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iPad's lack of built-in camera, video chat


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iPad's lack of built-in camera, video chat
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rdlomas
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2010-01-27, 14:39

No camera?

iChat seems like a perfect fit for this device.
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scratt
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2010-01-27, 14:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
But did you think them through?

/softerworld
The only thing I was sure of I was completely wrong on. I thought a camera and face recognition was a given.

But the thing is I don't care for or use iChat or video conferencing at all... so it doesn't bother me.

I have an SDK today. I can write anything I want for it, that I feel Apple left out.
Plus the software Apple has made for it is awesome.

And I can stick a keyboard on it. My little 12" G4 is going to retire soon.

I didn't want anything else. Even the price is astounding. I would have paid $999 in a heartbeat.

So yeah.. For once I've come away from an Apple Event completely stoked......

.... apart from the name!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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psmith2.0
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2010-01-27, 14:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I'd say that is it, since they said "11:33AM That's it. TIme for a hands-on"
Oh. I thought it was referring to Steve using it some more...

Yeah, they kinda missed one mark here, with the lack of iSight/iChat. How nice would it be to sit in some cafe or pub (or beach or park) 2,000 miles away from friends and family and talk to them, face-to-face, via iChat?

That's my only real "bummer" about it. I just assumed it would have one...makes all the sense in the world on such a device.

Oh well, there's always Rev. B for that stuff.
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Robo
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2010-01-27, 14:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Oh. I thought it was referring to Steve using it some more...



Yeah, they kinda missed one mark here, with the lack of iSight/iChat. How nice would it be to sit in some cafe or pub (or beach or park) 2,000 miles away from friends and family and talk to them, face-to-face, via iChat?

That's my only real "bummer" about it. I just assumed it would have one...makes all the sense in the world on such a device.

Oh well, there's always Rev. B for that stuff.
AT&T's network is congested enough as it is!

You're right, maybe next year. And yes, I think they'll go on an iPhone/iPod-style annual release cycle for this thing. This year, all we might see is Apple whacking $30 off the 3G models in October, and acting like that's some sort of revelation (like the $199 iPod touch).

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Moogs
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2010-01-27, 15:10

Richard Harrington brought up the question of whether the camera conduits will allow direct capture. I have to believe camera manufacturers would be more than happy to build a simple for-pay app that lets you do this. Could really change things for portrait photographers especially.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Wrao
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2010-01-27, 15:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlomas View Post
No camera?

iChat seems like a perfect fit for this device.
Pretty sure we'll see this in rev 2. Which will probably be at least a year away, and by then not only will data rates be more affordable and 3g more affordable, but the processor will likely be more powerful and capable of video chatting. So Apple will be able to really hype up concept.
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Miko
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2010-01-27, 17:19

Speaking of iChat I was really surprise by the lack of a camera front-facing or rear!
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ezkcdude
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2010-01-27, 17:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miko View Post
Speaking of iChat I was really surprise by the lack of a camera front-facing or rear!
I'm not really. iPhone doesn't have iChat either, and the iPad is certainly not going to be any use as a camera.
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Wrao
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2010-01-27, 17:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miko View Post
Speaking of iChat I was really surprise by the lack of a camera front-facing or rear!

I was too, but then I realized that video chat would probably annihilate the battery far too much to 'safely' incorporate. Particularly if it was at full screen resolution and over 3g. Similarly, a rear-facing camera would be kind of neat because the viewfinder would be like a big digital frame, but again, that'd eat up battery fiercely. I do think we will see it down the line though.
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Dorian Gray
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2010-01-27, 17:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
I was too, but then I realized that video chat would probably annihilate the battery far too much to 'safely' incorporate. Particularly if it was at full screen resolution and over 3g. Similarly, a rear-facing camera would be kind of neat because the viewfinder would be like a big digital frame, but again, that'd eat up battery fiercely. I do think we will see it down the line though.
We'll see a camera in the future for sure, but I don't think power consumption was the reason for eliminating it in this version. Video encoding/decoding can be done on a very, very tight power budget with the right silicon. We're talking a small fraction of a watt these days. Look at all the phones that have video-chatting over 3G. And they have very small batteries: much smaller than the iPad's surprisingly high-capacity (25 watt-hour) battery.

