SoundVision SV1301 RDK (© SoundVision Inc.)

SoundVision SV1301 RDK prototype (1999)

In 1999 Sound Vision Inc. developed this prototype based on the Clarity 2 ASIC. It was a complete CMOS, VGA resolution digital camera for OEM manufacturers. When OEM manufactured, the street price would be an average $150 which was incredibly low for a digital camera with such advanced features. The engineering kit which you can see in the pictures would cost the OEM manufacturer roughly $10,000.

Different EEK's were available to meet the customers needs. For Sony a 1.4MP kit, for IBM a 1.3 and 2MP kit, for HP a 0.35MP VGA CMOS kit and VLSI Vision a 0.8MP and 1.2MP kit. Another alternative was either to use the Kopin Cyber Display viewfinder or the Epson 1.8" TFT LCD display. A c-mount lens could also be attached by demand.

SoundVision Inc. produced 0.35, 1.3 and 1.5MP EEK's. Some already with a housing like the one you see in the pictures. It is unknown how many digital cameras may have spawned from this EEK at the turn of the century. SoundVision Inc. did not market this camera themselves but left it to OEM manufacturers to market them. Finished products came from Mustek, Lenco, Argus and some lesser known asian camera brands.

Some may have never heard of the Kopin CyberDisplay used in this camera but they are the world leader in manufacturing and selling such micro displays. As of 2010 more than 30,000,000 displays were sold. The CyberDisplay consists of a so called uAMLCD (miniature active matrix liquid crystal display). The development of this technology started in 1984 and was funded by the US Air Force, DARPA and Army Research. A total of $65M was poured into this research project from 1984-2002. Kopin was founded in 1984 and was a spin-off of the Air Force MIT Lincoln Labs. It was no surprise Kopin got the lucrative deal to commercialize this new technology in cooperation with United Microelectronics Corporation in Taiwan. By supplying the US military, camcorder and digital camera companies and many others, they became the world leader and hold over 100 patents on uAMLCD technology.

Specifications

  • Brand: SoundVision
  • Model: SV1301 RDK prototype
  • First mentioned: 1999
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $150 (OEM consumer product) / $10,000 (OEM development kit)
  • Imager Type: 0.35MP CMOS
  • Resolution: 640x480
  • Internal Storage: 2MB
  • External Storage: Compact Flash
  • Lens: 7mm f/1.8 Fixed Focus Lens with Manual Macro Position
  • Shutter: 1s to 1/2,000s
  • Aperture Range: F1.8
  • LCD screen size: 0.24" AMLCD
  • Size: -
  • Weight: -
  • Remarks: -

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