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, like Dell’s Concept Pari magnetic camera, but a new Kickstarter project has a new approach: a retractable camera that dangles in front of your screen.
Created by a Hong Kong-based brand called MetaAxon, the “3-in-1” Meca webcam is featured on Kickstarter and has already raised $335,454 with 361 project backers.
The design and functionality of the Meca webcam is simple; the 3-in-1 device includes an adjustable camera, microphone and ring light with scales for brightness and color temperature. These aspects are intended to help you maintain a constant presence during a videoconference.
The main feature of the Meca webcam, however, is its pop-up camera. It can be pulled down from a 1.5mm cable at the base of the system to be level with your face. This setup lets you look directly into the camera and avoids the hassle of having to look up or down at a misplaced webcam. The cable is also not meant to interfere with screen work. MetaAxon promises lifetime functionality of the retractable cable, claiming it has been tested to work accurately over 30,000 times.
The brand provides an adhesive, which makes it possible to stick the camera to your screen during a conference, and to easily remove it once the meeting is over. The camera itself is 1080p, 30fps, and 70-degree FOV, which MetaAxon says is ideal for video conferencing.
In addition to the camera, there is the microphone and the ring light. The omnidirectional microphone has a privacy shutter. Meanwhile, the ring light, which takes up a large part 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 one USB 2.0 port; however, the brand said it hopes to provide backers with an OTG-C adapter. From a system perspective, the webcam works with Windows and MacOS.
Meca webcam prices 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 follow our recommended crowdfunding guidelines before disbursing any money.