What was this ancient digital camera that transmitted over radio waves?

I remember watching a video, possibly on Youtube and quite possibly linked to from this very board, that was an ancient advertisement or some kind of promotional video for a very early digital camera. Basically, it took a picture or maybe a few pictures, and then transmitted them to a computer via radio waves (it beats the hell out of me how that worked; I don’t even understand how a radio works.)

This camera was supposed to be used in the field for news reporting, I think. The video showed it being used by a nature photographer to capture pictures of animals and plants, if I’m not mistaken - and then they were sent back to the HQ over the radio for broadcast on TV. I think.

Does anyone else remember this?

Any Wi-Fi connection is transmitted via radio waves (e.g. a home wireless router or internet cafe or internet ‘hot spot’. Today there are hundreds of models of digital cameras that use Wi-Fi radios to connect to an available wireless internet connection and upload photos. Back in ancient times maybe this meant something else but my guess is ‘radio waves’ probably just meant wireless networking.

I don’t think there was such thing as the internet when this camera was made and marketed. I may be misremembering things, but I feel like the promotional video I watched was from the 80s or early 90s.

Oh, you mean ancient, ancient times. In that case, never mind… (the internet definitely existed then, but I don’t think any Wi-Fi standards were in place yet.)

I’m not sure if it’s what you’re thinking of but before all the news vans had a satellite uplink to the station I very clearly remember our local Fox affiliate explaining how they could get us news, as it happened, the fastest because they could send it [holds up a car phone] over the phone, back to the studio.
I’m not sure if their van equipment directly connected via modem to the cell network or if it actually turned the video feed into an audio signal that someone held to a phone handset and that signal was decoded at the other end.

It really depends on what decade we’re talking about. Can you narrow it down a bit? Early 90s? 80s? 70s?

Wi-Fi and cell phones transmit in the microwave range. Broadcasting images and video over radio has been around since broadcast television in the late 20s.

We’ve been firing all kinds of images, video and audio over the airwaves for well over 100 years.

The devil would be in the details relative to the era: What technologies were used to capture the image? To store it? To transmit, and on the other side, to receive and decode/reconstruct it. What was the resolution? Standard NTSC video, or something higher? etc…

For information about digital photos, try Wikipedia’s History of Digital Cameras.

For information about the history of transmitting photos wirelessly, try Wikipedia’s Radiofax.

news trucks in the last decades of the last century had microwaves links (an antenna mast extended above the truck) which could send high quality video live many miles direct to a studio. those systems were analog.

still photos with a digital camera could be sent miles to a receiving station miles away with what a person could carry. this would be a slower transmission like 1200 bps to 9600 bps. this in the last decades of the last century.

Or try Wikipedia for Wirephoto

Or the website of the Associated Press.

Photographs have been transmitted electronically (or electrically) since the 19th century.

Maybe what you mean is “television”, what they used before the internet.

(Anyone remember non-digital ham radio slow-scan TV? Only 8 sec per frame IIRC)

I recall to that in the days before digital, wire photos (??) were sent by loading a copy into a spinning drum; a photo head ran along the drum slowly as the drum spins, and the light intensity reading is sent along the wire to be “written” onto a drum at the other end. Thus, a moderate quality phot could be transmitted anywhere at the bandwidth of a normal phone/fax conversation.

Perhaps the “radio camera” in the earliest days of digital simply bypassed the stage where you print a photo and put it into the drum, and sent the basic info directly; but that would imply either a phone connection, or radio connection to a base that plugged into the phone line?

back then large amounts of digital memory was too expensive for mere mortals. it was done by having a CRT that had phosphor that glowed for 8 seconds after it was excited, the first part of the images was starting to fade away as the last part was being drawn. it looked strange.

Wirephoto! Yes, thank you! I knew that this had been around since long before the 1960’s, but my brain blanked out on that word. Thanks!