A MacBook uses a lot of power to encode/decode video because it's throwing it at a power-guzzling general-purpose Intel CPU.

A 10-hour battery life from a 25-watt-hour battery means a power consumption of 2.5 watts. The majority of that must go towards the LED backlight, which leaves very little for the SoC. Which means it's very, very efficient. I suppose that's where buying PA Semi came in.

The 4:3 aspect ratio is a good choice for a device which can be used in both landscape and portrait orientation.
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feidhlim1986
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2010-01-27, 19:52

It really REALLY should have a camera, more so a camera on the front for video chat, and I hope it can fit more that 4 measly icons in a row and on the dock. I have a 5 X 6 icon setup on my iPhone which works nicely (without app names, but who needs them, the icons tell you what it is)
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 19:57

I am going to buy a new iPad, no doubt. Probably the mid-range or high-end Wi-Fi version. Don't need and don't want to pay for a cellular data package. BUT...

Boy am I pissed that there's no built-in camera!


I was SO looking forward to using the iPad to Skype with my kids while I am traveling for work. No dice now. Will have to stick to voice-only, or buy some 3rd party webcam, if one ever gets developed.

I've been waiting for something like the iPad, as my 12-inch PowerBook died last year and my wife keeps hogging the iMac. So I'm going to buy an iPad as soon as they are available. But what a let-down that there's no built-in camera! I would gladly have paid $100 extra for a camera. Guess I'll have to trade up as soon as iPad Rev.B (presumably with camera) hits the market. In the meantime, I look forward to a device that is more ergonomic and human-friendly than the iPhone.

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 20:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I guess iSight/iChat is the one thing missing. Bummer. That would've made this a perfect communication/stay-in-touch device.
You beat me to it. Lack of a built-in camera is total bogus! I would gladly pay 100 bucks extra for a camera. Couldn't care less about 3G. Wi-Fi is all I need and want.

Given the reasonable price point, I will buy a Rev.A. But as soon as there's an iPad with built-in camera, the Rev.A will be on eBay for an upgrade to the ultimate road-warrior communication device.

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 20:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlomas View Post
No camera?

iChat seems like a perfect fit for this device.
Guess I'm not the only one missing a built-in camera! Hope that Apple listens to customer-demand for Rev.B!
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psmith2.0
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2010-01-27, 20:44

You know how Jobs (or Schiller and others) meet with the press and answer questions after these events? I wonder if someone has asked them about that? The iSight thing? And I wonder what their reply would be/was? I need to go track down some interview/Q&A. I guess Macworld would be a good place to start...
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 20:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I know this is goofball wishful thinking, but what are the chances a few extra features (iSight) get slid in/tacked on between now and full production/release?

[...]

And then I woke up.
Ah, man, Paul! You sure it was a dream? I would pay a lot extra for a damn built-in camera! Even if it was a crappy red-headed stepchild of an iSight.

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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Chinney
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2010-01-27, 20:51

I must say that from a strictly personal point of view I don't understand the complaint about the lack of camera. Until I very recently got my new MacBook, I never had a camera attached to a computer or any other device except for, well, my actual camera itself. I still haven't used the camera on my MacBook and am not sure when I will. I am pretty sure I would not use it on an iPad either.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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Undo Redo
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2010-01-27, 20:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
I still haven't used the camera on my MacBook and am not sure when I will. I am pretty sure I would not use it on an iPad either.
Me too.
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 20:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegelding View Post
why the macbook may win...
camera...i like to skype with my daughter...can you add a webcam to the ipad?
netflix...i could watch dr who and the it crowd in bed with a macbook pro, no it seems with the ipad

still no web camera is sad for me...and no netflix is sad too
Judging by the feedback here, the lack of a built-in web-cam seems like a serious omission. Skyping with the kids would be just as important as web-surfing and e-mail, as far as I am concerned. Video-Skype capability would make the iPad a no-brainer. Now it's just going to be a useful, but far from perfect device.

