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 colors 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 Color 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 favorite color and leave it that color or switch the color 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 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 LiveCall 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 http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live are offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
About Microsoft Hardware
For more than 25 years, the Hardware Group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design and hardware/software compatibility, offering consumers an easier, more convenient and more enjoyable computing experience. Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, which launched in 1999, earned a place on PCWorld.com's December 2005 list of "The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years" as the first mainstream optical mouse that "brought gunk-free pointing devices" to a broad consumer base. More information about the Hardware Group is available at http://www.mshardwareguide.com.