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eyemodule
Monday April 24, 2000 - 2:29 PM EST - By James Hromadka

Usability

When you insert the eyemodule, there is an initial splash screen and then the Visor turns into a viewfinder for any photos that you take. Then When files are synced, your images become .jpg files in the default name of dd_mm_yy_hh_mm_ss_am/pm.jpg, and by default are placed in C:eyemodule. The eyemodule is not required to be in the Visor when transfering images to your desktop.

Capture TimerThere are a surprising number of options that comes with the eyemodule software. You can take images in three different formats:

  • 320x240 color (187K)
  • 320x240 black & white (37K)
  • 160x120 black & white (9K)
When in the viewfinder screen (the camera button), tap on the dot at the top right to switch among the three formats. On the viewfinder screen you can also set a Capture Timer for unattended picture taking. Set the number of pictures to take and the time interval between photos and then tap Begin.

Image InfoThe button to the right of the Viewfinder is to view your images. Press the Up/Down button to move among your photos when you have one on screen. Here you can also zoom in on any 320x240 image, beam it to someone, and pull up the information on the image. On the Information screen you can change the name of the image, modify its category, add a note, or mark it private. I really like the fact that I can beam the eyemodule application to someone, and then beam any pictures to that person. The eyemodule app, along with any pictures, stays on the Visor even when the eyemodule is not in the Springboard slot.

Next to the Viewer button is the Image List, where you can delete a single image or an entire category. On the Preferences screen, you can set defaults for image format, default category, and whether to backup the images that are taken.

So how well do the pictures look? It depends on the situation. Because there is no flash, you will need a lot of light for decent color photo; greyscale pictures seem to do better when there isn't much light. In these photos of our kitten, Sabrina looks fine in greyscale, although the picture is a little grainy. The color photo of Sabrina has very little color in it because the lighting in our home isn't the greatest.

Cat in so-so lightingCat in greyscale

I wanted to get some good examples of daytime/nightime photos, so what better way than to go watch an Astros game outside at Enron Field! The daytime pictures look pretty good, although they are a little fuzzy. The text from the scoreboard is very easy to read with the naked eye but is difficult to make out in these photos. The sky, however, looks great, and the late afternoon photo shows a good range of colors as the sun begins to go down.

Enron Scoreboard - dayHouston skyline - day

Nightime photos of the scoreboard were worse. The words "Enron Field" are the only lighted words that can be read in the photos. Any lights in the pictures are blurred together, making it impossible to ready any lighted text. There isn't much color differentiation, and the players look extremely tiny on the field, when they can actually be easily seen. The one thing that this eyemodule sorely lacks is a flashbulb.

Enron Scoreboard - nightHouston skyline - day

Looking at these pictures, the eyemodule may not look too hot, but that depends on your intent. If you are planning to take professional looking photos or will be photographing in poor lighting, the eyemodule is not for you. My favorite thing about the eyemodule is its "coolness" factor. Every time I take it out in public for test shots or to show a friend, it definitely draws a crowd. When I took the photos at Enron Field, I ended up showing an usher the camera. When I showed it to some classmates at college, the professor was so interested in the Visor that she wrote down Handspring and asked if it was traded publicly.:-) You could also use the eyemodule to take photos of whiteboards, although you will need to be very close to them to take a clear picture -- otherwise, your photo will be entirely white.

I also like the small size of the eyemodulel, especially in comparison with a normal digital camera. It is, however, too large to be inside the Rhodiana Visor Case or the E&B Slipper Visor. It will however, fit in the Otter Box 2000, the RhinoPak 1100, and the RhinoPak 2000, although you won't be able to strap it against the Visor hard cover in the Rhino cases. The diminutive size of the eyemodule makes it seem like the kind of camera James Bond would use, and the eyemodule could probably be used to take secret photos if the lighting was good enough. (I hope to one day get a chance to test this theory:-)) But the eyemodule is best suited for impromptu photos of our everyday lives. Luckily enough, the conduit saves photos to your computer -- this means you can then e-mail all of those wonderful impromptu shots to your friends!

As for battery usage, the eyemodule does drain the Visor's batteries significantly when taking photos. The drain is not as severe as some other digital cameras, but you should always carry a spare set of batteries in the pouch that comes with the eyemodule "just in case.

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Product Details
Name: eyemodule
Company: IDEO
Size: 2.8125" x 2.125" x 0.625"
Weight: 1.1 oz.
Memory: 48K on Visor when inserted
Hard Cover Compatible: No
Price: $149.00


Buy eyemodule at Amazon.com





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