Microsoft's LifeCam Show is a 2MP webcam for Windows users that, most notably, offers over 30 video effects, and a new video mailbox service. The LifeCam Show is capable of taking 8MP still photos, has noise/echo cancellation.
The LifeCam software provides over 30 video effects, including 3D accessories that follow your face around the screen, face distortion effects, and filters that alter the colour of the picture. Also new to the the Video Message feature, which allows you to send a webcam recording to a friend's Windows Live mailbox for later viewing.
Additionally, Microsoft announced the VX5500 webcam, which has a VGA sensor, takes 1.3MP stills, noise cancelling, plus blue, red or white interchangeable faceplates. The LifeCam Show and VX5500 will arrive in October and sell for US$100 and US$60, respectively. [Microsoft]
Microsoft's Latest LifeCams Bring Life to Video Calls With Versatile New Designs
LifeCam Show and LifeCam VX-5500 debut fun new video effects and Video Messages.
REDMOND, Wash. ⎯ Sept. 9, 2008 ⎯ Today, Microsoft Corp. unveils two new webcams -- LifeCam Show and LifeCam VX-5500 -- featuring stunning new designs that not only look great but also provide versatility for use on a laptop or desktop monitor, or sitting next to your PC. No matter where these LifeCams are used, they will make a statement. LifeCam Show is ultra sleek -- one of the thinnest webcams on the market-- while the LifeCam VX-5500 takes a more sassy approach with switchable faceplates in three colours and an innovative, collapsible design. These LifeCams deliver high-end audio and video performance, groundbreaking new video effects, and Video Messages -- a new service for sending and receiving video messages from friends and family.
LifeCam Show: Good Things Come in Small Packages
LifeCam Show features a sleek, mirrored finish and ultrathin design. It looks great with any PC, attaching with ease to a desktop or laptop computer, or even sitting on top of your desk. The LifeCam Show ships with a complete attachment system to make setting up and using the webcam a snap in a variety of different scenarios. Versatile attachment options include the following:
Laptop clip. LifeCam Show magnetically attaches to a clip snapped right onto a laptop.
Desktop stand. LifeCam Show magnetically attaches to an 11-inch-tall desktop stand, which users can position anywhere around the desk for the perfect viewing angle.
Two attachment discs. Attachment discs allow users to attach the adhesive disc to the back of their laptop, giving them the ability to close their laptop easily with the webcam still attached for greater portability.
Offering top audio and video performance, LifeCam Show is not just about good looks and versatility:
A 2.0MP sensor and 8.0MP stills offer true-to-life communication for sharing important life moments.
Top-of-the-line audio technology, including a built-in, noise-cancelling microphone with echo-cancellation software, provides improved sound clarity.
"Our design team has been working hard to ensure that we could fit best-in-class webcam technology into such a tiny footprint. Even at only one-half inch deep, LifeCam Show packs a mean punch with industry-leading audio and video technology," said Ralf Groene, Industrial Design manager at Microsoft. "We also designed these LifeCams to attach with ease to any type of PC because we know that consumers move between notebooks and desktops and back again, and they want a webcam that can move with them."
LifeCam VX-5500: Switch Out the Colour to Suit Your Mood
The LifeCam VX-5500 is all about fun with an innovative new design. The VX-5500 ships with three interchangeable faceplates in blue, red and white, so users can either choose their favourite colour and leave it that colour or switch the colour every day to match their mood. Similar to LifeCam Show, the VX-5500 can be used on a laptop or desktop computer with an innovative universal attachment clip. When users are ready to pack up, the entire webcam folds down flat for easy transport. With a VGA sensor for 640x480 video, 1.3MP stills, and a unidirectional, noise-cancelling microphone, the LifeCam VX-5500 keeps all video communications crystal clear.
Add Fun to Video Calls With the Latest LifeCam Software
Both webcams come with the latest version of LifeCam software, making it easier than ever for users to have a fun video call experience. One major addition to the new software is a group of more than 30 new video effects, including 3D Accessories, Facial Exaggerations and Filters. 3D Accessories offer realistic effects that truly move with users' faces -- users can put a cowboy hat on their head or sunglasses over their eyes, and the effect will stay with them even when they turn their heads. In addition, Microsoft's new Facial Exaggerations and Filters allow users to stretch their faces, make bug eyes or create a pointy new nose for an entertaining fun-house mirror effect using a LifeCam.
The new release also includes access to Video Messages, a totally new way to keep in touch. When friends and family are not around for a live video chat or perhaps are in a distant time zone, Video Messages is the perfect solution. LifeCam users can record and send videos through an exclusive Windows Vista gadget, and any Windows Live user can get in on the fun via an online portal. Users can see Video Messages in action at HYPERLINK "http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/video_messages_intro" http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/video_messages_intro.1
Additional features that make these webcams a great option for Windows Live Messenger users include the following:
Photo Swap. This feature allows two callers to share digital photos in midvideo conversation. Just click the Photo Swap icon, and a new window opens up next to the video call window so users can flip through the photos on their desktop and decide which pictures they want to show.1
Windows Live Call Button. Located on top of the LifeCam, the Windows Live Call Button allows users to open their Contact Picker (a tool showing which contacts are currently online) with one touch, so they can quickly initiate video calls to friends and family.1
Pricing and Availability
The LifeCam Show and LifeCam VX-5500 will be widely available in October 2008 for the respective estimated retail prices of $99.95 and $59.95.2 The webcams are available now for presale on Amazon.com and will ship in October when they are widely released. Microsoft will back the LifeCams with a worldwide, three-year limited hardware warranty. More information about the LifeCams is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.microsoft.com/hardware" http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.