The Dream Eye! Oooh.

Well lookie what showed up toady: The DreamEye, a digital camera for the DC which I got rather cheap in an auction (about £20). Is that not the happiest box art you have ever seen? It's right up there with Samba De Amigo's box, at least.

Here's all the hardware of the box. The camera itself almost feels like a toy one, it's very light, has barely any buttons, a tiny light and weighs almost nothing. The blue part attached to it is a battery pack (takes two AAA's) so you can use it as a portable digital camera (albeit an extremely out of date one now, as most mobile phones can take better photos than this, let alone anything else).

You get a blue microphone adapter for the controller (just like the one you get with Seaman, Planet Ring etc) and a microphone head set, so you don't have to talk at the controller, which is nice. There's also a stand you can screw the camera into, which is quite heavy and sturdy.


Finally this is the software you get with it: Visual Park. The disc is in a CD case like any other Japanese Dreamcast game, only with no manual inside it as the manual is rather big, the same size as the box. Using the software is pretty easy even without being able to read the Japanese as there are plenty of visual clues to what is what.

The disc has an excellent photo editor that lets you do all sorts of daft things, and a video creator where you can record a (terribly compressed) 25 second clip and save it to your VMU or e-mail it to someone. You could also chat online with this thing, which is pretty amazing on a console considering it's age. Once again Sega was far too ahead of its time for its own good, and sadly this wasn't used for any other games like the Eye Toy was when that came out years later.

I'm working on videos of both the DreamEye and Visual park at the moment, but for now here'sa video I uploaded a little while ago in case you missed it.


7 comments:

Barry said...

I always consider getting this on ebay, and then chicken out as my Dreamcast's internet days are done for (no phone line in the apartment).

Awesome to see the photos! And I might just reconsidering buying the Eye for that cool headset.

christopher (fka insidious_plots) said...

http://christophercornelius.com/stuff/-visualpark.html

i wrote that guide for DreamEye quite some years ago when i ran the Dreamcast Browsers Group sites and the DreamEye Users Group community (i was also the photographer behind the "DreamEye Girl" project that got a lot of attention at the time) and it still gets a lot of hits and, so far as i know, a guy on ebay who sells DreamEyes still ships this guide with every one he sells... so, i guess it's safe to say it ended up being the definitive english manual for it :P

anyway, it may save you some trial and error...

btw, frustratingly, an entire community (with ties to pretty much all the dc dev groups) never could figure out a way to convert the videos to anything viewable on anything but the dreamcast... erm, at least, not back when i was still on the scene - i have no idea if there have been recent developments...

Wrath Oskvro said...

Things like this make me wish I lived in Japan

leon phoenix said...

i bought it in great condition from ebay a few months ago,but i haven't tried using it yet...

The GagaMan(n) said...

Chris: I was reading that guide of yours just before it arrived in the post, didn't come printed with mine though so I guess I'll print it myself. :)

Panta said...

I really enjoyed watching your unboxing video. It was very fun!

It made me want to make a few videos for my dreamcast site. Maybe once the album stuff dies down I'll get around to doing it.. along with playing some more Shenmue!

^_^

Jack Clarke said...

I purchased a DreamEye camera years ago. If I remember correctly it has one fixed f-stop. For the best pics you need daylight (outside, sunshine). And a very steady hand, the slightest movement will result in a blurred result.

Overall it was cool for it's time. Never messed with the video part of it however.

- Jack