By Andrew Liszewski
NEC will be showing off a new wireless camera at iExpo2007 in Tokyo this week that actually draws its power from a fluorescent bulb. A special ring-shaped component that relies on electromagnetic induction is slid onto the bulb and power is obtained from the magnetic field generated by the light’s AC source.
Now I’m not sure if this technique ends up causing the bulb to draw more power, but the real advantage is being able to install a camera where it would otherwise be difficult to run power cables to. NEC expects the cameras to be used in office settings for checking up on employees (I’m sure that will go over well) but when you consider that almost every store in the country uses fluorescent bulbs, it also becomes a cheaper way to setup a security system.
At the moment the camera only supports VGA resolutions (640×480) but I assume that’s not a limitation imposed by the way it’s powered. What’s not clear though is whether or not a security system based on this technology can be defeated by simply turning off the lights.