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Casio digital camera can locate itself indoors

updated 12:10 pm EST, Tue January 12, 2010

Casio intros EX-10HG prototype with GPS, more

Casio at CES showed off a unique prototype of a location-aware camera based on the company's existing EX-10 shooter. The EX-10HG (Hybrid GPS) has a built-in GPS sensor for geotagging photos when outdoors, but when a signal is lost once users go indoors or are in heavily built-up downtown areas, its three-axis accelerometers kick in to determine the direction and distance it has traveled since it last saw a satellite. A rudimentary map is also built in, allowing users to see where they've been, or where they've captured photos or videos more specifically.

Casio has also incorporated a total distance traveled meter, pedometer and calorie consumption counter. Otherwise, the HG shares more conventional features with the standard EX-10, including its 12.1-megapixel sensor, 10x zoom lens, and 720p video recording capability.

While a working prototype at this point, the EX-10HG exists to gauge market reaction and may be produced in the future. If released, prices are likely to be higher than the standard EX-10's near $500 sticker. [via Impress]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Accuracy or Life?

    And what does this constantly computing accelerometer do for battery life? My bets are on it's a killer. Imagin carrying this in your front pants pocket while jogging. Talk about a tracking nightmare!

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    Pretty cool (if it works)

    If that actually works reliably I'll be impressed. That's the sort of thing that is deserving of a patent--the actual method they use to accomplish that, not just the vague notion of "using accelerometers to track location."

    Excellent question about battery life. My first reaction was that since you are outside when jogging it would know it doesn't need to infer your movements. But that presupposes that the GPS is on all the time instead, which is also a battery killer. I suspect that answer is that you have to start your session outdoors in GPS contact and tell it to start tracking or it won't do anything. That is, if you had the camera turned off and then went to the basement of the Alamo and turned it on, it just wouldn't know your location. If you took some pictures outside and then went inside, it would know where you are within the building.

    The more I think about this my reaction is: who needs this? I can see how it would useful for a spy or maybe a spelunker, but who else?

  1. mark_gray

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    I want one!

    It would be really nice to have a small camera that would record position and direction/orientation of each shot automatically. I have tried several times to use a separate GPS to record where I have gone and sync it with the photos I have taken. It is possible but it is harder than it should be with having to keep two devices going (camera and GPS), account for time zones and the difference between camera and GPS time, and having a whole set of additional steps to take to get the geotags into the photos. It is also nearly impossible to record the compass direction/orientation of the camera when using a separate GPS.

    Battery life is not necessarily going to be bad. GPS chips use less power each year and the software can be clever about how often to actually turn on the GPS. My phone software turns on the GPS every now and then (to update my position on a web page) and it doesn't hurt the battery. I don't think anyone is using an accelerometer this way yet, but I am curious how much power it takes.
    I can see that the inertial positioning system would be really helpful sometimes, but I imagine it might be good enough much of the time if it just kept using the last GPS fix.

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