Eyemodule

The Eyemodule is one of those items that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. It’s a SpringBoard product, meaning that it’s designed to work with the HandSpring Visor. Its function is photography, though you could barely call it a digital camera. The best way to describe the Eyemodule is as a gadget – where niftyness outshines any practical uses. Digital fun
Of course, a camera that costs only £119 isn’t going to amount to much if it’s digital. You could buy a dozen disposable cameras for the same price, or even a halfway decent grown-up camera. What you do get with the Eyemodule though is fun – and it’ll amaze your friends. The module slips into the SpringBoard slot on the back of the Visor. It protrudes only 15mm over the top, and adds nothing to its thickness. It’s controlled by a single button, plus the software that’s automatically loaded when you insert the module. Simply push the button and it captures the image. You can then elect to save or delete it. The software allows the resolution and colour-depth of the image to be set. That’s right, I said colour. When the pictures are downloaded to a computer, they can be viewed in glorious colour. The maximum resolution is a paltry 320-x-240 pixels – tiny by digital-camera standards, but fine for displaying on the Visor screen. If the image is in colour at this resolution it takes up 187K. This may seem tiny, but with applications on the Palm OS typically occupying less than 50K, it’s quite chunky. Of course, if you’re taking colour pictures, you’ll want to offload them to your Mac to see them properly. Black-&-white images of the same resolution take up only 37K, and even smaller 160-x-120-pixel images take up only 9K. That’s small enough to keep on your Visor as a digital-photo album. Images of the kids, cat, wife or iMac can be carried around to thrill and inspire your co-workers and bar-room buddies. At this point, I am racking my brains to think of a use for the Eyemodule. Maybe such low-resolution images could be used for the Web, but the colour-quality isn’t that great. David Fanning

OUR VERDICT

If you like nifty gadgets, this certainly is one. And it’s a head turner, as I found out when I took it down my local boozer.

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