Last week we told you about the retail availability of MouseComputers Windows Hello Camera on Amazon and today our review unit arrived.
This device, which was initially announced at COMPUTEX 2016, was only available in certain locations overseas but its appearance on Amazon last week opened up the opportunity for those of us at least in the United States to try the biometric enabled camera.
Since writing up my article last week about the product being available on Amazon a couple of other tidbits have surfaced about the peripheral that I can confirm now that I have unboxed it and tried it out.
First - the device does have an RGB color camera onboard that runs at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 at 30 FPS. However, the image output using the Windows Camera App on Windows 10 is not very good at all. As you can see below - it comes out quite grainy considering it is a 720p HD image.
The other shortfall for this device is the lack of a microphone to go along with the poor HD webcam.
In these two images from the settings for the Skype UWP app, the camera shows up as an RGB-IR Camera however, no microphone shows up in the related audio settings.
Skype Camera Options
Skype Audio Options
Now if the PC you plan to use this camera on has a microphone then this could still be a serviceable option. You could also choose to use the Mouse Facial Recognition Camera For Windows Hello (CM01-A) just for biometric logins using facial recognition and skip the webcam related options.
Either of these will work but at $70 I also expected at least a serviceable webcam to go along with the Windows Hello features. The lack of a microphone obviously saved some money in development and hardware cost but seems shortsighted when this is also a webcam for use via communications apps.
I guess we are still looking for that ideal $70 Windows Hello device with a solid camera and facial recognition capability. The only problem is there does not seem to be any activity to fill this nitch right now beyond adding it to laptops and other devices.