Technology milestone: The disposable video camera

The disposable camera designed by Pure Digital Technologies captures up to 20 minutes of video and sound.

The first color video cameras, introduced in the 1950s and bought only by well-heeled broadcasters, were the size of refrigerators. Now, half a century later, comes word of the world’s first disposable video camera.

CVS stores has acquired the exclusive rights to sell pocket-sized digital video cameras that are able to capture up to 20 minutes of video and sound, the Associated Press reported. The price: $29.95.

Just as with disposable film cameras, the customer returns the video camera to the store after use for processing at a cost of $12.99. The store returns a DVD, which includes options for email and video greeting cards.

Pure Digital Technologies developed and designed the camera with just three buttons. One starts and stops recording, another is used to playback video, and the third deletes recorded segments.

Grant Pill, director of photography and imaging at CVS, told the AP that the camera is ideal for people who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars or fuss with too many controls.

Available now in the northeast and elsewhere by the end of the month, the video camera, weighing 5.5oz and about the size of an MP3 player, looks similar to a point-and-shoot disposable camera, except it’s held vertically for recording.

Users watch recorded video through a rectangular, 1.4in wide color display. There are no zoom features. After shooting a segment, the operator can review what’s been recorded and choose to delete the segment at any time during playback.

Pill called the recordings “good VHS quality,” but acknowledged it isn’t on par with that produced by some high-quality personal camcorders.

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