PC camera on cutting edge

February 14, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Technology analysts believe this is the year that tiny home computer video cameras become commonplace. Using the superbly simple PC Digital Camera from 3Com Corp. will show you why.

Load the software, then plug in the included 9-foot-long universal serial bus (USB) cord and your PC will be ready to snap high-quality digital photos of anything within that long range.

The $149 camera at the other end is a diminutive black box, 2.5 inches wide, three-quarters of an inch deep and 4 inches long. Users get to sample cutting-edge desktop video features such as video phone calls, videoconferencing, sending digital photo postcards and even posting video clips on the Web.

3Com outdoes the competition in many ways, starting with high-quality snapshots at 640 by 480 pixels that can be software-enhanced to a crisp 1280 by 960. More startling is the camera's ability to record images in dimly lighted rooms. A final glory is 3Com's elegantly simple, yet powerful, digital imaging software.

The PC Digital Camera requires Windows 98 or Windows 95 with the USB supplement. Information: 3Com Home Connect, 800-Net-3Com, or surf to www.3com.com.

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