Eye contact is one of the main reasons why video calls don’t feel as natural as real conversations. We’ve seen attempts to fix the problem, such as Dell’s magnetic Concept Pari Camerabut a new Kickstarter project takes a new approach: a retractable camera that dangles in front of your screen.
Made by a Hong Kong-based brand called MetaAxon, the “3-in-1” Meca webcam is featured on kickstarter and has already raised $335,454 from 361 donors to the project.
The design and functionality of the Meca webcam are simple; The 3-in-1 peripheral features an adjustable camera, a microphone and a ring light with scales for brightness and color temperature. These aspects are designed to help you maintain a consistent presence during a video conference.
However, the main feature of the Meca webcam is its retractable camera. It can be pulled down from a 1.5mm cable at the bottom of the system to be level with your face. This configuration allows you to look directly into the camera and avoid the hassle of looking up or down at a misplaced webcam. The cable should also not interfere with work on the screen. MetaAxon promises lifetime functionality of the retractable cable and claims that it has been accurately tested over 30,000 times.
The brand supplies an adhesive tape, with which you can stick the camera to your screen during a conference and easily remove it when the meeting is over. The camera itself is 1080p, 30fps and 70 degrees FOV, which MetaAxon says is ideal for video conferencing.
The microphone and ring lighting are present next to the camera. The omnidirectional microphone features a privacy shutter. Meanwhile, the ring lighting, which takes up a significant portion of the system, can also be turned on and off manually. There is also an adjustable software setting for brightness and color temperature.
The Meca webcam supports a USB 2.0 port; however, the brand said it hopes to provide backers with an OTG-C adapter. System-wise, the webcam works with Windows and MacOS.
Prices for the Meca webcam include super early bird prices of $89 per webcam and $168 for two webcams. Early bird prices are $99 per webcam, $188 for two webcams and $445 for five webcams.
As always, Kickstarter projects are never guaranteed, and you are always encouraged to join our recommended crowdfunding guidelines before spending cash.