Insta360 keeps hybrid workers in the frame with gimbal-packing 4K webcam
Insta360 has launched an AI-powered 4K webcam called the Link that's been designed for the hybrid workforce or streaming content creators, particularly those who find it difficult to stay in one place during Zoom calls.
"Developing Insta360 Link was a natural evolution of our mission to help people share their lives," said company founder, JK Liu. "With the pandemic shifting work to our homes at an unprecedented rate, we saw the opportunity to help people ‘work from home’ better with our expertise in AI image processing. Link’s ultra-precise AI tracking algorithms and premium imaging hardware make communicating remotely more intuitive than ever before."
The Link features a built-in screen clip that secures it to the top of a computer monitor or laptop display, or can be optioned with a tripod kit for more positioning freedom.
The webcam is built around a F1.8-aperture 1/2-inch-type image sensor for 4K video resolution at up to 30 frames per second, or 1080p/720p at up to 60 fps. But the HDR mode is only supported up to Full HD or 720p at reduced frame rates of 24/25/30 fps.
That relatively large sensor combined with ISO100 - 3,200 sensitivity should help with clarity in low-light settings, the Link keeps subjects sharp courtesy of snappy phase-detection autofocus from 4 in (10 cm) to infinity, shutter speed ranges from 1/8,000 to 1/30s, and settings such as brightness, exposure and white balance can be adjusted by the user via companion controller software.
Rather than rely on AI software like Dell or Apple, the Link employs a 3-axis gimbal lens and algorithm-powered subject tracking to ensure that the user stays in the frame at full resolution, with up to 4x automatic digital zoom on hand as well for those who like to make full use of the space available. The system can even respond to simple hand gestures for contact-free activation of AI tracking, zoom and other camera modes.
The gimbal allows for a few useful modes to be cooked in too, including one that streams a mobile-friendly uncropped 9:16 view, and another that can zoom in and square off a designated whiteboard to offer viewers a clear look.
Clear audio is also important for video calls with the remote team or streaming audience, and Insta360 has included dual noise-canceling microphones with auto gain and an anti-reverb feature to help put the voice center stage.
The Insta360 Link measures 2.71 x 1.61 x 1.77 in (69 x 41 x 45 mm) and weighs in at 3.73 oz (106 g), is reported fully compatible with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Google Meet on Windows or macOS computers, and can be had on its own now for US$299.99, or with a mini tripod for $328.99. The video below has more.
Product page: Insta360 Link