Sony’s new TV webcam will tell you when you’re sitting too close to the screen
We couldn’t escape the age of social distancing without some of the best webcams designed specifically for TVs, letting you video call without getting up from your couch. But Sony’s new Bravia Cam, revealed at CES 2022, isn’t correct a webcam – it’s also a sensor that automatically adjusts TV settings based on your location and proximity. It also supports gesture controls.
The Sony Bravia Cam can recognize where users are sitting to optimize picture and sound settings such as brightness levels, as well as alerting a user when they are sitting too close to the screen. When the Bravia Cam doesn’t detect anyone in the room, it can turn off the TV to save power. All of these settings are enabled individually, so users can choose which features they want to introduce into their Bravia Cam experience.
Of these Bravia Cam features, I’m most intrigued by the proximity alerts. Sitting too close to the TV for an extended period of time can be harmful to eye health. While adults should be more aware of how far away to sit in front of a TV, children may need visual warnings. When the Bravia Cam detects that someone is getting too close to the TV, a pop-up message appears at the bottom of the screen. If the person stays too close, a full-screen notice will block what’s on TV and trigger an alert.
Now for the less compelling feature. While the Bravia Cam promises gesture controls that let you navigate your TV, I feel like I’d be better off leaving that tool disabled, especially if the set has far-field mics. Gesture controls are often finicky, though I guess I should still give the Bravia Cam the benefit of the doubt.
I will say the same for privacy issues. Although a device placed above my TV facing me while I watch sounds scary, I can consider it one of the best cameras for photography The Bravia Cam is smart enough to know when someone is in frame, but it doesn’t record actions or reels for playback. No data leaves the device either. There’s even a physical lens shutter for added peace of mind.
The fact that the Bravia Cam is a webcam compatible with the best video chat apps for your TV is a total side note. Maybe I’m just tired of using video calls to stay in touch, but you sure won’t catch me pausing Boba Fett’s Book to answer a video chat while I’m on the go. comfortable on my couch.
Sony’s Bravia Cam arrives alongside Sony’s 2022 TV lineup and comes with the new Z9K and A95K series, both of which have magnetic terminals for mounting the camera directly to the TV. As an option, customers can add a Bravia Cam to the 2022 A90K, A80K, X95K, X90K, X85K, X80K series via USB, although there is no information on the cost of the webcam alone yet.
Be sure to check out all the latest product news on our CES 2022 live blog.