Canon has unveiled a prototype of a digital still camera with an integrated bubble-jet color printer. The camera, which was put on show at the company's Canon Expo 2000 event in Tokyo, packs most of the required technology into the camera itself, but some is included in special printer card packs that need to be used with the camera in order to print out pictures. The result is a device that is a little larger than existing digital still cameras although still portable enough to be carried around with ease.
Each printer card pack contains 10 sheets of credit card-sized paper and enough ink to print 10 colour images. The printer inside the camera does the rest, taking ink from the pack and printing out a picture in a few seconds.
In addition, the printer can also add a barcode along the edge of the image. The barcode is used to encode audio captured at the time the picture was taken using a microphone mounted inside the camera. When scanned into a computer, the sound can be replayed from the card.
Canon is still developing the camera and associated technology, and announced no immediate plans to put the device on sale.