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Skype and Logitech deliver 'High Quality' webcams

Webcams have always been pants. Until now. Meet the Skype-approved Logitech QuickCam Pro 900, QuickCam Pro for Notebooks and the Sphere AF

Webcams have always been pants. Yeah, they let you see your relatives grinning like monkeys from the other side of the planet, and they help drive the Internet porn industry, but their awful video quality renders them slightly pointless.

Fortunately things are about to change. Yesterday Logitech announced a deal with Skype to produce a range of webcams that offer vastly improved video quality. These 'High Quality' cameras can pump video over the net at 30fps, and promise better video quality than was possible on previous webcams.

Although they sport 1.3-megapixel lenses, the cameras still operate over the web at the usual VGA resolution. But fret not, our spies tell us Logitech proved its claims by running full-screen video on a London cinema screen -- to impressive effect.

Unfortunately, only the Logitech QuickCam Pro 900, QuickCam Pro for Notebooks and the Sphere AF are bestowed with the 'certified for Skype' sticker, so you'll need to buy a pair (one for you, and another for your buddy) to make the most of the service. The cameras will be released in time for the launch of Skype 3.6, which should be available very soon. -Rory Reid