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Camera added to USB Flash drive

A spy cam for your key ring

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We've seen MP3 players and Wi-Fi adaptors integrated into USB Flash drives, but now Taiwanese manufacturer Transcend has extended the format with a digicam/storage combo.

Transcend JetFlash DSCThe JetFlash DSC is a typical 8 x 2.9 x 1.6cm, 26g Flash drive, but there's a 640 x 480 digicam built in there too, along with a tiny rechargeable battery to keep it operational.

The lens is a fixed-focus, 45cm to infinity, F2.8 job, and with such a low resolution you can't expect to take great pictures, but it can't be beaten for portability. Or for the ease with which you can copy photos to a host computer. Transcend bundles Photo Explorer 8.0 as an image editor and manager.

Transcend isn't overly generous with the storage side of the device. The JetFlash DSC is available with either 128MB or 256MB of memory. And the connector is a slow USB 1.1 affair.

It's not the first of its kind: Philips' $99 Camera Key Ring probably has that honour. But the Philips gagdet is less capacious (64MB) and heavier (36g).

Both versions of the JetFlash DSC will ship this month. Transcend did not provide pricing or international availability information. ®

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