Hardware

Microsoft to Unveil New Webcam this Spring

As the company has done for several years, Microsoft is gearing up for a Surface-style event this spring. While the company is expected to announce a refresh of its Surface Laptop, the company has other peripherals on the agenda too.

One such item that is expected to be announced is a new webcam that will have a privacy cover and support for high-dynamic-range (HDR) video. But it doesn’t look like Microsoft will be trying to push the boundaries with this camera in terms of resolution as it is not expected to support 4K, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

The LifeCam Studio was one of Microsoft’s popular webcams but it was released in 2010…but you can still buy it ‘new’ today.

This will not be the first webcam that Microsoft has built, the company shipped its first webcam back in 2006 and you can still find the later iterations of the Lifecam on store shelves.  But that camera is outdated in terms of its image sensor and should not be purchased today.

Microsoft has been sitting on webcams for some time now, I first heard about them back in 2019 under the codename of Bari. I don’t think that this new webcam is the exact same product that I heard about back then and it is a deviation from that initial plan.

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Along with the new webcam, look for a refresh of the Surface Laptop with AMD chips inside the device but expect 4000 series silicon and not the new 5000 series chips that were recently announced. On the Intel, side expect to see 11th generation chips as well.

Microsoft is also working on a few other peripherals to be announced at the event that should be happening in a few weeks; likely audio-related items are on the agenda to complement the webcam. Also, don’t be surprised if you hear the word dongle too.

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Comments (2)

2 responses to “Microsoft to Unveil New Webcam this Spring”

  1. <p>There is lots of room for innovation here, particularly in the AI audio processing side for meetings. Microsoft is in a perfect position (Teams and hardware/partners) to offer some kind of AI-driven audio mixer to take virtual meetings to the next level. Beyond background noise elimination, echo cancellation, etc., inputs could be remixed intelligently to accommodate humans' ability to single out sound sources when more than one person is talking. In 2021, we still have issues where two people start talking, and there's a long pause while they negotiate who speaks next (humanity's CSMA/CD). There is something unnatural about the audio in virtual meetings that causes this negotiation to be much more cumbersome than for in-person meetings. </p><p><br></p><p>I believe that is a solvable problem, and Microsoft is in the ideal position to solve it. </p>

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Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.
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