|Title of Invention
CAMERA WITH SWIPE PRINTER
|A digital camera has a built-in printer to enable the printing of a stored image upon a page external to the camera as the camera traverses the page. The camera can be maintained compact and lightweight as no paper storage or paper feed mechanism need be provided. A replaceable ink cartridge that detachable connects to the printhead reduces the costs of ongoing consumables.
|CAMERA WITH SWIPE PRINTER
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The following invention relates to digital camera technology. More particularly, though not exclusively, the invention relates to a digital camera having a built-in printer. Such a printer might be a drop-on-demand printer utilizing a fixed printhead system.
Known digital cameras have some form of removable memory storage device such as a floppy disk
or memory card. In order to print an image from the camera, the data in such storage devices must be uploaded to a computer to which there might be attached a peripheral printer.
Known digital cameras have no means of providing an "instant" print-out of an image photographed thereby.
The mere incorporation into a camera body of a known printer device would not result in a compact, easily portable camera. This is because prior art printers incorporate a supply of print media and employ a print media feed mechanism to transport the print media past the printheads to effect printing onto the print media. As such, known printers, having a supply of print media, are larger and heavier than would be desirable in a portable camera.
Various methods, systems and apparatus relating to the present invention are disclosed in the
following co-pending applications filed by the applicant or assignee of the present invention on 12 February 200V
An exploded perspective view of the camera assembly is shown in Figure 4. The assembly incorporates a front plastics molding 17 and a rear plastics molding 18 between which the internal components of the camera and print engine are housed. As can be seen, the flash unit 12 is positioned adjacent a view finder molding 31 associated with view finder 11 (see Figure 6). A digital zoom unit 32 is associated with the lens 13 and receives signals and power from the main printed circuit board 40 upon which it is mounted. Behind the lense 13 and attached to the printed circuit board 40 is an image sensor 55 such as a charge coupled device (CCD) adapted to digitally capture an image, as is known in the art. Once captured, the digital information corresponding to the captured image is stored in the memory card 38.
The zoom activation buttons 15 are connected electrically to the main printed circuit board 40 as is a capacitor 41 which serves to energize the flash unit 12 when a picture is taken upon depression of the take button 24. The print button 14 is connected with the main printed circuit board. Data from the main printed circuit board is relayed to the printhead 30 via flexible printed circuit board 33.
Ink is delivered to the chip 34 of the printhead 30 via an ink connector 52 which receives ink from the ink cartridge 27.
A memory card chassis 39 serves to house the memory card 38. This card can be ejected from the chassis 39 by depression of an eject button 23. Molded integrally with the memory card chassis is a battery housing 53 which receives battery 37. The battery is covered by battery cover 19. The rear molding 18 has a receptacle 54 within which the ink cartridge 27 is received and retained. The ink cartridge 27 includes ink outlets 35 via which ink therefrom is communicated with the ink connector 52. Ink cartridge 27 also includes a quality assurance (QA) chip 36 communicating with the camera. In one form, the QA chip serves the dual purposes of authenticating the ink cartridge as being suitable for use with the camera as well as indicating the type or quantity of ink remaining in the cartridge.
Figure 11 shows a typical internal arrangement of components within the camera body. As can be seen, data and power to the printhead unit 30 are conveyed by the flexible printed circuit board 33 from the main printed circuit board 40.
The ink cartridge 27 incorporates four internal longitudinal channels within which separate inks are stored. In this embodiment, there is black ink 45, yellow ink 46, cyan ink 43 and magenta ink 44. These are conveyed to the printhead unit 30 via the ink connector 52 (see Figure 4).
As can be seen in Figure 12, the ink cartridge 27 has a spring catch 50 formed at one of its ends. This spring catch biases the cartridge 27 within the receptacle 54 so as to present the ink outlets 35 in sealing engagement with the resilient collars 47 located at the other end of the receptacle. These collars 47 surround individual perforated metal pins 49 which communicate with the ink outlets 35. A chip contact block 48 communicates with the QA chip 36 located at the end of the ink cartridge 27.
Figure 13 depicts the camera 10 with the memory card door 16 open and the memory card 38 removed from the memory card chassis 39.
In use, the digital camera 10 is used in a conventional manner to take photographs. These photographs can be stored on the memory card for use later or may be printed instantly using the built-in printing device. When printing of a particular image stored in the memory card is desired, the programming buttons 25 can be manipulated to make a selection prior to printing. A print enable button 14 can then be
1. A digital camera comprising: a housing; a lens; an image sensor for capturing an image through the lens; a digital storage device for digitally storing the image captured by the image sensor; a printer located within the housing, the printer having a printhead receiving digital information corresponding to the captured image from the digital storage device; a replaceable ink cartridge for location in the housing and detachable connection to the printer; wherein, the printer printing the captured image on media external to the camera as the camera traverses the media.
2. The camera as claimed in claim 1 wherein the printer comprises a drop-on-demand color inkjet printhead.
3. The printer as claimed in claim 1 wherein the housing has a receptacle having resilient collars and into which the ink cartridge is received, the cartridge having ink outlets engaging with the collars.
4. The camera as claimed in claim 1 wherein the digital storage device comprises a removable memory card.
5. The camera as claimed in claim 4 wherein the memory card is stored within a chassis having an integrally formed battery housing, the housing receiving and retaining a battery for powering the camera.
6. The camera as claimed in claim 1 comprising a speed sensor for sensing the speed at which the camera traverses the media.
7. The camera as claimed in claim 6 wherein the printer is synchronised with the
speed sensor such that the printer ejects ink onto the media at rate which is
proportional to the speed at which the camera traverses the media in order to produce
a faithful reproduction of the captured image.
8. The camera as claimed in claim 6 wherein the speed sensor comprises: an
optical encoder wheel having a plurality of markings disposed circumferentially
thereon; and an optical sensor for sensing the markings as the optical encoder wheel is
rotated in contact with the media.
|Indian Patent Application Number
|PG Journal Number
|Date of Filing
|Name of Patentee
|M/S. SILVERBROOK RESEARCH PTY LTD
|393 Darling Street, Balmain, New South Wales 2041
|PCT International Classification Number
|PCT International Application Number
|PCT International Filing date