Logitech’s Wi-Fi Webcam for Mac: Unleash your Inner Director

Logitech have announced they are launching a new Wi-Fi webcam for Mac users, the Logitech® Broadcaster Wi-Fi® Webcam. Aimed at bloggers and video professionals, as well as the general public, this new cam is packed with features that expand your video-making horizons.

Logitech-Mac-Wifi-Webcam

It’s designed to increase the number of ways in which you can stream and record videos, and offers versatility and quality in one little package. As well as providing the standard webcam features you can expect to find in most models today, Logitech’s new device comes with a few handy extras, making it the perfect gift for anyone who uses video on a regular basis.

The webcam is wireless, so you can record and stream videos from any angle you want. Its features and capabilities include live streaming, video chat and integration with Ustream. Compatible with iDevices, you can use a Mac, iPhone or iPad to control and preview the video. The webcam also works with QuickTime, Photo Booth and iMovie.

Thanks to its compatibility with a variety of video editing software, you can use the webcam as a second camera to produce a multi-angle video. Once you’re done recording, simply upload the two videos to software like Final Cut Pro, and splice the two together.

Even when you’re not creating the next big online viral sensation, you can still use the webcam with applications like Skype, FaceTime and iChat.

“The Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam lets you stream and record like a pro,” said Mike Culver, vice president of brand development for consumer computer platforms at Logitech. “It helps you make the most out of your existing Mac OS and iOS video setup for more dynamic live streaming, recording and video chatting. It goes where a built-in webcam can’t, and with one press of a button, it’s easy to switch between your built-in webcam and the Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam, so your friends and audience can enjoy a standard view or move around the room with you.”

More and more people are getting in front of the camera to make YouTube videos, online tutorials and marketing videos. The new Logitech webcam makes it easier than ever to create high-quality film at a low cost.

The Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam costs £159.99 and is available now from www.logitech.com.

Logitech C510 HD webcam review

Video calling is one of those “futuristic” technologies that seemed to have snuck into modern life and passed by without much hoo-hah. Despite its obvious advantages – with so much communication being non-verbal – I still get the majority of my calls over the phone or communicate via email.

This could be for a number of reasons: circumstances, convenience, my ridiculous beard. However I’m also guessing that the low quality of webcams played a factor – blocky pixellated faces are not that much fun to look at and unless you have special circumstances – such as a loved one the other side of the globe – then it didn’t always seem worth the effort.

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Of course the situation is improving. High quality webcams are included in most modern smartphones and tablets (you can even get one for my TV) and the proliferation of iDevices should have more people Skyping and FaceTiming each other. People on more traditional machines (as John Gruber so rightly points out, with the proliferation of tablets and smartphones we should probably rethink what we class as a personal computer) now have access to HD webcams, offering high resolution video calling if you have a suitably fast internet connection.

The Logitech C510 is one such device. The USB2.0 connection means you can add it to just about any machine and be ready for action. It worked pretty much instantly in OSX, without recourse to drivers like the bad old days of computing. The C510 is designed for portability and is built to fold up and be thrown in a bag. This is useful – although the cable is left dangling out the back. A detachable (lose-able) cable might make things a little neater, but it’s not a major problem. The actual webcam is designed to perch on top of your monitor but the reasonably flexible design means you can make it freestanding with a little bit of practice. A marquee feature is the “swivel-cam” which means you can grab the camera and rotate it 360 degrees – cable permitting – to show your conversational partner what is happening around you. I know you could just pick up with the webcam and show them, but it’s a nice little feature.

Skype HD or Logitech Vid HD allow you to make HD 720p video calls and there is one-click uploading to Facebook and YouTube – so expect more Young Girl Talking About Herself videos than every before. In HD!
You can also take 8-megapixel photos of the things in front of your laptop with a reasonably good (but not amazing) camera.

The Logitech C510 is around £45 and worth a look if you make a lot of video calls and would like people to actually see you.

Karotz, the smart robotic bunny rabbit

Karotz

When a product boasts of being a “wireless, intelligent, internet rabbit, set to change the way we live”, it’s difficult to take it seriously. When it’s stuffed with wifi, Bluetooth, a webcam and a RFID scanner, however, ears perk up. Karotz is bunny-shaped, pretty adorable device that can: play music, share social media updates, communicate with friends, wake you up, tell you weather, let you know when your kids get home and keep a watchful eye over your house. In functionality, it’s closer to a guard dog/messenger pigeon cross-breed than a simple rabbit.

