Sharp VN-EZ1U User manual

Sharp VN-EZ1U User manual
USOO6714724B1
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Cook
(54)
US 6,714,724 B1
(45) Date 0f Patent:
PORTABLE DEVICE FOR CAPTURING
IMAGE AND SOUND DATA INCLUDING
COMPACT MEMORY AND BOARD
6,229,954 B1 *
6,282,362 B1 *
6,404,981 B1 *
ARRANGEMENT
Mar. 30, 2004
5/2001 Yamagami et al. ....... .. 386/117
8/2001 Murphy et al. ........... .. 386/117
6/2002 Kumagai et al. ......... .. 386/125
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
(76) Inventor: Bradley Steven Cook, 411-3590 Kaneff
Crescent, Cooksville, Ontario (CA),
Sony Digital lmaging—Digita1 Mavica MVC—FD91, 1999
Sony EleCIrOnlCS.
L5 A 3X3
About M2: Speci?cations, 1999.
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
JVC Company of America, 1999 WWW.jvc.ca/.
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
*
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) APPL NO; 09/368,968
‘med by exammer
Primary Examiner—Vincent Boccio
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Baker & Daniels
(22) Filed:
(57)
Sharp Electronics, VN—EZ1U, 1999.
(*)
Notice:
Aug. 5, 1999
-
.
ABSTRACT
(51)
Int. c1.7 .............................................. .. H04N 5/225
A device to encode motion and Sound data directly into a
(52)
us CL
computer recognizable format and save the encoded data on
a hard disk drive in real time includes a housing having
operator controls. A lens and at least one microphone are
386/117. 386/125. 348/373,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "
348674. 358/9091’
Field of Search
386/46’ 117 120
(58)
38648007’ 232’ 552’
also on the housing. Processor circuitry Within the housing
231 722 373 ’374’_ 3587906 ’ 909 1_ H’04N 15/225’
communicates With the operator controls and the at least one
’
’
(56)
5,488,433
5,969,750
5,987,179
6,097,879
6,169,575
6,226,449
’
’
’
' ’
microphone. The processor circuitry generates motion data
References Cited
in response to light entering the housing via the lens and
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
captures sound data via the at least one microphone in
response to user input made via the operator controls. The
processor circuitry includes an encoder to encode the motion
A
A
A
A
B1
B1
* 1/1996 Washino et al. .......... .. 348/722
* 10/1999 Hsieh et al. ............. .. 348/14.1
* 11/1999 Rick 61 al. ................ .. 382/236
386/117
* 8/2000 Komatsu et a1_
348/231
* 1/2001 Anderson et al.
* 5/2001 Inoue et a1. .............. .. 386/120
and sound data directly into a computer recognizable format.
The
encoded
motion and
sound
data
is saved on a hard disk
_
_
_
_
_
_
drive Within the housmg in real time.
12 Claims, 8 Drawing Sheets
70
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CMOS
VIDEO
MPEG
CAMERA
DECODER
CODEC
CPU BOARD
VlDEO BOAR
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F‘FO
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AUDK)
CODEC
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82
94
86
HARD
CAMERA CHIP
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DISK
VIDEO BOARD 76
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CPU BOARD 75
110
/ 118
PCMCIASLOT
52
CPU
/ 100
SVSTEM
CONTROLLER
&DMA ENGlNE
(102
PCMCIA
(104
[DE
(105
\ DRIVERSiFOR
RS232
(108
DEBUGGING )
SDRAM
USE
TRANSCEIVER
\122
72
/
ETHERNET
TRANSCEIVER
U.S. Patent
Mar. 30, 2004
Sheet 1 of 8
US 6,714,724 B1
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U.S. Patent
Mar. 30, 2004
Sheet 2 of 8
US 6,714,724 B1
U.S. Patent
Mar. 30, 2004
Sheet 3 of 8
US 6,714,724 B1
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U.S. Patent
Mar. 30, 2004
Sheet 4 0f 8
US 6,714,724 B1
U.S. Patent
Mar. 30, 2004
Sheet 5 of 8
US 6,714,724 B1
/68
VIDEO BOARD
t
4
CPU BOARD
76
CAMERA CHIP
8O
78
HARD
DISK
4- PCMCIA SLOT
52
FIG. 6
U.S. Patent
Mar. 30, 2004
Sheet 7 of 8
US 6,714,724 B1
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US 6,714,724 B1
1
2
PORTABLE DEVICE FOR CAPTURING
IMAGE AND SOUND DATA INCLUDING
COMPACT MEMORY AND BOARD
ARRANGEMENT
includes a sound data encoder to encode sound data captured
by the at least one microphone that accompanies the image
data. The main processor receives the encoded image data
from the image processor and stores the encoded image data
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
and accompanying encoded sound data as a ?le to the hard
disk drive in real time.
