Sony’s Bravia Cam is a webcam for your TV—and it can make

In terms of unique CES 2022 gadgets, Sony may take the cake with the Bravia Cam. And while this TV accessory may sound like a webcam on steroids, its feature set makes some unique promises aimed at improving picture quality and making parenting easier.

Let’s talk about this unique TV accessory and share some insights from Tyler Ishida, vice president of consumer business group at Sony Electronics.

The Bravia Cam is essentially a camera with a microphone that will be attached to the top of your Sony TV. As of now, it works with all 2022 BRAVIA models – OLED, Mini LED and in LED – and will be a plug-and-play solution. Once installed and powered on, it can be used to control your TV with gestures, adjust picture quality or sound depending on where you are sitting and turn the TV off to save energy, among other features. Do it

If you’re concerned about privacy, there’s a physical switch on the top of the Bravia Cam that will block the lens of view. Sony also confirmed that the data is processed locally and that you can delete all clips at any time.

Gesture controls take us back in time to Kinects, Wii Remotes, and even an LG smartphone or two. But here, they are only there as an additional option that you can use or ignore. It will be limited to basic controls like turning off the TV, switching inputs or adjusting the volume. We haven’t tested it yet, but we will test it for a full evaluation.

If you’re a parent of kids or perhaps an aunt or uncle who has kids, you may be glad to hear that the Bravia Cam gives a signal when it detects someone sitting too close to the TV. It won’t yell at your kids, but will display a sign asking them to return.

You’ll also be able to use Bravia Cam as a webcam with Google Duo. No other service will be supported at launch, but you’ll be able to use other USB webcams on Sony’s latest TVs with this service, like the Logitech Brio. The Bravia Cam will also dim the TV when you walk away and can be set to turn the TV off after a certain amount of time. It’s a small touch, but can help reduce energy consumption.

“I think Ambient Optimization Pro is the one you get the most out of,” Ishida quickly explained as the main reason for getting the Bravia Cam. Essentially, depending on where you are in space, the Bravia Cam will use its Ambient Optimization Pro functionality to adjust picture and sound settings. That way, if you’re on the right side of the TV, it can compensate for the audio mix and adjust some picture parameters for the best viewing angles. It takes the built-in ambient and light sensor to the next level, as it will adapt depending on where you’re watching the TV.

The Bravia Cam will come with your 2022 Bravia TV if you get the premium Z9K or A95K. Otherwise, you will have to buy it separately at an as yet undisclosed price. When asked, Ishida told us, “It will be priced competitively in the market,” which makes us think it will be similar to a premium webcam, so possibly a few hundred dollars.

It’s clear that the Bravia Cam is an add-on for Sony TVs, but we’re particularly curious to see how this picture adaptation plays into Sony’s historically accurate and immersive viewing experience. It feels like you’re adding a layer of personalization to where you are in the space.

We’re naming the BRAVIA Cam as a finalist for CES 2022’s Most Innovative and Best Home Entertainment Accessory. We’ll share our absolute finals ahead of the top picks in each category later this week.

We’re looking forward to getting a hands-on and thorough review of the Bravia Cam once it launches this spring with Sony’s 2022 Bravia TVs.

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