Save on airfare - look around CeBIT from your PC! :)|
(Friday, March 23, 2001 - 18:37 EST)
Canon brings you an alternative to the hassle of long-distance travel... ;)
This one definitely goes in the 'way too cool' category... As part of its CeBIT presence, we noticed that Canon has set up three webcams on its booth that let visitors see the CeBIT show floor live, without needing to leave your PC. Nothing special about that, you might think, but through a neat little Java applet and Canon's VC-C4 remote controlled camera, you can pan and zoom the image, which is also updated 2-3 times per second (at least, on our fast connection) for an almost 'video-like' feel...
The VC-C4 camera itself (seen above) is pretty impressive - a 16x motorized f/1.4 - 2.8 optical zoom lens (4 - 64mm), 470,000 pixel image sensor (440,000 pixels effective), and two-axis remote control capability with variable speed...
We're almost not joking when we say that you really don't need to attend the show with cameras like this - it is quite impressive being able to look at the West McLaren Mercedes Formula One car in the distance (above) and zoom in (below) to find that the car bears the number '3' and hence is that of double world-champion driver Mika Hakkinen of Finland. It is another thing entirely (and somewhat mind-boggling) when you find that you can actually pretty much read the brochures on Canon's booth from halfway around the world - and you're not even quite on full telephoto! (bottom)
Canon has three cameras set up around their booth, and if you're not immediately able to control them once you activate the camera, it likely means it is somebody else's turn...