Kyushu Matsushita Electric Co., Ltd. will market in May two series of network cameras, called KX-HCM130 and KX-HCM170, which can be directly controlled from mobile phones or PCs through the Internet.
Each camera is equipped with a Web server function and an Ethernet port (10BASE-T.) With the main body of a camera, users may directly connect to the Internet through ADSL modems or cable modems. Via the Internet, video data or still pictures can be imported to mobile phones or PCs. Also, remote operations can be done to adjust the direction of the camera horizontally by +/-60 degrees and vertically within the scope between 0 and -45 degree.
The KX-HCM170 is equipped with a wireless-LAN (IEEE802.11b) capability and can be set up in places where the cable networks are difficult.
The CMOS solid image sensor used in the products has 320,000 pixels. The picture size can be selected from 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels, or 160 x 120 pixels. They also have the functions to save still pictures in internal memory, and about 560 pictures in 320 x 240 pixels can be stored. According to the company, about nine hours of data can be recorded at a pace of one picture recorded every minute.
Both series satisfy the specifications of “splash-proof type” approved by the JIS standards. The prices are 69,800 yen for the KX-HCM130 and 99,800 yen for the KX-HCM170. (133.03 yen = US$1)
Kyushu Matsushita intends to pioneer the use of network cameras, for monitoring of various places that existing surveillance cameras cannot accommodate. For example, its uses include home-use security, checking crowds in restaurants, or monitoring kindergartens.
According to the company, “as the number of broadband subscribers drastically increases, watching images of other places from home could be an everyday thing. In the future, the time will come when one or more of these cameras are set up in each household.”
In order to make it easy to set up at households or public spaces, Kyushu Matsushita has already started in February 2002 a service called “Miemasu Net Service” targeted to network cameras, with a monthly fee of 3,000 yen. In this service, users who connect their cameras to the Internet through the constant connection service are able to access their cameras from other places. When an user transmits the domain name of the camera to the DNS server of the company, the DNS server will tell the user the IP address allocated to the user’s camera. Using the IP address, the user can access the camera.