World's First USB 3.0 Webcam Streams Uncompressed 1080p Video

Point Grey demonstrated a new webcam using USB 3.0 that yields totally uncompressed video in 1080p at 60fps. It's definitely the sharpest webcam image I've ever seen, giving crystal-clear picture even on the huge 42-inch demo monitor. It's pretty stunning.

The camera, shown today at IDF, is just a prototype, made up of a few components form other companies (a Sony IMX036 CMOS image sensor, for one), but it's damn impressive. Due to the speed of USB 3.0, the webcam is capable of streaming and displaying its 1920x1080 video without compression, which makes for huge files but also extremely sharp image quality. The camera lacked autofocus but manual focus let it capture incredibly crisp images, even all the miniscule elements of a PCI-Express card. Of course, as USB 3.0 isn't exactly widely available, you have to run it through that PCI-Express-to-USB-3.0 card, but Point Grey says it'll be ready for release in either very late 2009 or early 2010. [Point Grey]