Samsung launches new Internet-connected camera

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SEOUL – Samsung Electronics Thursday launched a new Internet-connected camera in South Korea, as the electronics giant intensifies efforts to expand its dominance in the mobile phone market to other sectors.

The “Galaxy” camera, named after the Korean firm’s signature smartphone and tablet PC series, enables users to upload photos and videos directly to the Internet without having to hook it up to a computer.

The camera, launched earlier this year in countries in Europe, North America and elsewhere in Asia, is not Samsung’s first Internet-connected camera.

But the latest device – powered by Google’s Android software like many key Samsung gadgets including Galaxy S smartphones or Galaxy Tab tablets – operates more like a smartphone, the company said.

It allows users to download apps aimed at polishing photos or videos, automatically share images stored in the camera with certain mobile devices located nearby, or to have the images automatically stored in a cloud-computing server.

Users have to subscribe to wireless plans to use the gadget, featuring a 4.8-inch LCD touchscreen, a 21x optical lens and priced at about 750,000 won ($691) on the domestic market.

“The Galaxy Camera will open a new chapter of communications – visual communications,” JK Shin, chief of Samsung’s mobile unit, said in a statement.

Samsung – the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips – has recently been trying to strengthen its relatively small presence in the global digital camera industry dominated by Japanese giants like Nikon and Canon.

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