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Creative to fight the scourge of blurry Web video

Creative Live! Cam Optia AF is first plug-and-play autofocus Webcam.


Do you have trouble sitting still? Or perhaps you host an overly active Webcam show. If so, Creative's Live! Cam Optia AF might give your Webcam broadcasts a bit more clarity and focus. Creative is calling it the world's first plug-and-play autofocus Webcam. Creative gave us a quick demo at CES. The autofocus feature worked quickly and quietly, and the bundled software includes your typical face-tracking video effects (look, I'm wearing a funny hat!), plus some really fun audio effects. You can enable the voice effects on the fly and make the person on the other end think you've turned into an old man, a Canadian, a person of the opposite sex, or suddenly emotional, among a long list of others. While the Canadian filter wasn't convincing, eh, and the woman-to-man voice option made Creative's PR rep sound like a tranny, the emotional filter was stupendous. With it, Creative's PR rep and I sounded like we were giving an Oscar acceptance speech.

The USB 2.0 Webcam provides 30 frames per second, up to 1,600x1,200 resolution, and comes mounted on a sturdy, rubberized clip. Dual adaptive array microphones help minimize background noise. When not in use, you can spin the Webcam down to turn it off and not feel as if someone might be peering at you through the lens. The Live! Cam Optia AF will be available sometime between now and June for $130.