Sony has unveiled a prototype digital camera that doesn’t require batteries and can charge itself.

Looking somewhat like the offspring of a romantic encounter between a pizza cutter and a donut, the camera can be charged by rolling the wheel. According to reports 15 seconds of rolling will generate enough power for one snap.

The actual camera part of the device is housed within the handle, with the eye of the donut used as a viewfinder. There’s no monitor on the device so users must either connect it to an accompanying flower pot-shaped cradle or directly to their computer by USB.

Generic iDevice

Despite the Apple-esque whiteness of the design, this isn’t just another generic iDevice. Neither does Sony have any plans to mass produce it for general sale. Rather, this camera is actually the first working prototype to have been created by Sony’s in-house ODO team.

Based in California and with inoput from Japan, Sony’s ODO team is tasked with creating devices that can tap into the “creativity, curiosity, and energy” of children in developing nations, and which can be operated in extreme temperatures without the need for stable power supplies.

In the past ODO has shown off a number of other self-powered concept devices, including another ‘Spin N Snap’ digital camera device, a ‘Push POWER Play’ video and still image viewer, a set of ‘Pull N Play’ headphones and a ‘Juice Box’ solar charging device. However this camera is claimed to be the first actual working device to emerge.

Sony’s ODO digital camera works with both Intel’s Classmate PC and the XO notebook from the OLPC. If only more kids in target countries were actually getting the laptops in the first place, this could and would be a great idea...