Eye contact is one of the main reasons video calls don’t feel as natural as real-life conversations. We’ve seen attempts to resolve the issue, such as Dell’s magnetic Concept Pari camera, but a new Kickstarter project has a new approach: A retractable camera that dangles down 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 backers of 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 intended to help you keep a consistent presence during a video conference.
The primary feature of the Meca webcam, however, is its retractable camera. It can be pulled down from a 1.5mm cable at the base of the system to be level with your face. This configuration allows you to look directly into the camera and avoid the issues that come with having to look up or down at a misplaced webcam. The cable is also not supposed to be disruptive to any on-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 allows you to stick the camera to your screen while in a conference, and 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 are the microphone and ring light. The omnidirectional microphone features a privacy shutter. Meanwhile, the ring light, which takes up a considerable amount 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’re always encouraged to follow our recommended crowdfunding guidelines before shelling out any cash.