In one embodiment, the image data encoder includes a
The present invention relates to cameras and in particular
to a portable device for encoding image and sound data
directly into a computer recognizable format and saving the
video decoder to digitiZe image data input into the device
from an eXternal source and an MPEG codec to encode
10
encoded image and sound data to a hard disk drive in real
time.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
resolution mode in response to user input made via the
15
mode in response to user input made via the operator
controls. In the still capture mode, the MPEG codec encodes
audio. Images of this nature are often published on the
Internet and/or used for other amateur purposes. To acquire
discrete image frames.
In a preferred embodiment, the main processor includes
video images in digital form, computer users have in the past
used loW-quality CCD tethered cameras coupled directly to
an audio encoder communicating With the at least one
microphone for digitiZing sound data received via the at
personal computers. Video images captured by these CCD
least one microphone. The main processor also includes a
central processing unit eXecuting MPEG encoding softWare
25
using special softWare.
compact arrangement.
device to convert the video and audio data into a format
Which alloWs the computer to store the video and audio data
as .AVI or .MPEG ?les. Although this arrangement allows a
According to another aspect of the present invention there
is provided in combination, a portable device for encoding
and saving image and sound data and a base station includ
computer user to acquire video images With accompanying
35
additional processing to place the video and audio data in a
ing a processor and a removable hard disk drive on Which
data saved by said device may be doWnloaded and saved,
said device comprising:
a housing including operator controls;
computer recogniZable format.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide
a novel device for encoding image and sound data directly
into a computer recogniZable format and saving the encoded
a lens on said housing;
at least one microphone on said housing;
image and sound data to a hard disk drive in real time.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
45
provided a portable device for encoding and saving image
and sound data comprising:
a housing including operator controls;
processor circuitry Within said housing and communicat
ing With said manually operable controls and said at
least one microphone, said processor circuitry captur
ing image data and sound data in response to user input
made via said operator controls, said processor cir
cuitry including an encoder to encode the image and
sound data directly into a computer recogniZable for
mat;
a hard disk drive Within the housing on Which encoded
a lens on said housing;
at least one microphone on said housing;
image and sound data is saved; and
at least one output port for coupling to said base station to
alloW encoded image and sound data saved to said hard
disk drive to be doWnloaded to said base station.
processor circuitry Within said housing and communicat
ing With said manually operable controls and said at
least one microphone, said processor circuitry gener
The present invention provides advantages in that image
55
said at least one microphone in response to user input
and sound data is encoded directly into a computer recog
niZable format and saved on a hard disk drive in real time.
made via said operator controls, said processor cir
cuitry including an encoder to encode the image and
sound data directly into a computer recogniZable for
mat; and
As a result, a signi?cant amount of sound and image data
may be saved by the device. The hard disk drive is accessible
by a host such as for eXample, a personal computer or base
station, to alloW sound and image data saved to the hard disk
drive to be doWnloaded to the personal computer or base
a hard disk drive Within the housing on Which encoded
image and sound data is saved.
In a preferred embodiment, the processor circuitry
station in a quick and convenient manner.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
includes an image processor and a main processor. The
image processor includes a digital image sensor receiving
light via the lens and an image data encoder to encode digital
image data output by the image sensor. The main processor
audio encoder.
Preferably, the image processor is disposed on a ?rst
on a second board Within the housing. The hard disk drive
is sandWiched betWeen the ?rst and second boards in a
capture video images With accompanying audio. The cap
tured video and audio data is then passed through a special
ating image data and capturing sound data received via
for encoding the digitiZed sound data received from the
board Within the housing and the main processor is disposed
Computer users have also used standard video cameras to
According to one aspect of the present invention there is
operator controls. In each of these modes, the image pro
cessor encodes continuous image data. It is also preferred
that the MPEG codec can be conditioned to a still capture
Many computer users have a need for relatively loW
audio in digital form, captured video images must undergo
image data output by the video decoder. Preferably, the
MPEG codec can be conditioned to either a high or loW
resolution digital format video images With accompanying
cameras are sent directly to the personal computers and
stored therein in a digital ?le format such as for example,
.AVI or .MPEG formats, Without audio accompaniment.
