Today, Microsoft announced the availability of its new High Definition webcams knows as LifeCams in August of this year. We told you aboutt the impending release of this new generation of webcams back in early May. The specifications have not changed much since then.
Here is the specification chart that we published earlier in May:
– 640×480 resolution video
– WL Messenger integration
– "Exclusive Call Button"
– One touch Spaces blogging
– HD Stills: 1.3 megapixels
– Universal mounting device
– On the fly video effects
– Pan/Zoom/Tilt capabilities
– Automatic face tracking
– Built-in microphone
– HD Stills: 5.0 MP
– HD Video: 1.3 MP
– Wide angle lens
– 3x Digital Zoom
– Plus all of the features of the VX-3000
The VX-6000 is obviously the higher end camera, as it is able to capture both HD video and HD stills. The VX-3000, while still a very good camera, does not have HD video capabilities.
The LifeCam Dashboard is built in to Windows Live Messenger, to provide easy access to controls such as pan, zoom, and tilt while in a video conversation.
Windows Live Call Button
This button does exactly what you would think it does. The WL Call Button is a button on the top of the LifeCam which, when pressed, brings up the Buddy Picker on your computer so you can easily choose who you want to place a video call to.
This is the one feature that caused a lot of speculation and confusion when we first announced it. I know what you might be thinking when you read this "Does that mean that Spaces is going to allow direct Video Blogging soon?" The answer is simply, no. The One-touch Blogging from your LifeCam simply lets you publish the HD stills taken with the camera to your Windows Live Space.
As I said earlier, these two models of the WL LifeCam will be available in August, with a few more models coming this Fall. The prices are as follows:
Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000: $99.95 (U.S.)
Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000: $49.95 (U.S.)
You can pre-order them now at Amazon.com and your LifeCam will be shipped to you when it is released.