Wireless Video

We are working on an idea that involves wireless transmission of images. We think a battery powered camera would be especially useful and so have been studying technologies and designs relating to low power image sensors and transmitters. Here are some links and comments:

Wireless Cameras

Tear down of AM tiny spy camera 1.2GHz

Tear down of FM tiny spy camera 1.2GHz

AM vs. FM

FM much better

FM much better


A CCD is more sensitive because by design there is more area of the sensor used to gather light. CMOS sensors use

CCD better


Maxim MAX2754 VCO 1.2GHz

Zarlink Semiconductor advertises a ‘pill camera‘ that is used for medical imaging. What would it take to redesign for consumer band transmission over longer distances?

ST Microelectronics

VS6735 and VS6725 are newer chips with no power specs listed. don’t appear to output JPEG.

VS6724 camera on chip: 265mW for 30fps motion JPEG

Micron Semiconductor (Aptina?) offers several camera system on chip parts. Here is an example of one that consumes 80mW (28mA). It appears that the output is raw digital video.

VistaPoint Technologies appears to be the current repository of the camera chip business that once was with Agilent (which once was Hewlett Packard). Agilent offered some very low power camera chips that produced JPEG output at a consumption rate of 100mW. VistaPoint’s website doesn’t provide much information other than a form that you can fill out and send in to request information. We’ll let you know if we find anything out that we can post here.


Camera w/ JPEG output


Digital Xtractions’ CIRC-T1 is a battery/solar powered camera that relays images over the cell phone network. Cost is $650 plus you need a subscription that runs $320 for 2 years. Seems a bit pricey for our tastes.

VUE Personal Video Network

Avaak, a startup in San Diego, is offering a personal video network that consists of individual battery powered cameras that send images to a central hub which relays the images through the home network to local or remote locations. The cameras can be turned on or off to conserve power. Battery life is up to one year if 10 minutes of video is streamed each day. If the battery capacity is 1500mA-hr that would mean a current draw of around 25mA ((365 days/year * 10min/day)/(60 min/hr) = 60hrs operation/battery, 1500mA-hr/60hrs = 25mA)

This blog article quotes 1 million pictures on a battery: if you run 10 minutes/ day, that’s 4.5fps or 220mS/frame

A 2006 press release from Avaak mentions the use of Micron and T.I. chips

Other Websites

Pimall review of tiny wireless video cameras

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