Audio may be dubbed onto the digital video data afterWards
image data from the image sensor and as Well as digital
65
An embodiment of the present invention Will noW be
described more fully With reference to the accompanying
draWings in Which:
US 6,714,724 B1
4
3
FIG. 1 is a front elevational vieW of a device for encoding
Abattery compartment 60 is provided Within the housing
image and sound data directly into a computer recognizable
12 behind the handgrip 14 and accommodates a plurality of
batteries 62. The battery compartment 60 is accessible via a
removable access panel 64 on the top of the housing 12 to
facilitate replacement of the batteries 62.
format and saving the encoded image and sound data on a
hard disk drive in real time in accordance With the present
invention;
Processor circuitry generally identi?ed by reference
FIG. 2 is a perspective vieW taken from above and from
the rear of the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective vieW taken from the beloW and
from the front of the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a right side elevational vieW of the device of
numeral 68 in FIGS. 6 and 7 is disposed Within the housing
12. The processor circuitry 68 includes an image data
processor 70 and a main processor 72. A hard disk drive 74
such as the Travelstar 4GN sold by International Business
Machines Corporation is also disposed Within the housing
FIG. 1;
12 and communicates With the processor circuitry 68. The
components constituting the image data processor 70 are
disposed on a board 76. The components constituting the
FIG. 5 is a left side elevational vieW of the device of FIG.
1;
FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of the electronics arrange
ment Within the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of the device
15
main processor 72 are disposed on a board 78. The hard disk
drive 74 is sandWiched betWeen the boards 76 and 78 in a
FIG. 8 is a perspective vieW taken from above and from
the front of a base station;
FIG. 9 is a rear elevational vieW of the base station of FIG.
compact arrangement and is coupled to the main processor
72 via a 16-bit parallel bus. The hard disk drive 74 is rugged
to Withstand shock making the device 10 portable and
reliable.
Turning noW the FIG. 7, the image data processor 70 and
8; and
the main processor 72 are better illustrated. As can be seen,
FIG. 10 is a schematic block diagram of the base station
electronics.
image data processor 70 includes a single chip CMOS
digital colour video image sensor 80 such as that sold by
Omnivision under model No. OV7610. The digital video
electronics;
25
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
encoding image and sound data directly into a computer
recogniZable format and saving the encoded image and
image sensor 80 is disposed on the board 76 behind the lens
18 and is coupled to a video decoder 82. Video decoder 82
is connected to an MPEG coder/decoder (codec) 86 such as
that sold by C-Cube under model No. CLM4111RT. MPEG
codec 86 is also connected to a ?rst-in-?rst-out (FIFO) 88.
sound data to a hard disk drive in real time in accordance
The FIFO 88 and the MPEG codec 86 are connected to a bus
With the present invention is shoWn and is generally indi
90 leading to the main processor board 78. An audio codec
94 is also disposed on board 76.
Turning noW to FIGS. 1 to 5, a portable device for
cated to by reference numeral 10. As can be seen, the device
10 includes a housing 12 con?gured to de?ne a handgrip 14
at one side of the of the housing 12. The front 16 of the
35
housing 12 has a standard C/ CS type lens mounting structure
The codec 86 is responsive to the main processor 72 and can
be conditioned to a high resolution mode, a loW resolution
mode and a still capture mode depending on the “on” setting
of sWitch 34 as Will be described.
The main processor 72 includes a system controller and
thereon to accommodate releasably a removable lens 18. A
microphone 19 is positioned to one side of the lens 18. A
record/pause key 20 and a neW ?le key 22 are also disposed
on the front 16 of the housing 12 adjacent the handgrip 14
to facilitate manual actuation by an operator. Above the
microphone 19 is an optical vieW?nder 24, Which eXtends
through the housing 12. The optical vieW?nder 24 alloWs an
operator to determine visually the ?eld of vieW of the lens
18.
The MPEG codec 86 includes a processor and accompa
nying microcode to encode image data into MPEG-1 format.
