With Projection Summit in full swing and Infocomm poised to start, most of the AV industry has eyes on Las Vegas this week… But in the Apple universe, it’s the WWDC (short for World Wide Developers Conference) that is getting all the attention, including the newly announced (and formerly leaked) iPhone 4.0 unveiled at the Jobs’ keynote address yesterday.
Senior Analyst and Editor
The confluence of these two events, AV and Apple’s WWDC is obvious as Jobs and company chose to upgrade the next generation smart phone into a dazzling "…handheld computer" as stated by Lance Ulanoff’s in his recent PC Week article. Along with a new OS that allows multiple tasks to run simultaneously, the i4.0 includes two cameras (one front facing to support video conferencing-that gives the users head shot) and a new HD (720p, 5 megapixel) camera for main video and still image capture.
Here’s how Ulanoff describes the new AV features:
"Nothing, though, was quite as intriguing or, in my opinion, as exciting as the new HD video capabilities. Lots of handheld devices can capture video. Many can share it with relative ease, but virtually none-certainly no smartphone I’m aware of-can also edit video. Apple’s decision to port iMovie to the iPhone is a ground-shaking decision. One, it’s an indication of the raw power users will find in this thin, handheld device. Two, the mixture of 720p, 30-fps video, iMovie, and the iPhone 4 instantly raises the bar for all smartphones and, especially, Cisco Flip-like video capture devices. No other thing Apple did offers a clearer indication that the iPhone 4 is really a handheld computer-and a pretty powerful one at that."
The iMovie app running on the iPhone 4.0 allows the capture of high quality video and mobile editing on the fly with support for 360p, 540p or 720p HD resolution. It sells on the Apple iTunes App store for $4.99 and supports not just HD capture but on the fly mobile video editing, including "chop, transition and title" functions.
On the display side, Apple hopes to differentiate its iPhone 4.0 with a new (not larger-just better) IPS LCD with "Retina display," that’s apple speak for a plus-300 ppi display that exceeds human visual acuity-or our ability to see pixels that small (see image.)
If anything, Apple is focused on its core market, and that market has always been interested in right-brain activities (creativity.) Remember the early GUI (graphics user interface), postscript and WYSIWYG printing, and the desktop printing revolution, with early applications like Photoshop and the whole chain of products leading up to our post Internet, HD resolution world of today. HD image capture and editing on your cell phone is another step in this direction (and by the way, not the first time a mobile device has done at least the capture part.)
But the product expands the concept of "citizen journalism" into the realm of "citizen filmmaker" bringing the entire technology package (HD cam and edit suite) into the pockets of a new generation of producers. Again to Apple, it’s not about the spec sheet, (left brain stuff) it’s delivering on the next generation tools that make a difference, spawning whole new industries by making them compellingly sexy, easy to access, simple to use, and just plain fun. That’s innovation and product leadership at its finest. So hats off to Apple, for delivering the goods once again-cool, fun, sexy (and affordable) tools for the right brain world. - Steve Sechrist