UK firm's videophone to use enhanced GSM

UK firm’s videophone to use enhanced GSM
Videophone designed for disaster situations works on general packet radio services. Steve Bush. Design consultancy Smallfry has produced a videophone design for disaster situations which uses GPRS, the proposed data protocol enhancement to GSM. The phone, referred to by the Coventry-based company as a drone, has a CCD camera and a colour display. Video compression technology from the University of Bath squeezes data into the available communication bandwidth. In the system, multiple drones are deployed in the disaster area and communicate with each other and a central basestation. The basestation has a flexible colour polymer display based on ideas from Cambridge Display Technology. While the disaster communicator has not been assembled by Smallfry, the company does not see this as a problem. “We invented it then set about finding real technology that would be able to implement each part of the design,” said managing director, Steve May-Russell. “It all exists, although sometimes in experimental form. If it had to be made, we could redesign around any parts that failed to get out of the laboratory.” For May-Russell what is likely to prove a greater challenge is assembling the right group of companies to get the product to market.

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