DMA engine 100, a PCMCIA interface 102, an integrated
45
drive electronics (IDE) interface 104, ?ash EPROM 106,
SDRAM 108 and a central processing unit (CPU) 110, each
of Which is coupled to the bus 90. CPU 110 in this embodi
ment is a Motorola MPC823 microprocessor, Which eXcels
in loW poWer, portable, imaging applications. The micro
Positioned beloW the optical vieW?nder 24 on the rear 26
of the housing 12 are three light emitting diodes (LEDs) 28
processor integrates a high-performance embedded core
to 32 respectively. LED 28 is a poWer indicator and is
illuminated When the device 10 is on. LED 30 is a record
indicator and is illuminated When the device 10 is condi
tioned to a record mode. If the record mode is paused, the
LED 30 ?ashes. LED 32 is a memory capacity indicator. To
one side of the LEDs is an on/off sWitch 34 in the form of
With a communication processor module that uses a special
a slider. The on/off sWitch 34 has three “on” settings, namely
a high resolution setting, a loW resolution setting and a still
iZed RISC processor for imaging and communications. The
communication processor module performs digital signal
processing (DSP) to encode audio data received from the
audio codec 94 into MPEG-1 format. The CPU 110 is also
coupled to an RS232 driver 118, an Ethernet transceiver 120
55 and a USB transceiver 122 as Well as the audio codec 94. A
poWer management circuit (not shoWn) is also disposed on
capture setting.
the main processor board 78. The poWer management circuit
communicates With the battery compartment 60 and the DC
poWer connector 56 and supplies appropriate poWer to the
image processor 70, the main processor 72 and the hard disk
drive 74.
The bottom 40 of the housing 12 includes a recessed area
42, Which accommodates an eXternal video input jack 44, a
pair of external audio input jacks 46, an erase-all button 48
and a reset button 50. APCMCIA slot 52 is also provided in
the bottom 40 of the housing 12 adjacent the recessed area
42. A mount 54 for a tripod is provided in the bottom of the
The EPROM 106 stores a small boot-up program used to
handgrip 14 is a DC poWer connector 56, a universal serial
initialiZe the CPU 1110 and the peripherals of the device 10
When the device is poWered up. The EPROM 106 also stores
an operating system, in this eXample WindoWs CE. Win
doWs CE is a portable, real time modular operating system
bus (USB) port 58 and an Ethernet port 59.
including Microsoft programming interfaces. An OEM
housing 12 to one side of the recessed area 42.
Provided in the side of the housing 12 opposite the
65
US 6,714,724 B1
5
6
adaptation layer communicates With the core of the operat
encoded image and sound data is then saved to the hard disk
ing system and device hardware including timers, the USB
drive 74 as a ?le via the IDE interface 104. Files saved on
transceiver 122, the PCMCIA interface 102 and the Ethernet
transceiver 120. Device drivers are also provided to interface
the hard disk drive 74 are sequentially numbered using a
naming convention that alloWs for up to an eight character
name folloWed by a three letter extension. The ?rst three
device hardWare and the operating system.
Applications softWare is also stored in the EPROM 106
and is executed by the CPU 110. Execution of the applica
tion softWare controls the overall operation of the device 10
alloWing the processor circuitry 68 to respond to actuation of
the keys and buttons, illuminate the LEDs 28 to 32, encode
image and sound data, and read and Write data to the hard
characters of the name are company identi?ers While the
folloWing ?ve characters are an alphanumeric series.
Encoded image and sound data acquired by the device 10
during each recording session is saved under a single ?le
10
is pressed, the CPU 10 closes the current ?le and creates a
neW ?le on the hard disk drive 74 for the subsequent
disk drive 74.
When the device 10 is turned on by sliding the sWitch 34
from its off position to one of its “on” settings, the poWer
management circuit supplies poWer from either the batteries
15
or a poWer source coupled to the DC poWer connector 56, to
monitors the buttons and keys and responds to manual
actuation of the buttons and keys in the appropriate manner.
If the sWitch 34 is positioned to the high resolution setting,
encoded image and sound data.
If the sWitch 34 is in its still capture setting When the
record/pause key 20 is pressed, the CPU 10 conditions the
MPEG codec 86 to grab a single frame from the CMOS
image sensor 80. In this mode, the MPEG codec 86 converts
the image data processor 70, main processor 72 and hard
disk drive 74. The main processor 72 in turn illuminates the
LED 28. If the poWer level of the batteries falls beloW a
threshold, the main processor 72 ?ashes the LED 28 to
signify a loW poWer condition.
