FireWire Desktop Video Camera Announced

Orange Microis has announced its iBOT FireWire Desktop Video Camera. The Orange Micro iBOT will be one of the first FireWire Desktop Video Cameras to hit the market. According to Orange Micro:

By taking advantage of the 400 Mb/s bandwidth potential inherent in IEEE 1394 FireWire, Orange Micro has created a Desktop Video Camera that is, quite simply, 16 times better than current standard USB video cameras.

USB cameras are limited: 640 x 480 resolution and 30 frames per second speed - but never both simultaneously. Typically, 640 x 480 is limited to 7 fps. 30 fps is possible at 176 x 144 (postage stamp size). This limitation is because USB is capable of transferring data at only 12 Mb/s.

FireWire cameras like the iBOT, however, have access to 33 times the bandwidth available to USB cameras (of the 400 Mb/s bandwidth available, the iBOT only consumes 200 Mb/s). This makes true 640 x 480 and simultaneous 30 fps video input not only possible, but standard. As a result, the FireWire-based iBOT offers digital camcorder quality at a fraction of the cost.

The recent proliferation of high speed Internet access via DSL and cable modem necessitated this increase in camera bandwidth. With FireWire, jerky images are now a thing of the past. High quality Video Teleconferencing is now possible.

The camera will ship in late October for US$149 (Pro version) or $119 for standard version. You can find more information at the Orange Micro web site.