Dreameye is a web cam/digital camera that originally came bundled with the Divers 2000 Dreamcast and was intended to turn the Divers into a sort of video phone/email chat device for all the family. It must have occurred to Sega after the Divers failed to really make the intended impact, that owners of regular Dreamcasts might also be interested in utilising the online connectivity of the system and released the camera as a standalone device, complete with microphone and connection cables. Due to this there are actually a couple of different models of Dreameye available and they are differentiated by their colour schemes - the Divers 2000-bundled unit is white and translucent green, while the standalone model is white with a blue battery pack. The one recently acquired by the Junkyard is the standalone variety, and it was actually completely brand new and unopened; the cellophane was still covering the box and so it was rather nice to be the first to open this particular unit. Upon opening the box, first impressions where that it had an almost Apple-esque feel - the presentation is very slick and it really feels like you've bought something that adds tangible extra functionality to your console. What's even more interesting is that the Dreameye predates Apple's redesigned minimalist product presentation by several years...but I digress.
Also in the package, you will find a headset with adjustable microphone and the corresponding controller plug-in device into which the 3.5mm headphone jack slots. As it doesn't have a screen, I would guess that this is intended to be slotted into the second port on the controller, much like the Seaman/Planet Ring microphone unit does. In fact, I'd be surprised if this wasn't exactly the same piece of hardware internally but simply housed in a differently-coloured case. Here they are side by side, and I think you'll agree that look very similar (by which I mean identical, in all but hue):
|Enjoy the view from my kitchen window|
|Manipulating the mug tree with aplomb|
So is there any point in trying to get a Dreameye? Honestly...probably not. It's little more than a curio for hardcore collectors, and while the camera itself is a cool novelty that takes pictures of decent quality there's no doubt that your mobile phone is superior in every way. The Dreameye doesn't have a flash either, and unless you're fluent in Japanese it's actually surprisingly difficult to work out what all the little bleeps and flashing LED patterns mean...I basically just held the shutter button down and hoped for the best, and only when I plugged the camera in and messed around with the confusing software was I able to discern which clicks had resulted in a picture being taken. Furthermore, the Dreameye does fetch a fairly high price on eBay these days (although this sealed one only cost £20!) so unless you're some kind of Dreamcast obsessed nutter (like me), you'd be better off spending your cash elsewhere. That said, it's still a functional and interesting device and another little glimpse at the plans Sega had for the Dreamcast before everything went tits up. If the Dreameye had launched in the US as intended, maybe it could have added another sting to the flailing system's bow. As it is, Dreameye is a nice novelty collectable and little else.
Wikipedia entry for a full run down of tech specs. You may also find this IGN article on the proposed Western release interesting, as well as Sega Retro's wiki entry.