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Connectix Announces Connectix Color QuickCam for Windows and Marketing and Technology Agreement with America Online; -- Color digital video camera provides easy-to-use video solution for under $200.

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 16, 1996--Connectix Corporation today announced the Color QuickCam for Windows with shipments planned for May 22. The Color QuickCam (TM) for Windows is a 24-bit color digital video camera that plugs right into a parallel port of a personal computer, requiring no additional hardware. With an expected retail price of US$199 (after a $30 manufacturer's rebate, offer expires July 31, 1996), Color QuickCam is the most affordable color digital video camera available.

Also today, Connectix announced a marketing and technology agreement with America Online (TM) (AOL) to enable AOL users to communicate with still and video images using QuickCam. America Online will make Connectix Color QuickCams available for sale online in the AOL Store (Keyword: AOL Store), and Connectix will integrate AOL email and other capabilities into Color QuickCam software.

Color QuickCam retains the award winning design of the original grayscale QuickCam and is just as easy to use. In less than five minutes, users can install Color QuickCam and start taking brilliant color images in up to 640 x 480 pixels, with up to 24-bit color (millions of colors). Color QuickCam incorporates several new features including a manually adjustable focus lens, Auto Capture for live Web images, a self-timer mode and proprietary compression technology that expand its usefulness on the Internet, at work and at home. QuickCam also uses a pass-through keyboard power adapter for power, providing portability and international compatibility.

"Over a quarter million personal computer users are using Connectix QuickCam today, making it the most popular computer camera by far," said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies of San Jose, CA. "Connectix has used its leadership position to respond to users' needs and enable the use of still and video images for any computer user at a low cost for the first time. Opening that capability up to AOL users is a big step in making QuickCam a standard for communicating with images."

VIDEC Means Faster Frame Rates

Using Connectix Corp's proprietary VIDEC (Video Digitally Enhanced Compression -- patent pending) compression technology, Color QuickCam compresses the video data at a 4:1 ratio with virtually no loss of picture quality. VIDEC compression allows for even faster frame rates for Color QuickCam than for the original grayscale QuickCam. As a result, users get faster frame rates, larger frame sizes and significantly smaller files to store on their hard drives. Typical Color QuickCam frame rates with 16-bit color on a Pentium-class computer are:

-- 160 x 120 pixels: over 24 fps

-- 320 x 240 pixels: over 10 fps

Sharp Images From Under One Inch To Infinity

Color QuickCam uses a fast, f/1.6, 5.7mm manually focused lens that records close-ups of objects as small as the serial numbers on a dollar bill or as large as a conference room full of people. Color QuickCam's 48 degree angle of view is especially well-suited for videoconferencing.

Optimized for Indoor Lighting Conditions

Combining its fast lens with sophisticated software, Color QuickCam adapts to virtually any indoor lighting conditions at home or at work. The new Auto Hue feature automatically adjusts Color QuickCam to get the most natural colors possible in incandescent, fluorescent or natural lighting. Auto Brightness adjusts for different amounts of light, but all camera controls remain accessible to the user.

One Step Image Communication Using AOL

Connectix is a partner in the AOL Developers Studio, America Online's third-party program enabling software and hardware companies to integrate AOL and the Internet into their applications. Connectix engineers, working closely with America Online, have developed one-click access for mailing still QuickCam images to friends and family members using AOL. This add-on module for QuickCam for Macintosh or Windows software will be made available in the Connectix forum on AOL (Keyword: Connectix) for downloading at no charge. Additional enhancements for image-enabling of other AOL services are under development.

Thousands of Uses On the Net, At Home and At Work

A complete digital video solution, Color QuickCam includes all of the software users need to get started using images. Included in every Color QuickCam package are: QuickPICT(TM), an application for capturing color still images; QuickMovie(TM), an application for recording color digital video movies, and Microsoft Video for Windows(TM) runtime version.

Connectix QuickCam is already the most popular camera on the Web, and now includes a new Auto-Capture feature to enable automatic updating of live images to Web pages. Auto Capture can even be set to take pictures only at certain times of day and days of the week. Home users will appreciate the new Self Timer feature, which counts down a few extra seconds to allow time to pose for the picture. Home computer users can also create multimedia greeting cards to send to friends and relatives on disk or via email using the free version of Connectix QuickCards Limited included with Color QuickCam.

"I had Color Quickcam installed in seconds and up and running in a few minutes," said Brian Chiko, Color QuickCam beta tester from Sacramento, CA. "It's intuitive, supports all the key video and image standards, and integrates without a hitch with applications like Adobe Photoshop."

Additional Software Applications for QuickCam Available Separately

Businesses and home office users alike can use Color QuickCam to video conference using Connectix VideoPhone (ESP US$59-software only). "We built VIDEC compression into QuickCam so videoconferencing software wouldn't have to impose further demands on the computer to compress data, making it easier to run Connectix Videophone on more computers," said Roy McDonald, CEO of Connectix.

Since its introduction in 1994, Connectix QuickCam has become the most popular digital video camera. The QuickCam has already:

-- Sold over 250,000 units

-- Attracted over 1,000 developers who are building QuickCam-based solutions

Since introducing Color QuickCam for Macintosh last month, Connectix has already booked more revenue than the entire first year's sales of the grayscale QuickCam for Macintosh. "At this rate, we expect to double QuickCam's installed base to over a half million customers by this summer," said Don Pickens, Group Product Manager for Hardware at Connectix.

US Pricing and Availability

Connectix Color QuickCam for Windows will become widely available over the next several weeks at many popular retail and mail order outlets throughout North America. Color QuickCam carries a suggested retail price of $299 (US). Connectix estimates a US street price of $229 and offers a $30 direct rebate to all purchasers through July 31, 1996. QuickCam comes with a one year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Founded in 1988 and based in San Mateo, CA, Connectix Corporation designs, manufactures, distributes and publishes award-winning personal computer enhancement products. The company's flagship products include QuickCam, RAM Doubler, Speed Doubler, and Connectix VideoPhone. For more information, contact Connectix at 800.950.5880, 415.571.5100 or fax 415.571.5195. The company can be contacted at http://www.connectix.com

-0-

Note to Editors: QuickCam, VIDEC, QuickMovie, QuickPICT and Connectix VideoPhone are trademarks of Connectix Corporation. America Online, AOL and Developers Studio are trademarks of America Online Inc. Video for Windows and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

CONTACT: Connectix Corporation

Don Pickens, 415/571-5100

quickcam@connectix.com

or

Wilson McHenry Company

Wendy Barbour, 415/638-3400

wbarbour@wmc.com
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Date:May 16, 1996
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