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Pocket Phojo enables wireless photo transmitting from Pocket PC  
Wednesday, January 30, 2002 | by
Idruna Software today has announced Pocket Phojo 1.0, a US$499 image browsing, captioning, toning and wired/wireless transmitting application for the Compaq iPaq H3800 series Pocket PC handhelds. As the name suggests, Pocket Phojo is aimed squarely at the photojournalist, with a workflow designed to mimic that of a typical digital newspaper or wire service photographer.


Pocket Phojo 1.0 running on a
Compaq iPaq H3800 series Pocket PC
(All screenshots courtesy of Idruna Software)

The software's feature set includes:

JPEG image browsing. Pocket Phojo can browse the contents of camera storage media, displaying two sizes of thumbnails of any JPEGs on the card (only the JPEG format is supported in this release). The software can be configured to show all the photos on the card, or just those that have been protected/tagged in the camera. A near-term, no-charge update will enable the protect/tag status to be toggled on and off from within Pocket Phojo as well. The protect/tag function of many digital SLR cameras should be compatible, including the Nikon D1-series, Canon EOS D30 and EOS-1D. Kodak DCS cameras use a proprietary tagging format that Phojo likely does not interpret in v1.0. Standard TIFF files, as well as proprietary raw files such as Nikon's NEF format, are ignored by Pocket Phojo.


Pocket Phojo offers thumbnail browsing at two sizes

On-screen zooming up to 800% magnification. Pocket Phojo running on a Compaq iPaq 3835/3850, for example, can open full screen a Canon EOS D30 Large Fine JPEG in about 15 seconds. Once open, zooming to and from any magnification happens in real time, says the program's developer Paul Nolan. JPEG files from cameras up to 8.5 megapixels are supported.

Support for all major forms of camera storage media, including CompactFlash and PC Cards. This is less a function of Pocket Phojo and more a function of the iPaq 3800 series' extensive array of optional accessories, including Expansion Packs for CompactFlash, PC Cards and more.

Key image preparation and analysis tools, including image cropping, rotation, scaling (using bilinear interpolation), levels, colour correction, unsharp mask and a blended or individual channel histogram. Most functions appear to roughly mimic those of Photoshop, though they're squashed to fit the iPaq's 3.8 inch (diagonal) screen area.


Crop (left); Levels (right)

Full support for IPTC text data. Pocket Phojo can store multiple IPTC templates, and appears to make relatively light work of applying a template and adjusting the contents of captions of individual photos. In the v1.0 release, the JPEG is always recompressed when adding or editing IPTC text information. Being considered for a future release is the ability to add IPTC text data to the photo without recompressing it, in the event that no other editing steps (i.e. colour correction, sharpening) occur.


Caption screen in Image Information section

Saving of photos as either standard or progressive JPEGs. Compression/quality is settable from 1 to 100.

Built-in FTP uploading of photos, one at a time or in batches. Currently, Pocket Phojo isn't designed to permit editing and transmitting simultaneously, though that capability is being evaluated for a future release. Use of a separate FTP program, such as vxFtp, may permit editing and transmission to happen at the same time, though this has not been tested, says Nolan.

A broad range of wired and wireless transmitting options, including CDMA and GSM mobile phones, wired and wireless Ethernet (including 802.11b, aka Apple Airport), dial-up modem, Bluetooth, infrared and more. Basically, if the iPaq and its Pocket PC 2002 operating system can see the transmission device and establish a TCP/IP connection of some sort through it, then Pocket Phojo should be able to move photos to an FTP server via that device. Also supported is the sending of photos as email attachments through Pocket Outlook, a standard application on the iPaq.

Note: while Pocket Phojo may run on other Pocket PC devices, for various technical reasons Idruna Software has settled on the Compaq iPaq H3800 series as the exclusive recommended line of handhelds for use with the software. As such, the company only supports the use of Phojo on the iPaq H3835/3850 and H3870/3875. Mac users feeling left out in the cold by this Windows-centric solution might want to check out PocketMac. This Mac OS 9/OS X software enables file transfer and limited synching with certain Pocket PC handhelds, including the Compaq iPaq H3800 series.

Pocket Phojo 1.0, which was developed with the assistance of New York-area news photographers John Cornell and Ed Betz, is available direct from Idruna software for US$499. The company is also selling for US$1299 a bundle that includes the software, installed onto a Compaq iPaq 3850, plus a Compactflash Expansion Pack, 32MB SD card and an RS-232 adapter cable that converts the proprietary connector on the iPaq to a standard 9-pin serial port. The SD card slides into the iPaq's dedicated SD slot, and serves as the recommended location to save photos to after editing in Phojo. The adapter cable enables the connection of a standard digital mobile phone serial port cable to the iPaq; it can be swapped for a single cable that runs from a mobile phone directly to the iPaq, though at an extra cost. Idruna is currently stocking only direct-to-iPaq cables for certain Motorola phones.

Note: Peggy Bair notes that iPaq-to-phone cables (ones that don't require the adapter cable mentioned in the preceding paragraph) for mobile phone brands other than Motorola are also available. Bair sourced just such a cable for her Kyocera 2255 from SupplyNet.

The full price list is here; the order form is here. For information on ordering with a purchase order, and/or purchasing a significant quantity of units, contact Paul Nolan at info@idruna.com.

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