Why are PC webcams crap? Lenovo says it knows why • The register

It is not just Registration number Readers who recognize the less than satisfactory quality of built-in computer webcams. Apparently also the world’s largest PC manufacturer.

The work-from-home revolution that swept much of the world in 2020 forced us to keep in touch remotely, making Zoom, Teams, WebEx and others the medium to connect with family, friends and colleagues stay.

This reporter has a face for the radio, so leaving it off was preferable, but as we all know, sometimes that’s just not an option.

This rich subject matter of the generally crappy state of built-in webcams reared its ugly head at this week’s Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona when Market Watcher CEO Steve Brazier got straight to the point with the Lenovo exec onstage: “Why have PCs such lousy webcams?”

“That’s a good question,” said Luca Rossi, enterprise vice president and president of Intelligent Devices Group, and good sport all round.

“I think the simple answer is that until before COVID, no one asked how many megapixels [does] your internal camera [have], the face front camera. With phones, of course, we know this is very important for selfies.”

But fear not, dear readers, we are assured that the PC manufacturers, or at least Lenovo, have things in hand.

Rossi told the audience at the Canalys event: “There’s a lot, a lot of innovation in all these components – audio, video, camera [taking place] to make those video meetings and remote collaborations more productive.”

Laptops are by far the bulkiest PC form factor – 54.7 million units were shipped worldwide in the calendar quarter, versus 14.7 million for desktops – and there are several reasons why integrated cameras are so bad. The thinness of the devices means there’s limited space for better cameras, and of course price is another factor.

There are standalone webcams for PCs, but this author surmises that it would need some sort of built-in AI capability to make his face look passable in the morning. Better keep the damn thing away. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/21/why_are_pc_webcams_crap/ Why are PC webcams crap? Lenovo says it knows why • The register

Rick Schindler

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