Logitech QuickCam Orbit MP Has Maximum Headroom

The Logitech Quickcam Orbit MP offers an amazing new feature; video-manicuring straight out of Bruce Sterling's 1985 novel Schismatrix. Not to mention making Max Headroom as easy as pie.

(Choose your facial change)

The secret to the Quickcam is that it features motorized pan and tilt for intelligent face tracking. So, when you pick an effect, it follows you as you move your face. When you arch your eyebrow - your online Elvis arches his, when you move your head back and forth, the glasses stay on, and so on.

This is just what Bruce Sterling was talking about in Schismatrix:

Lindsay had a brief glimpse of the man's true appearance - white hair in spiky disarray, red-rimmed eyes - before a video-manicuring program came on line. The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.
(Read more about Bruce Sterling's video-manicuring)

And Max Headroom? The Orbit Quickcam MP lets you download and use online avatars that will also mimic your movements.

For those who do not remember, Max Headroom was a character from a 1985 television show. On the show, Max was a computer-generated personality. However, just to show you how advanced a concept that was in 1985, the Max Headroom shown on TV was not computer-generated, but faked with a live person. No computer at that time could do it.

(Max Headroom - a (faked!) computer-generated person from 1985)

Here's an example of one of the avatars you can download from Logitech. Remember, the software that goes with the camera will follow your face; the avatar will wink when you do, move its lips like you do, arch its eyebrows when you do, and so on.

(Choose your avatar - the space alien within)

You can have fun by yourself, or include your family and friends. The low distortion, ultra-wide field of view camera with expanded video coverage and multi-person intelligent face-tracking lets your family of Elvises or avatars go online.

Read more about the Quickcam Orbit MP; thanks to an alert reader for pointing this one out.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/1/2006)

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