Canalys Channels Forum It’s not just Reg readers who recognize the less than satisfactory quality of built-in computer webcams. Apparently, the world’s largest computer manufacturer does too.
The home work revolution pushed to much of the world in 2020 has forced us to stay in touch remotely, so Zoom, Teams, WebEx and others have become the medium used to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues.
This reporter has a face for radio, so the preference was to keep it off, but as we all know, sometimes that’s just not an option.
This rich theme of the generally shoddy state of built-in webcams reared its ugly head at this week’s Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona, when Steve Brazier, CEO at the market watcher, got straight to the point with the Lenovo executive on stage. : “Why? do computers have such nasty webcams?”
“It’s a good question,” said Luca Rossi, corporate vice president and president of the Smart Devices Group, and an all-around good sport.
“I think the simple answer is that until before COVID, nobody even asked how many megapixels [does] your internal camera [have], the face front camera. In phones, obviously, we know that’s very important for self-confidence.”
However, do not worry, dear readers, we are sure that computer manufacturers, or rather Lenovo at least, have things in hand.
Rossi told the audience at the Canalys event: “All these components – audio, video, camera – there is a lot of innovation. [taking place] to make this video conference, remote collaboration more productive.”
Laptops are by far the largest form of computer — 54.7 million units shipped worldwide in calendar Q4 versus 14.7 million for desktops — and there are several reasons why an integrated camera is so bad. The thinness of the devices means that space is limited for better cameras and, of course, price is another factor.
There are standalone webcams for computers, but this author suspects he’d need some sort of integrated AI capability to make his face look passable in the morning. Better to keep the damn thing away. ®