Wednesday, August 07, 2013

“The world’s first hand held visual communicator”

I’m having a bit of a clear-out at home and whilst going through some old magazines, I found that I’d kept a very old issue of Hello Magazine – Issue 638 from November 21, 2000 to be precise. Now Hello is not a magazine I have ever bought or kept habitually so I had a flick through to see why I still had it. Inside was this advertisement feature from Vodafone for the ‘Vodafone Message-Cam’. It’s not a device I remember at all. I was more than a bit sceptical about camera-phones at the time as my focus was on SMS marketing back then.

Bearing in mind this was from November 2000, before we had camera-phones, it was very much ahead of its time. You can see from the advertorial that the girls are having fun taking selfies and sharing them via email (we didn’t have WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter back then). Anyway, I’ve scanned the whole thing in for you to have a look at as I think it’s interesting.

Worthy of note…

Colour touchscreen; selfies, sharing shopping photos, internet browsing (does this make the device the world’s first mobile tablet?), treating a mobile device as fashion, email on mobile – and all this *thirteen* years ago. This device was ahead of its time but clearly they were spot on with many things we just take for granted today with our mobile devices.

I wonder how many they sold….?

Hello 21/11/2000 Hello 21/11/2000


In case you can’t read the copy very well, here’s a transcript of it for you:

Advertisement Promotion.

Girls Night Out

The Vodafone Message-Cam is set to be the ‘must have’ gift on every Christmas wish list

Every season one fashion item always becomes the essential accessory for serious fashionistas. This Christmas, it has to be the Vodafone Message-Cam. Designed by Casio exclusively for Vodafone, this ingenious little device is the world’s first hand held visual communicator with in-built digital camera, which attached to your mobile phone, allows you to send pictures, emails and surf the web. So when Vodafone asked us to test out the Message-Cam, we decided to give it the full paparazzi treatment.

Models are constantly travelling, so keeping in touch with their friends while on jobs around the world can be tough. We asked models Marie and Marit to take the Message-Cam with them on a girls night out in London and give us their verdict.

The girls headed for Zilli Bar, a favourite Soho hot spot, and invited a few girlfriends to join them. They took shots all evening, emailing the pictures immediately to friends around the world and around the corner! It was incredibly easy and a lot of fun. Everyone wanted to get in on the shots, even the waiters.

The Message-Cam’s digital camera has a fully rotating lens so that you can take pictures of yourself or the friends you’re with. You can freeze and edit the pictures on screen,, select the one you want to send, add voice or text message and then email anywhere you want. The screen is full colour and touch-sensitive which makes it ideal for surfing the web. It includes a sound and photo album, voice recorder, clock, SMS editor, calendar and calculator. All this, plus full Internet access and WAP browsing capabilities.

The girls though the Vodafone Message-Cam would make postcards obsolete and would be great for all sorts of occasions, from weddings to parties, or even shopping. Imagine photographing yourself in different outfit and then emailing the pictures to a friend for advice. The over-whelming verdict was that this was an accessory no girl should be without!

The Vodafone Messaged-Cam comes complete with a Siemens C35i WAP phone and data cable. It’s a limited edition and available through Vodafone Stores nationally, priced £349.99. For your local Vodafone Store call 0800 – 10 11 12.

+++++++++ Here's what the device looks like in the flesh Vodafone Message-Cam MC-20-B manufactured by Casio

Want to know a bit more about it? The AnswerBank can fill you in here. And as recently as 2007, geeks have been hacking the device.

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