Canon Inc. has debuted its new Web View system at this week's Networld+Interop Tokyo. The system enables a network of video cameras to be viewed and controlled from distant locations with the Internet acting as the communications network.
The camera is a small unit designed for use in videoconferencing applications, and features pan and tilt control. The camera can be moved by using either commands from the controlling computer or from a supplied infrared remote control unit.
With the movement control offered by the VC-C1, Canon simply needed to add a controller, which currently takes the form of an additional computer called a camera server. Special viewer software is also being offered by Canon; the software can be downloaded from the Internet.
By connecting the camera server to the Internet, a remote computer running the viewer software can view the images coming from the camera and also control where the camera is pointing by using the camera movement controls built into the software. Zoom is also possible with varying resolution, allowing picture sizes from 80 x 60 pixels up to 640 x 480. The resolution and speed of update will be determined by the speed of your network connection, said a spokesman.
The camera may be used to monitor a factory or production line. They can move the cameras and see whatever they want. It could also be used to monitor traffic conditions or by various contributors who could set up a worldwide network of interactive cameras like today's Webcams.The possibiliteies are endless.
Viewer software can be downloaded from Canon's Japaneese Web site WebView starting today. Canon has a network or four public cameras in various locations around Tokyo which can be controlled by users running the software which is available for the MS Windows 95 and NT platforms.
Editor Note. This technology is so cool we had to write about it. Being that the WWW site is Japanese we have been unable to determine if they have a Macintosh version of the software. If any of our readers are able to read Japanese and can verify this, please email us and let us know.
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