updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue May 13, 2008
Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000
Microsoft on Tuesday upgraded its LifeCams with the VX-5000. An unusual approach to webcams, the new add-on is unique in its use of a bendable stand; users can curve the stand to sit the camera on a desk or straighten out to varying degrees to clip to the back of different surfaces, including desktop LCDs and notebook lids. Although capped at 640x480 resolution, the camera supports panning, zooming, and tilting as well as simulated 1.3-megapixel still photos through interpolation.
A one-piece microphone with active noise reduction provides mid-range audio capture for the VX-5000.
The USB camera includes a few extra buttons and features for Windows users, including a shortcut button for picking a Windows Live contact, a direct-to-blog button for Windows Live Spaces users, and video effects for Windows Live Messenger. Microsoft ships the new LifeCam next month for $50 and will make it available with blue, green, and red color borders.