iPad Peripheral Camera Spotted in the Wild, to Launch “Later this Year”
From Day One, one of the most persistent complaints about the iPad has been that it lacks a camera: Despite the fact that its frame has a camera-sized gap, currently, the best you can do is connect a digital camera to the iPad with Apple’s expensive, poorly received “iPad Camera Connection kit,” which isn’t really the same as having a camera built into the device.
PhotoFast’s coming Webcam for iPad, first spotted by Pocket Lint, may not be quite the same thing as a built-in camera, but it sounds promising:
No, it’s not actually a 200 megapixel camera as indicated in the typo-afflicted photo above, but it does 2 megapixels at an iPad-sized 640×480. You can plug it into the custom USB port and clip it onto the top of the iPad, and, voila! You’ve got either a front-facing or a rear-facing camera, depending on your needs. According to Pocket Lint, who spoke with the folks at PhotoFast, the camera will launch “later this year.”
A peripheral camera isn’t quite as good as a built-in camera for a number of reasons — having a wire noodling out from the iPad’s USB port mucks up its spare, slim functionality a bit. And we’ll reserve making any too-broad conclusions about the performance of this webcam until we see it in action. Still, we can easily see a number of possibilities here: teleconferencing with Skype is the obvious one, but more broadly, unlocking a host of camera-based iPhone apps for easy iPad use.