Computer electronics manufacturer Hercules offers a new angle on webcams for people who have trouble seeing eye-to-eye in video chat sessions. The Dualpix HD720p is a high-def webcam that shoots 720p and features an autofocus lens and built-in microphone. The Dualpix is adjustable on two axes, so you can place it where you want on the sides or top of your notebook computer or monitor, in order to better look the camera directly "in the eye".
Specifically designed for notebook PCs, the Dualpix HD720p features a secure attachment system that allows you to move your computer around as needed without the webcam coming loose. The two axes of rotation allow vertical or horizontal placement on the top or the sides of the screen and the wide-angle lens lets you set up your preferred video capture. Depending on the webcam’s position (vertical or horizontal), the Dualpix automatically rotates the image 90 degrees, even during your chat sessions.
By arranging the Dualpix as close as possible to the notebook screen, you can effectively look directly at the other party during video chats instead of the “offset gaze” effect common to other cams.
The Hercules Dualpix is part of a growing market segment of 720p webcams. While the resolution may be improved, keep in mind that HD webcams can require fast dual-core computers to deliver the claimed frame-rates. Furthermore, most videoconferencing programs do not support sending HD resolution at 30fps using typical DSL and cable modem connections. Most chat programs support a maximum of 640x480 (VGA) resolution. However, the Dualpix HD capability can be useful for producing video podcasts or capturing video to upload to online video sites.
The Dualpix is compatible with video chat applications such as Skype, Windows Live Messenger, and others. The webcam also includes the Hercules Xtra Controller Pro software suite that allows you to share photos, videos, and even music during a chat session.
The Dualpix is compatible with Windows, but also supports the USB 2.0 Video Class (UVC) interface which provides basic, “driver free” webcam functionality on most current operating systems including Mac OS and Linux.
The Hercules Dualpix HD720p is available now for the US$60. For more information visit Hercules at www.hercules.com.