TouchCam N1: improving online communication

faceVsion together with Skype is releasing a new HD webcam on the market. What makes this webcam different then other webcams is the fact that they handle their own encoding and processing. You will still need a fast computer and broadband internet though to take full advantage of High Definition webcam images. The TouchCam N1 is the first 720P webcam certified by Skype. Skype supports High Definition video calls starting from version 4.2 beta. TouchCam N1 will also work with other messengers app like Microsoft Live or Yahoo, although HD support is needed by those apps.

Just this week I was contemplating purchasing a webcam to communicate with clients through Skype. I have been working from home recently and find that it takes too much time to email instructions on using WordPress for example. Now I must note that I’m deaf so the video call conference will still have the person I’m conferencing with to type the messages. But having a face to face meeting will help both sides understand each other better as we humans also depend on facial expression to interpret the meaning of what is being said.

As someone who also depends on lipreading I can imagine that having a HD quality picture of the person I’m communicating with would make it possible to follow the what the person is saying as if we where having a talk face to face instead of through a video conference call. Think about people who communicate through gesture language it would be effortless at the max resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

The only downside right now is that HD enabled webcams are just starting to make way on the market and are still expensive considering all the cheaper options of non-HD webcams. It will be a while before HD web cams with embedded H.264 codec chip and processing are widely available at different price ranges. As for a fast computer almost all being sold today are fast enough to handle High Definition video calls over broadband, so it’s a question of time and willingness by the user to be able to video conference in HD quality.

I’m excited about these communication advancements that are breaking down barriers more and more with each new technique and development. And currently I’m willing to wait for this new generation of webcams to be available so I can buy one.

Highlights of the TouchCam N1 are the following:

  • Skype Certified
  • HD 720P
  • H.264
  • Dual Mics
  • Wide Angle
  • Auto Focus
  • USB connection

The TouchCam N1 is scheduled to go for sale later this month for the price of 129 dollars. See the product page for more details.

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Ms Hyde
@darice

Darice is a web developer who likes reading, watching TV shows, taking the occasional photos and play a tennis game now and then. Darice has been blogging on her own weblog since 2003 and joined Forever Geek in January 2010. When not coding, writing or reading she can be found in the kitchen cooking.

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