojournalists need are just a tap away. The photos can be cropped if needed, then sized to the standard width, height, and dots per inch settings.
  3. A histogram is available to graphically check that highlights and shadow detail are correct, and images can be viewed at 100% and higher to ensure sharpness. If needed, advanced color correction and unsharp mask filters can be used to fix any problems with the image.
  4. Next, the industry standard IPTC caption information such as headline and category are added to the image, which is then embedded into the resulting jpeg file. To speed up the process of entering the required information, preset settings are available so fields can be filled in once and then recalled en-mass at the press of a button.
  5. Finally, the file is transmitted to the photo database. The supplied cable connects the iPAQ Pocket PC to the photojournalist's cell phone, and the built-in "Send via FTP" option in Pocket Phojo is used to upload the jpeg image file to the photo department's server, where it is integrated into their database and made available for use. Photos can also be sent via email if needed.
Pocket Phojo is available now priced at just $499 for a software only license, and starting at $1299 for a complete software and hardware solution. For more information, please visit http://www.pocketphojo.info

About Idruna Software Inc.
Idruna Software, Inc. develops and publishes innovative graphics software for the Windows, Linux, PDA, wireless, and embedded markets. With over 13 years of experience in developing software applications, the company's goal is to empower users with the most creative, flexible, and intuitive tools imaginable. The company has received numerous industry awards for product excellence. For further information, please visit: http://www.idruna.com

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