At the moment the Internet world is ablaze with VoIP solutions, but it won’t be too long before the V in VoIP doesn’t stand for Voice, but Video. Creative, alongside Logitech, are forever playing tit-for-tat in webcam technology. Creative believes it has won the high ground with its latest offering. We become a video star to find out.
The Creative Live! Motion has a rather swish design. It is a gun metal grey and silver head (although it does come in white) that clamps onto your flat screen monitor or laptop lid, which makes it look like something out of a sci-fi movie rather than a regular webcam you are about to use to talk with friends.
Installing the software is straightforward. All the elements are based around a central application and its from here you can set up remote monitoring, the motion detection feature to catch unwanted desk thieves or time lapse video so you can take a series of images over a set time.
You can also use the webcam’s 1.3 megapixel still camera to take images and rather than be content with taking a regular 6x4inch shot, Creative has rather cunningly utilised the pan and tilt feature on the camera to offer 1920x720 panoramic shots that automatically take themselves - see images for examples.
Unfortunately the main focus of the camera is the tilt and pan feature that will track you as you move around the frame. There are three modes for this - Off, Constant and Smart. If you don’t suffer from seasickness you will by the time you’re finished with the Live Motion. Basically - if you move so does the camera. Its mission is to keep you at centre of the screen at all times and while it is very good at this task - the results of a camera that is constantly moving is rather off-putting.
The third option is Smart, which waits until head motion stops before tracking to a new position. This is marginally better, however if you’ve got objects in the room behind you the webcam seems to prefer to focus on these instead of you.
Far better, is to use the software tilt and pan feature to make sure the camera is pointing at you from the start and with a 200 degree horizontal plain and 105 degree vertical plain to work on, chances are you aren’t going to need the face tracking elements anyway.
At £100 this is a tad expensive for a webcam. The design and features are certainly there, but the main focus - i.e., the pan and tilt feature - isn’t really useable in the real world apart from using it to take panoramic pictures and lets face it, how often are you going to do that?
Good, but only if you’ve got cash to burn.