Bah, Escher is an ingrate mal-content. But damn it! I'm a modern-day consumer! Don't live in the stone-age.

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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torifile
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2010-01-27, 21:11

I'm mixed on the lack of a camera. It would be nice to be able to leave the laptop at home when I'm travelling but ichatting with my son would be impossible without it. On the other hand, I don't know that I could ever travel without my laptop.
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 21:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
Why? You can't do anything you want to do outside of Apple-sanctioned apps.

You're my last hope Escher. After a decade of knowing you you're going to settle for this?

I may die.
No need to die, 709! If I hadn't received a Winblows subnotebook from work I would have bought an MBA a long time ago. But given that I have the Windows subnotebook and a CrackBerry, the iPad is the perfect complement.

The iPad is not going to replace my iMac for photo-editing and other heavier tasks. The iPad will not replace my subnotebook in terms of working at random hotels while on the road. The iPad will not replace my BlackBerry to stay in touch when I'm running through airports or sitting on a train.

However, the iPad will allow me to take my personal life on the road (or on the couch) with me: web-surfing, personal e-mail, sharing photos, and reading electronic documents. The only major omission of the iPad is the lack of a built-in camera. Being able to use the iPad for Skype with video would have been a killer app. Traveling a lot with young kids at home, Skype is my most critical personal app, more so than e-mail or the Web.

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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Undo Redo
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2010-01-27, 21:17

I've never video iChatted before. Has anyone considered that it might be difficult to hold an iPad with camera steady so that you're actually in the picture, without giving the viewer on the other end a headache? Sure, you could use a stand, but you might not always have a stand.
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Escher
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2010-01-27, 21:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post
I've never video iChatted before. Has anyone considered that it might be difficult to hold an iPad with camera steady so that you're actually in the picture, without giving the viewer on the other end a headache? Sure, you could use a stand, but you might not always have a stand.
Undo Redo: have you ever walked around with your MacBook while video-chatting? It's awesome when you're far away from your interlocutor. Our iMac get twisted and tilted around when we Skype with family. The kids hold up the hamster, and I've held up our new dog in front of the iMac's camera. Imagine how much easier this would be if you could just walk around with an iPad that had a built-in camera!

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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Undo Redo
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2010-01-27, 21:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escher View Post
Undo Redo: have you ever walked around with your MacBook while video-chatting?
No, as I said, never tried it. Guess I'm wrong with my thought on the matter.
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torifile
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2010-01-27, 21:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post
I've never video iChatted before. Has anyone considered that it might be difficult to hold an iPad with camera steady so that you're actually in the picture, without giving the viewer on the other end a headache? Sure, you could use a stand, but you might not always have a stand.
But if you don't have a stand or a way to prop it up, you probably don't have a place to put your laptop either.
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Ryan
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2010-01-27, 21:44

I'm studying abroad in France next fall, and if this thing had a camera for Skype, I would almost consider not taking a laptop. Especially if I could import photos from a digital camera.
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BuonRotto
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2010-01-28, 18:01

Yeah, I was assuming a USB port would be for cameras and the like. I guess it does open a Pandora's box of drivers.
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rdlomas
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2010-01-28, 19:12

The more I keep thinking about no web camera I get more bummed.

We keep in touch with several friends/loved ones who are deployed on iChat/Skype and that would be killer to have on the "couch computer" (iPad).
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torifile
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2010-01-28, 19:45

IMO, the lack of a camera really is the only oversight I can see in the ipad. I just don't get it.
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rdlomas
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2010-01-28, 19:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
IMO, the lack of a camera really is the only oversight I can see in the ipad. I just don't get it.
Totally with you.

It's too bad it's not an option or on the higher end models at least.
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