CVS have launched a new disposable digital camera with a 1.4” TFT preview screen. Customers can new take up to 25 pictures, preview them, delete the ones they don’t like and take it back to a CVS store for printing.
The camera is fully functional and features an automatic flash, self timer and automatic exposure all for US$19.99 (€16.27). Digital cameras have come from being expensive high technology items to throw away entertainment items very quickly indeed.
Now, I know these things aren’t really disposable – they get recycled and sold onto the next person, and the advantage is that they’re cheap and you don’t worry about losing them. The key difference between this camera and a non-disposable camera is that there’s no way for the end-user to get their pictures off – they have do trot down to CVS and hand the camera back. That US$20 you’re paying isn’t really for the camera – it’s essentially a deposit. I give it a week before someone reverse engineers the electronics in the CVS camera and works out a way for consumers to get the data off.