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Kodak demos wired, wireless transmitting from the camera  
Friday, February 4, 2000 | by
Kodak is nearing completion of a wireless transmitting setup for data-capable GSM and CDMA phones that will connect to Kodak/Canon pro digicams via the serial port near the cameras' two card slots. At PMA yesterday, Kodak demonstrated images being transmitted from the camera via both a Sprint PCS CDMA digital phone and a landline-connected modem. The horsepower necessary to make this work should be rolled into a v3.2 firmware update slated for release May 1. To enable the feature in the new firmware, however, will require the purchase of a "software key." No pricing has been set on the cost of the software key.

A range of CDMA protocol and GSM protocol phones will be supported; if the handset has a serial port cable available and includes what's often called an in-built or virtual modem (most data-capable CDMA, and some data-capable GSM, phones do), it should work. Kodak will sell the necessary adapters to connect to a wireless phone cable, landline modem and to the serial port of a computer. Why to a serial port of a computer? No practical reason really, but it will be at least possible to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer, though very slowly, via this method.

Based on Kodak's current plans for implementing this feature, it should be possible to connect and send to a Mac or PC running an application like Microphone, ZTerm, GlobalTransfer or another Zmodem-capable program. It's not clear if more sophisticated receive software that requires a multi-step login sequence, including Telefinder, will be supported. Internet transfer definitely will not be, as the complexity of implementing Internet protocols (TCP/IP) in the camera apparently makes this difficult to do, at least initially. It should also be possible to continue to shoot while the pictures transfer.

If this feature is pulled together properly in the camera's interface it could be a great way to move one or two pictures back to the paper on deadline, while simultaneously continuing to shoot additional photos. I can't wait.

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