New webcam combines motorised pan and tilt movement with a wide-angle lens
By Mike Hanlon
September 14, 2005
September 15, 2005 Creative Labs new webcam that was announced yesterday features some pretty advanced technology for its meagre US$150 price tag. The webcam offers a combination of motorized pan and tilt and a ViewPlus 76-degree wide-angle lens, Smart Face Tracking, and the webcam quietly and smoothly follows user movements during video instant messaging. The webcams automatic pan and tilt feature gives users the freedom of movement during video instant messaging with friends, family or business colleagues, automatically following users' natural movements during conversations, so they don't have to continually make manual adjustments to stay centered in the field of view. Users can also select Smart Face Tracking so it can follow the movements of one person, or disable it to include the whole group.
Ideal for broadband users, the webcam - it's actually called "Creative WebCam Live! Motion" (CWCL!M) but we're only going to mention it once cos it's a ridiculous name - incorporates true high-speed USB 2.0 for delivering crisp, high-resolution video at up to twice the video frame rates of USB 1.1 cameras.
"We previewed the CWCL!M to the media in New York and San Francisco, and the journalists got really excited about how our WebCam physically moves to follow motion during video instant messaging, and how it quietly spans the room to take panoramic pictures," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. "And as much as we heard about the great performance, we also heard a lot of comments about how cool the CWCL!M looks."
The CWCL!M features a high-quality CCD sensor, and it delivers video at VGA 640x480 quality and software-enhanced still images of up to 1.3 megapixels. An ultra-smooth, exceptionally quiet precision Pan-N-Tilt motor enables the camera to deliver fluid video without distracting motor noise.
The CWCL!M looks great on any desktop or notebook monitor. Available in either pearl white or charcoal gray with a luminescent blue glowing ring on each side, the WebCam Live! Motion commands attention as it sits atop any desktop or notebook PC. The patent-pending Multi-Attach base easily and securely attaches the webcam to any flat panel, CRT monitor or notebook display for optimal positioning during video instant messaging.
The CWCL!M includes Creative's comprehensive WebCam Center application, which enables the following:
- Capture of live video or images, including a Panoramic feature that enables capture of a full 200-degree view of any space at high resolution;
Remote monitoring for remotely capturing images of home or office which can be automatically uploaded to a website;
Motion detection to record video of any movement near the WebCam Live! Motion and e-mail an alert that motion has been detected. The video can then be broadcast or saved to the PC;
Time lapse video -- captures and replays snapshots taken over a period of time, enabling quick replay of a flower blooming or other event that would be difficult to capture in real time.
The Creative WebCam Center also enables video and pictures to be sent during conversations on Yahoo! Messenger with a simple click of a button. Creative's complete line of webcams work seamlessly with Yahoo! Messenger and other popular instant messaging software, including AIM, MSN Messenger, and Windows Messenger, and come with a dedicated, high-quality microphone or headset to provide superior voice quality and clarity during video instant messaging.
All Creative webcams ship with the award-winning SightSpeed software for unparalleled, seamless video and audio sync over broadband during video calls, video e-mail, and text messaging. Creative webcams also include software from My Orb to allow users to remotely monitor their home from any Internet-enabled mobile phone, PDA or PC. The Live! Motion webcam includes One-Click Panoramic Photo Snap software for automatically taking several continuous still photos and stitching them together to create a high-resolution panoramic picture.