Presenting via webcam creates some awkward moments. Who do I look at? Should I use notes? Google how to interview for a remote job, and everyone will tell you to try and keep focused on the camera and not your screen. The problem is, our webcams are never in the best location to do that, making it awkward to present while trying to look at notes. Indiegogo’s latest project, Center Cam V2.0 seeks to change all that. This webcam sits in the center of your screen and allows you to look directly at your audience and your monitor at the same time.
Center Cam V2.0 is still in development, but Indiegogo allowed me to test the prototype, and I’m definitely intrigued. This 1080p Full HD webcam is connected to a 4mm flex tube that allows me to adjust the camera to my liking in the center of the screen without it flopping off to the side. The tube is then held in place by a clip that attaches to the top of my monitor (or bottom). If I connect it to the bottom, the camera also has an internal gyroscope that automatically flips the image to be right-side up.
The final design hasn’t officially been decided on, so in my version, the cam cable attaches to the clip but is slightly too small for the clip to hold it in place. The makers know this and use a shim to help it fit into place – they promise a great final solution for the end product. The current prototype works, and I even tested it in some interviews without issue. The camera has a decent internal microphone for sound and connects to my PC via USB. The 72hfov (Field of view) is on par with any Logitech cam. Don’t worry Apple fan boys and girls it works with your device too (not to mention also Linux and Android).
This week I had the opportunity to test the cam in a job interview, and I have to say I felt more connected and confident in the process. I love that I am able to look at the person I am speaking with, and the camera literally makes it so I feel like I’m face-to-face with that individual and making appropriate eye contact. Other webcams force an awkward presentation style where presenters never look or feel fully connected.
The best part? I can either look at the person, or I can read and quote from notes on my screen all while looking directly at the camera. Whether streaming, presenting, or interviewing, Center Cam V2.0 kicks other webcams to the curb here. The week before this camera arrived at my door, I was trying to figure out a better way to get my current webcam into the right position, so it didn’t look so awkward. With Center Cam V2.0 I simply don’t have to do that anymore. I love it, but there are still a few improvements I hope they can make before final release.
The first and most important improvement I would make is the cable attachment. I want a camera that I can adjust quickly on the fly. I don’t want to take the clip off my monitor to get it out of the way when I’m done and wish the clip had an adjustable holder on it. This way I could quickly pull the camera back to the top of my screen when it’s not in use and lock it into place.
I could even still use it as a top of monitor cam when I want. This isn’t an option. It would help make this good camera into a great one. Now, if I move the cam up or down it pops out of its holder and even scrapes the cable up. Hopefully the creators will see this issue and make the right decision for final release.
Perhaps the only other minor issue I find is the clip has trouble connecting to the center of my monitor. I have to move it slightly to the side due to a large bulge on the back of this monitor. Laptops and narrow monitors will be fine with the current design.
I’m excited to see where Center Cam V2.0 can go with its final iteration of the product. I absolutely love the idea of the product, particularly when presenting. This camera makes me stand out from the rest. It makes me personal and professional in my work while on meetings. All in all, Center Cam V2.0 is a brilliant product in need of some minor tweaks to make it great. As of this writing, the camera is set to ship in April 2024.