Microsoft's LifeCam VX-5000 Webcam is Bendy, Portable, Not Ugly

The LifeCam VX-5000 is Microsoft's first attempt at a halfway decent looking webcam: a lightweight, compact unit with a flexible base, it can hook on a laptop or monitor, or rest on a desk. The 640x480 video camera (1.3MP still) has 3x digital zoom as well as pan and tilt functions. The LifeCam features a Windows Live Call button on top to quickly start video chats with contacts, and PhotoSwap, which allows you to share pictures in a virtual photo album. The ring around the camera's outside comes in blue, green, or red, a very tiny way to express your individuality. It will retail for $50 when it comes out in June; full release after the jump. [MS Hardware]

REDMOND, Wash. May 13, 2008 Today, Microsoft Corp. reshapes the webcam experience with the LifeCam VX-5000, a webcam with a unique bendable attachment base that molds to virtually any surface — from your notebook to your desktop — so you can take it anywhere.
For personalized flair, the LifeCam VX-5000 features a brightly colored ring around the front of the webcam that will be offered in the colors Cool Blue, Lucky Green and Fire Red, allowing consumers to choose their favorite to suit their style. To complement the fresh new look, the LifeCam VX-5000 features MSN Photo Swap, a special feature that lets consumers share digital photos in midvideo conversation and see real-time reactions as both callers view the pictures. The new webcam arrives just in time to help share summer vacation memories and keep consumers connected throughout the year.
"With the LifeCam VX-5000, we are changing the perception of webcams from boring and bulky to fun and flexible," said Michael Cowan, product marketing manager for the Hardware Division at Microsoft. "We designed this LifeCam to match the experience its technology delivers — it's all about fun and letting consumers share their personalities."



Photo Swap: A Feature You'll Flip Over

Digital camera owners have on average more than 1,200 photos stored on their computer, and Photo Swap helps bring the pictures to life as a virtual photo album. Using Windows Live Messenger, consumers can easily share pictures from summer vacations or holiday gatherings with ease. The best part is with Photo Swap they can see and hear the reaction of their friends and family — whether across town or across the country — and feel like they are sitting right next to each other.

See, Hear, Share — Easy as 1, 2, 3

The VX-5000 comes with Windows Live optimizations and the latest version of LifeCam software, making it easier than ever for users to experience a great video call. Key features and benefits include the following:

Windows Live Call Button, located on top of the LifeCam, 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.

LifeCam Dashboard incorporates full LifeCam navigational controls (pan, tilt, zoom, face tracking and Video Effects) within the Windows Live Messenger interface, enabling a seamless and easy navigating experience.

World-class VGA optics with a VGA sensor, 640x480 video resolution and 1.3-megapixel still photography (interpolated) offer high picture quality.

Built-in unidirectional microphone with acoustic noise cancellation delivers crystal-clear audio.

Pan, tilt and 3X digital zoom features allow users to adjust the image to see more clearly.

Pricing and Availability

The LifeCam VX-5000 will be widely available in June 2008 for an estimated retail price of $49.95. The webcam is available now for pre-sale on Amazon.com and will ship in June when it is widely released. The LifeCam VX-5000 will be backed by a worldwide three-year limited hardware warranty from Microsoft Corp. More information about the LifeCam VX-5000 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.