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3D Webchat Through the Eyes of Minoru

A Robot that Brings Video and Images to Life

By Jay Zeffren

With Skype, Google Voice, and other Voice over IP (VoIP) applications, together with a wide variety of free IM clients, staying in touch with people is easier than ever before. Whether you want to talk with your friends down the block or relatives on a different continent, with just a few clicks you can speak with them as quickly and clearly as you could if they were standing a few feet away. The Minoru 3D Webcam brings internet conversationalists even closer together by providing live 3D webchat that adds a dimension of realism to the images on the screen.

Minoru 3D WebcamThe small red robot, reminiscent of the titular character from the WALL-E film, features two VGA camera "eyes" which work in tandem to generate 3D images and video. Using a pair of 3D glasses, the images created by the Minoru pop out at the viewer. The friends you're chatting with will almost look like they're in the room with you.

In addition to the two cameras, the Minoru features a built-in microphone, making it the only peripheral necessary for online video chat. The entire device is powered by a single USB 2.0 port, keeping wire tangle to a minimum.

The webcam can also be used for 3D image and video capture. With 800 x 600 resolution support and video at up to 30 fps, the Minoru can take videos for you to post online or email to friends. In fact, a band recently shot a 3D music video using the Minoru.

The Minoru features a number of modes aside from the 3D mode, and you can easily switch between them using the icon in the system tray. If the person you're chatting with doesn't have 3D glasses handy, switch over to 2D mode and use the Minoru like a standard webcam.

A Picture-in-Picture mode allows you to provide a close up on an object while maintaining face-to-face video chat. Hold the item up to the left "eye" and the person you're chatting with will be able to see it in detail without interrupting your conversation.

Side-by-side mode allows video and image capture for stereoscopic playback. Using stereoscopic player software, side-by-side videos are ready for use with 3D monitors.

The adjustable "arms" are designed so that the Minoru can rest on a monitor or sit on top of a desk with ease. It's compatible with a variety of video chat clients, including Windows Live Messenger and Skype. With Minoru, it's easy to stay in touch with friends and family, and it's easy for them to see you in fun, lifelike 3D video.

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