At poWer up, the CPU 110 executes the boot-up program
in the EPROM 106 to initialiZe the device 10 placing the
device 10 into a ready state. At this point, the CPU 110
name on the hard disk drive 74 until the neW ?le key 22 is
pressed. During a recording session, if the neW ?le key 22
the digital image data into JPEG format and outputs the
encoded image data to the FIFO 88. The encoded image data
loaded into FIFO 88 is conveyed to the main processor 72
via the bus 90 and is cached before being saved as a ?le to
25
the hard disk drive 74 by the CPU 110.
If the MPEG codec 86 is in the still capture mode and the
record/pause key 20 is held in a pressed condition, the
MPEG codec 86 is conditioned to grab a series of image
frames from the CMOS image sensor 80 for as long as the
record/pause key 20 is held. Each grabbed image frame is
the CPU 110 conditions the MPEG codec 86 to a high
resolution mode (352x240 resolution). If the sWitch 34 is
converted into JPEG format before being saved to the hard
positioned to the loW resolution setting, the CPU 110 con
disk drive 74 as a separate ?le in the manner described
ditions the MPEG codec 86 to a loW resolution mode
above.
If desired video image data can input into the device 10
from an external source via video input jack 44. In this case,
the input video image data received from the external source
(176x120 resolution). If the sWitch 34 is positioned to the
still capture setting, the CPU 110 conditions the MPEG
codec 86 to a still capture mode (640x480 resolution).
In general, When the record/pause key 20 is pressed, the
35
is processed by the video decoder 82. The digital image data
the device 10 encodes and saves continuous digital image
and sound data to the hard disk drive 74. Pressing the
output by the video decoder 82 is then passed to the MPEG
codec 98 and processed accordingly, depending on the “on”
setting of the sWitch 34.
In addition, accompanying audio can be input into the
device 10 via the external audio input jacks 46. When audio
record/pause key 20 again in this mode, stops data acquisi
is received from an external source via the audio input jacks
tion. When recording has been paused, the main processor
46, the microphone 19 is disabled. The audio is converted
into digital format via audio codec 94 and is processed in the
device 10 encodes and saves image and sound data in a ?le
on the hard disk drive 74 in real time. If the MPEG codec
86 is conditioned to either the high or loW resolution mode,
72 ?ashes LED 30. If the MPEG codec 86 is conditioned to
the still capture mode, the device 10 encodes and saves a
the record/pause key 20 is pressed. If the record/pause key
manner described previously.
As ?les are stored on the hard disk drive 74, the CPU 110
monitors disk space and illuminates the LED 32 depending
20 is held in a pressed conditioned, the device 10 encodes
on the amount of memory available on the hard disk drive
and saves a series of digital image frames on the hard disk
74. Speci?cally, When the hard disk drive 74 is less than 50%
full, the LED 32 is illuminated green. When the hard disk
drive is betWeen 50% and 75% full, the LED 32 ?ashes
green. When the hard disk drive is more than 75% full, the
LED 32 ?ashes red. When the hard disk drive 74 is full, the
45
single digital image frame on the hard disk drive 74 When
drive 74 until the record/pause key 20 is released. Further
details of the data encoding and saving Will noW be
described.
If the sWitch 34 is in either its high or loW resolution
setting and the record/pause key 20 is pressed, the CPU 10
conditions the MPEG codec 86 to acquire directly and
continuously image data from the CMOS image sensor 80.
The MPEG codec 86 in turn converts the image data into
LED 32 is illuminated red. Hard disk drive memory can be
55
CPU 110 or alternatively by pressing the erase-all key 48.
When the erase-all key 48 is pressed, the CPU 110 com
pletely erases the hard disk drive 74.
If the reset key 50 is pressed, the CPU 110 re-executes the
boot-up program in the EPROM 106 to re-initialiZe the
device 10.
The USB connector 58 alloWs the device 10 to be coupled
MPEG-1 format having a resolution dependent on its mode
setting and outputs the encoded image data to the FIFO 88.