Karotz predominantly depends on vocal control – it’ll read out information to you, and it controlled solely by your voice. There’s no input buttons or screen to display information – it does have a colour changing tummy, though.  As with all good voice recognition software, it learns and adapts to your voice.  The YouTube promotion video suggests you read to it, but that might be a bit too insane for most users.

Inside its translucent white plastic shell, it’s powered by Linux base, with a 400MHz ARM CPU, 64MB of RAM and 256MB memory. Most people will use wifi, but if you’re still stuck in the 20th century there’s an Ethernet option. There’ s a USB socket for playing music from memory sticks, although the majority of users will probably use the streaming option, allowing playback from either a computer or a smartphone.

Here’s what Karotz can do:

It’s not totally independent, however. You’ll need to use a computer to set-up the Karotz. Even a smartphone might work, though, as you log into a web-based portal to change the settings, including saving your Facebook and Twitter information for instant updates. The device will read new statuses and tweets to you, as well as weather, traffic and news updates, and other information services – including friends’ birthdays.

For communication, Karotz can call other Karotz devices, or contact smartphones with the appropriate app installed. It’s a pretty cool feature, especially because SMS message support has also been promised. There’s something unshakably cute about having a heart-to-heart conversation via a white rabbit.

It’s also a great home monitoring tool, letting you log-in to the webcam to check out if your house is okay, or sense RFID chips, useful for letting you know when your kids have arrived home from school. It’ll be out March 2011, costing 199 Euros – less than most pedigree pets, and doing far more.

Logitech Preview: Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K80, HD Pro Webcam C910 and Wireless Speaker Z515

Logitech were kind enough to invite LatestGadgets to preview the range of technology they are bringing out. Lots of gadgets were on show but here are some of the most innovative products, each with their own special feature.

Logitech-Preview

Logitech have launched the Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800, an upgrade from the wired little sister. A new feature to the keyboard is the ambient light sensors which automatically adjust the keyboard’s brightness based on your environment. Motion sensors detect your hands as you approach the keyboard and turn backlighting on and then turn it off when your hands move away. This allows more battery life, of up to 10 hours without recharging. Intelligent keyboard, do you not think? This is great for when you are working in the evening and perhaps you do not always the lights on. With the illuminated keyboard, you will still be able to see what you need. The micro-USB will recharge the onboard batteries while you type so you do not need to worry about even replacing the batteries. The Wireless Illuminated keyboard is available now for £89.99.

Latest Gadgets got to the test Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910. The Webcam records in Full 1080p HD and I can say the video we saw was crisp and clear. It shoots video calls in 720p HD for clear and fluid video calls. Photographs are in high-resolution 10 megapixels. The C910 features 2 mics, one on either side of the Carl Zeiss lens. You can upload videos easily to Facebook and YouTube with one click. For the budding directors, the software comes with video-editing tools to make your movies. With so many HD webcams coming out, how does the C910 compare? The HD Pro C910 is compatible with Skype and other VoIP software however the nearest webcam, FaceVision Touchcam N1, is compatible with Skype only so it not as flexible. The image quality is also better on the C910. So if you are looking for a webcam for business or even personal use, the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 is available from £89.99.

For audio on the go, Logitech have released the Wireless Speaker Z515. The Z515 frees you from the hassle of cables by letting you have your speakers up to 50 feet away. Built for use with a laptop, iPad or iPhone, it is easy to connect as you do not even to pair it with your device. All you need to do is plug the wireless adaptor included into a USB port on your laptop. For iPad and iPhones, put your device into discovery mode and the Logitech Z515 speaker will find it wirelessly. Dual two –inch drivers provide full-stereo sound with bass for decent sound quality. The rechargeable battery can power the speaker for up to 10 hours. Aesthetically, I find it a bit bland but maybe that’s because I just like shiny things. The Z515 offers 360-degree audio allowing the sound to project evenly in all directions. Unfortunately, it does not have a remote control but for portable speaker do you need one? It can easily be stored in the travel case included with the speaker. The Logitech Wireless Speaker is currently available for £89.99. We should have a review coming out next week.