A Message to Companies


The following remarkable companies have provided assistance to the macam project:

Pico Instruments

Jeilin Technology

Apple

ecamm network

Cyber Snipa

When will your company appear in this list?


To all companies involved in the creation, marketing, and selling USB webcams:

including:

Chip designers and vendors

Camera manufacturers and vendors

Camera resellers

Please make information about your cameras available!

The basic information needed to add support in macam is not a trade-secret, as it is readily available to anyone with the camera and USB sniffer (hardware or software). However, the result of it not being available is loss of support, and consequently loss of sales. Potential customers will choose other options that are supported.

Because the information that the driver needs is not secret, it might as well be available openly. The gains are tremendous. If the information is available, and used in an open-source project such as macam, then the driver will always be available, and the information needed to modify the driver is always available. For example, macam was the first non-Apple driver to be a Universal Binary (both PPC and x86). In the future, macam can be adapted to new versions of Mac OS X as necessary, and this can be done by anyone with the necessary skills. It does not have to be by the camera manufacturer, or anyone else involved in the selling of the camera. This is the ultimate customer service: even if all the companies involved disappear, the information is still available to keep the camera working! This might be scary for a lazy manufacturer that relies on planned obsolescence for new sales; but for an innovative company, this should be seen as a clear benefit!

For each webcam, this information is needed:

Manufacturer name

Camera name and model number

Camera USB Vendor ID

Camera USB Product ID

USB Controller chip used in camera

Image sensor chip used in camera (needed for some controllers)

 

For each USB controller chip, this information is needed:

Manufacturer name

Controller chip name and model number

Basic programming instructions (setting formats, start/stop video, communicating with sensor, etc.)

Any initialization instructions

 

For each image sensor chip, this information is needed:

Manufacturer name

Sensor chip name and model number

Information about sensor registers

Any initialization instructions

 

Manufacturers are welcome, indeed encouraged, to make their own additions to the macam source code and submit patches for inclusion in the code-base. Please code against the most recent source code available in order to simplify patching. Manufacturers are also allowed to use the macam source code to create their own drivers (subject to the GPL license).

 

Companies are also encouraged to test their cameras with the latest driver and submit reports. Many cameras will already work, as there are controllers that are used in many cameras. Other cameras might only require minimal additions to the macam code. Potential customers will only know that if someone let's them know. By testing and submitting the information to this project, customers will know what to look for.

 

When will your company appear in the list above?

 

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