Encoded image data loaded into FIFO 88 is conveyed to
the main processor 72 via the bus 90 and is cached. During
the acquisition of the image data, accompanying sound data
is also acquired via the microphone 19. Audio picked up by
the microphone 19 is converted into digital form by the
audio codec 94 before being conveyed to the CPU 110. The
CPU 10 encodes the digital audio into MPEG-1 format and
combines the digital audio With the encoded image data. The
made available by doWnloading the ?les to a host and then
conditioning the host to send an erase ?le instruction to the
directly to a personal computer or to a base station via a
65
cable. When this is done, the hard disk drive 74 can be
accessed by the personal computer or base station via the
USB transceiver 122 and the CPU 110 alloWing ?les thereon
US 6,714,724 B1
7
8
to be downloaded, erased, renamed etc. The Ethernet port 59
allows the device 10 to be connected directly to a computer
The encoded image and sound data stored on the hard disk
drive Within the base station 200 may be output to a personal
computer via USB transceiver 322 and the USB port 259 or
may be output to a playback unit. In the latter case, the CPU
310 conveys the image data to the MPEG codec 286 Which
netWork. In this manner, ?les on the hard disk drive 74 can
be accessed by a computer coupled to the computer netWork
via the Ethernet transceiver 120 and the CPU 110.
The PCMCIA slot 52 accommodates PCMCIA type II
cards including PCMCIA netWork cards, PCMCIA modem
cards etc. alloWing the device 10 to communicate directly
With third party hardWare and applications via the PCMCIA
interface 102 and the CPU 110.
10
The RS232 driver 118 acts betWeen the CPU 10 and an
internal RS232 connector, and alloWs device softWare to be
debugged.
Turning noW to FIGS. 8 to 10, a base station for coupling
to the device 10 is shoWn and is generally indicated to by
reference numeral 200. As can be seen, the base station 200
includes a housing 212. Provided on the front face of the
housing 212 are an on/off sWitch 234, a USB port 258, a
poWer LED 228, a record LED 230 and a play LED 233. An
infrared sensor 235 and a drive bay 237 accommodating a
The infrared sensor 235 and IRDA transceiver 316 alloW
a user to control operation of the base station 200 by entering
input commands using a hand-held remote control unit in a
15 Well knoWn manner.
Although a preferred embodiment of the present invention
has been described, those of skill in the art Will appreciate
that variations and modi?cations may be made Without
departing from the spirit and scope thereof as de?ned by the
appended claims.
removable hard disk drive such as the CastleWood ORB are
What is claimed is:
also provided on the front face of the housing 212.
Provided on the rear face of the housing 212 are video
input and output jacks 246, audio input and output jacks 246,
a DC poWer connector 254 and a second USB port 259.
Processing circuitry generally identi?ed by reference
decodes the image data. The decoded image data is stored in
FIFO 284. The image data stored in FIFO 284 is retrieved by
the CPU 310 and is conveyed to the video encoder 292
before being output to the playback unit via the video output
jack 244. Accompanying sound data is decoded by the CPU
310 and is conveyed to the audio codec 294 before being
output to the playback unit via the audio output jack 246.
25
1. A portable device for encoding and saving image and
sound data comprising:
a housing including operator controls;
numeral 268 is provided in the housing 212 and is similar to
a lens on said housing;
at least one microphone on said housing;
the processor circuitry Within the device 10. As can be seen,
the processing circuitry 268 includes a video board 276 and
memory Within the housing to Which encoded image and
sound data is saved;
a CPU board 278. Disposed on the video board 276 is a
an image processor mounted on a ?rst board Within said
video decoder 282 for receiving input video data via the
video input jack 244. Video decoder 282 is connected to a
housing, said image processor capturing image and
sound data; and
FIFO memory 284 and to an MPEG codec 286. MPEG
codec 286 is also connected to a second FIFO 288. The
FIFOs 284 and 288 and the MPEG codec 286 are connected 35
to a bus 290 leading to the CPU board 278. Avideo encoder
292 and an audio codec 294 are also disposed on the video
board 276.
Disposed on the CPU board 278 is a system controller and
DMA engine 300, a PCMCIA interface 302, an IDE inter
face 304, ?ash EPROM 306, SDRAM 308 and a central
a main processor mounted on a second board Within said
housing, said main processor receiving captured image
and sound data from said image processor and saving
said image and sound data to said memory, Wherein
said memory is sandWiched betWeen said ?rst board
and said second board in a compact arrangement.
