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REVIEW: Microsoft Portrait 2.0
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 20.11.02 - 12:50:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 11787x
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Microsoft Portrait 2.0, a research prototype for mobile video communication was released today. More Pocket PC cameras are supported now, including HP Jornada pocket camera, Lifeview FlyCAM-CF camera, FlyJacket iCAM, Pretec CompactCamera, and Intermec 6651 built-in camera.

Now you can also take a picture and send it from your Pocket PC. The support to public SIP servers enables business applications. The PC version is compatible with MSN Messenger 5.0.

New Features

  • Lifeview FlyCAM-CF camera, FlyJacket iCAM, Pretec CompactCamera and Intermec 6651 built-in camera are supported in addition to HP Jornada pocket camera
  • Take a Picture function is added. If you take the picture during a connection to your partner, you will be asked whether to send the picture
  • Connecting to public SIP servers such as iptel is supported. This enables business applications of the program
  • Larger image sizes such as 320x240 and 352x288 are supported in PC version. This not only improves visual experience, but also let the program support Firewire cameras and Camcorders that only output video in large image sizes
  • Now the PC version is compatible with Windows Messenger 4.7 and MSN Messenger 5.0 (but not MSN Messenger on Windows XP)
  • Send a File function is added.
  • A new skin is applied. Now the PC version is compatible with the latest ActiveSkin version 4.25.
  • If a Pocket PC logs on to an ILS server, the video capacity of the Pocket PC can also be shown in the directory
  • Windows CE 4.0 (or Windows CE.NET) platform is supported
Video and Picture Snapshots
Portrait 2.0 supports video streaming as well as picture snapshots on both - Desktop PCs and Pocket PCs. If you are in a conference and snap a picture, Portrait just asks you if the picture should be transferred to your conference partner.

Sending and Receiving Files
While MSN Messenger for Pocket PC don't support file sending and receiving so far (something I really miss) Portrait supports this feature with version 2.0. A great enhancement which makes Portrait even more attractive, even if you don't want to do video conferencing!

Final Conclusion

Jiang, the brain behind Microsoft Portrait, really improved Portrait with the version 2 release. Not only that Portrait support more Camera modules now, also the feature enhancement of sending and receiving files makes a great application even greater!

Microsoft Portrait is available free of charge from it's project homepage. Now I want to really get a camera for my xda and lower GPRS tariffs. With Portrait you are so close to video conferencing through cellular networks and this with 2.5G not 3G! The future is bright, the future is wireless! ;-)

Cheers ~ Arne

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