Forget WiFi, how about built-in GPS in your digital camera?

While camera makers like Panasonic and Nikon are busy adding Wi-Fi capability to their cameras, Taiwanese ODM Altek has announced a point-and-shoot with built-in GPS and automatic geotagging capabilities which it expects to begin shipping by summer.

While camera makers like Panasonic and Nikon are busy adding Wi-Fi capability to their cameras, Taiwanese ODM Altek has announced a point-and-shoot with built-in GPS and automatic geotagging capabilities which it expects to begin shipping by summer.

Forget WiFi, how about built-in GPS in your digital camera?
So now it looks like the 3G iPhone isn't the only tech toy I'll be jonesing for this summer (image quality be damned!). As an avid traveler (50 countries and counting), I'm way more interested in being able to attach geographic coordinates to image files than uploading photos while I'm at Starbucks (though I suppose if I were here...). Altek's camera will allow you to geotag images on the fly and then map the locations via sites like Google Earth, Google Maps, and Flickr. You'll also be able to use the camera as an actual GPS navigation device and browse maps or search for points of interest.

Detailed camera specs (and pricing) are unavailable, but Altek does note that the camera will feature an 8.0-megapixel CCD, a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, and include a bilingual handwriting recognition system (English and Chinese) in addition to the GPS chip.

As an ODM, Altek doesn't market digital cameras itself, so the new camera will be sold under a different brand. No word yet on who the takers are, but note that Altek--which has a 10 percent market share of digital cameras worldwide and manufactures cameras for Kodak, Pentax, and HP (adding Sanyo as a client at the end of last year)--is one of three digital camera makers bidding for HP's brand license after the company announced it would no longer manufacture its own cameras.