2. A device as de?ned in claim 1 Wherein said image
processor includes an image sensor, a video decoder and an
MPEG codec, said video decoder digitiZing image data
processing unit (CPU) 310, each of Which is coupled to the
received from an eXternal source, said MPEG codec encod
bus 290. The CPU 310 is also coupled to an IRDA trans
ceiver 316, an RS232 driver 318, and USB transceivers 322
as Well as the video encoder 292 and the audio codec 294.
The device 10 can be connected to the base station 200 by
video decoder.
3. A device as de?ned in claim 2 Wherein said MPEG
ing image data output by said image sensor and by said
45
codec includes high and loW resolution modes, said MPEG
codec being conditioned by said main processor to one of
said high and loW resolution modes in response to user input
a cable coupled to the USB ports 58 and 258 respectively.
This alloWs ?les stored on the hard disk drive 74 to be
doWnloaded into the base station 200 via the USB trans
ceiver 322 and the CPU 310 and saved on the removable
hard disk drive. The hard disk drive can be removed from the
made via said operator-controls, said image processor cap
turing continuous image data When said MPEG codec is in
base station 200 via the bay 237 and transported to any
desired location.
Image data from an eXternal source can also be encoded
and saved on the removable hard disk drive by inputting the
video image data via the video input jack 244. The input
video image data is processed in a similar manner to that
described above With reference to device 10. Accordingly,
the input video image data is digitiZed by video decoder 282
before being encoded by MPEG codec 286. The encoded
55
one of said high and loW resolution modes.
4. A device as de?ned in claim 2 Wherein said main
processor includes a central processing unit and an audio
encoder communicating With said at least one microphone,
said audio encoder digitiZing sound data received via said at
least one microphone, said central processing unit executing
MPEG encoding softWare and encoding digitiZed sound data
received from said audio encoder.
5. A device as de?ned in claim 3 Wherein said MPEG
codec further includes a still capture mode, said MPEG
codec being conditioned by said main processor to said still
capture mode in response to user input made via said
image data is then directed to FIFO 288 before being
doWnloaded by the CPU 310 and saved on the hard disk
drive. Accompanying sound data received via the audio
operator controls, said MPEG codec capturing discrete
input jack 246 is processed by the audio codec 294 and the
image frames When said MPEG codec is in said still capture
CPU 310 in the same manner as described previously With 65 mode.
reference to device 10 and is saved on the hard disk drive
6. A device as de?ned in claim 3 Wherein said MPEG
With the image data.
codec encodes said image data into MPEG-1 format.
US 6,714,724 B1
9
10
controls include a plurality of manually actuable keys on
12. In combination, a portable device for encoding and
saving image and sound data and a base station including a
said housing, said plurality of keys including a record key
processor and a removable hard disk drive on Which data
and a mode select key, said main processor conditioning said
MPEG codec to one of said high resolution, loW resolution
and still capture modes in response to manual actuation of
saved by said device is doWnloaded and saved, said device
said mode select key and conditioning said image processor
a lens on said housing;
at least one microphone on said housing;
a hard disk drive Within the housing on Which encoded
7. A device as de?ned in claim 5 Wherein said operator
to capture and encode image data in response to manual
actuation of said record key.
8. A device as de?ned in claim 7 Wherein said plurality of
keys further includes a neW ?le key, said main processor
storing encoded image and sound data in separate ?les to
said hard disk drive in response to manual actuation of said
neW ?le key.
9. A device as de?ned in claim 3 Wherein said housing
includes at least one output port to enable encoded image
and sound data saved to said hard disk drive to be doWn
loaded to a host.
10. Adevice as de?ned in claim 9 Wherein said at least one
output port includes at least one of a universal serial bus, a
PCMCIA slot and an Ethernet port.
11. A device as de?ned in claim 10 Wherein said host is
a base station, said device and base station being connected
by a cable coupled to a universal serial bus connector on
each of said device and base station.
comprising:
a housing including operator controls;
10
motion and sound data is saved;
an image processor mounted on a ?rst board Within said
housing, said image processor capturing image and
sound data;
15
a main processor mounted on a second board Within said
housing, said main processor receiving captured image
and sound data from said image processor and saving
said image and sound data to said memory, Wherein
said memory is sandWiched betWeen said ?rst board
and said second board in a compact arrangement; and
at least one output port for coupling to said base station to
alloW encoded and sound data saved on said hard disk
drive to be doWnloaded to said base station.
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