ANAHEIM — Odetics Inc. announced new technology Tuesday that can send video images over cellular telephones, opening the way for new uses of the long-distance video technology in markets such as remote monitoring and security.
The Anaheim company said the video communications technology can transmit black-and-white or color images of a scene from a security camera to a monitor elsewhere.
"Odetics will not live or die on the success of this technology," said David Lewis, an Odetics vice president. "But we are always looking for products that can improve our future sales, and this is a very lively candidate."
The image quality isn't as good that of broadcast television, which transmits images to a screen at a rate of 30 frames per second. At Odetics' speed of 20 frames per second, the video images resemble a slightly out-of-sync movie or cartoon.
But the technology doesn't require a computer or much training, and it allows anyone to use a portable camera equipped with a transmitter to send images to a distant point without sophisticated satellite links or cumbersome wiring.
Lewis said commercial products based on the technology may be available as early as December. He said one possible application would be to equip police officers with the devices so they can immediately send to a police station video images of a crime scene in progress.
Such a system could transmit an event as it is happening and allow for an immediate response, in contrast to video cameras that merely record an event for later analysis. Odetics launched the product at a communications industry trade show in New Orleans.
The technology compacts the video data so it can be transmitted quickly via cellular telephone. Satellite television cameras, such as those used by live-TV news crews, can transmit better-quality images more quickly, but they cost far more, Lewis said. He said pricing for the new technology would depend on what it is used for.