Lots of interesting things came out of this year's recently concluded C-4 developers conference in Chicago. The winning project in C-4's "Iron Coder Live" contest was a video conferencing hack for the Apple iPhone which did something we all knew deep down could be done - brought video capture to the iPhone.
The winning contestants, Glen and Ken Aspeslagh, combined a third party application they
created with a homemade accessory in order to create a fully functional video conferencing system for the iPhone. The creation was impressive and to no surprise impressed the judges enough to win the competition.
The most noteable achievement of their entry, in our opinion, is the work done to capture video using the iPhone's camera which normally captures only single frame still images. The program designed by Glen and Ken not only captures video using the iPhone camera, it compresses it well enough to transmit over an EDGE connection, and sends it to a webserver where it is relayed to another iPhone.Due to the fact that the their video conferencing solution is a combination of a third party software hack, an iPhone speakerphone call, and a hand made mirrored accessory - don't expect to see this solution go into practical use (not that it was intended to, in the first place).
It does, however, highlight the reality that the iPhone's camera is well suited to video capture. It reinforces those who have failed to find a reason for Apple to omit a video capture from the iPhone's release, and it might increase the likelihood that video capture will be coming soon in an iPhone update from Apple.
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In the meantime, maybe we can convince the Aspeslagh boys to slice up their video conferencing solution and release a video capture utility.