While TV manufacturers increasingly build live cameras into the sets themselves, there’s a growing market for attachable cameras that enable viewers to Skype with their friends and family. Logitech rolled out a new HD camera — which looks a lot like Kinect — which may make some people consider switching their home phone to their TV set once and for all.
The HD camera — with a low-light, wide-angle, zoomable lens — features four noise-canceling microphones, so you don’t sound like you’re talking underwater. Plug it in, and the Skype app comes along for the ride. Even when the TV is off, the camera will ring when you receive incoming Skype calls.
“Because of the size of the TV screen and the quality of the video, the new Logitech TV Cam HD with Skype brings a whole new social element to the living room, helping you feel like your family and friends are right there with you,” said Joerg Tewes, VP of Logitech. “It’s a transformative experience.”
The downside of all this is the price: $199, which may prove fatal. But at the very least, it’s a sneak peek into the very near future of TV sets, gaming platforms and perhaps even set-top boxes — with Skype (and maybe one day Google Hangouts) at the center. And not just for video calling, but for live social experiences around broadcasts, movies and gaming.