LG has unveiled a Full HD video camera that will unlock a whole new suite of features, including the ability to make a video call, workout with home fitness apps, watch multiple programs at once and more.
It’s called the LG Smart Cam and it will be compatible with the best LG TVs, but only on those that have the most recent smart TV operating platforms (webOS 22 or 23). The camera itself also has built-in dual microphones, which enables you to take full advantage of all the apps available on webOS.
These include a video conferencing platform called RemoteMeeting, a home fitness app that uses motion tracking to offer real-time feedback called Exercite, a fitness consultation app for one-on-ones called FlexIt, a selfie app called Fun Mirror and a dance tutorial app called 1M HomeDance.
You can purchase the camera, which comes with a slider to cover the lens for when you’re not using it and want privacy, for $100 in the US as of today, June 28 – it’s also available in South Korea and is set to be rolled out globally soon.
If you think that’s expensive, then you might be surprised to learn that a similar smart TV camera retails for £290 in the UK, which works out to be roughly $366 – it’s almost four times the price and the only major difference I can see so far is that it offers 4K resolution.
Do TVs really need an in-built camera?
LG isn’t the only TV manufacturer to release a dedicated camera recently. Last week, UK broadcaster Sky launched one of its own, making your Sky Glass TV a lot more interactive with Sky Live.
Like Sky Live, which is the name of its TV smart camera, a lot of the new features and capabilities are similar. The ability to make video calls is something that a lot of companies have added to their offerings recently. Not only was it recently revealed that Sony TVs would soon support Zoom video calls, but both Apple and Google also plan to add this functionality to their smart TV operating systems in a big upgrade as part of new features announced recently.
One of the more exciting features is the interactive element and how it adds value to home fitness apps. There’s also the multiview functionality, which is a useful feature but it’s something that many have rolled out a lot recently – those with an Apple TV 4K got a great free multiview update last month.
While all of this sounds good, I was under the impression that product designers were looking to provide more all-in-one solutions rather than additional separate accessories? Of course, you can always add one of the best webcams to your TV yourself to achieve this but it only really makes sense if you have a big demand for the added capabilities that it unlocks.
Personally, I’m not sure I’ll be using my TV to make calls or exercise with that often to justify an additional device. If you already own one of the best TVs and/or best streaming devices then you’ll likely have access to some of the best streaming services that offer some of these features anyway.
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Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.