Microsoft Corp has announced its new LifeCam Studio webcam kit with 1080p sensor and high-definition video. It is the first time Microsoft has offered a 1080p sensor on a webcam, which the company states is 2.2 times larger than most webcam sensors on the market. However, to gain the most out of the 1080p HD recording capabilities, you will need to buy commercial video software which is not included with the kit.

The LifeCam has a tripod thread that allows you to shoot from multiple angles, rather than staying front-on with the monitor. The improved Auto Focus glass lens keeps objects in focus using Microsoft’s Truecolor and ClearFrame technologies, which let more light in, thus allowing for a clearer image in darker conditions. It can also be swiveled 360 degrees, allowing users to point the camera at themselves or at any point around the room. An elongated lens hood helps protect the lens from stray light.

LifeCam comes on the market after the recent announcement of Microsoft Windows Live Messenger 2011, which will support HD video calling. However, it is currently not compatible with Skype, and most other popular video calling services will only support 720p resolution.

The LifeCam Studio comes with Microsoft’s three-year worldwide warranty and is priced at US$99.95.