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Dell’s wireless, magnetic webcam fixes the eye contact problem in video calls

Dell has revealed Concept Pari, a completely wireless webcam that just happens to magnetize to surfaces. This isn’t the first wireless webcam in existence, but Dell’s implementation feels particularly magical, especially in regard to how it tries to establish eye contact.

Part of the appeal is its size. It weighs just one ounce and slots easily into its USB-C dock above Dell’s monitor, where it can also charge wirelessly. Having seen the device in person, it really was remarkable just how light and small this webcam was.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The built-in magnet is what makes it interesting, though. It can be attached anywhere to the screen you like, but ideally, you can place it somewhere within the frame of your video call. That means you can get close to mimicking direct eye contact with the person on the other side.

In lieu of a screen with a camera built into it or VR-enabled metaverse experiences, Concept Pari is an innovative attempt to solve the disconnect many of us feel in video calls.

The bottom of the webcam is a felt-like material, allowing it to slide along the surface of the screen without damaging or smudging the panel. Dell says it works with “compatible displays” but didn’t elaborate on if Concept Pari would work with whatever monitor you have at home.

The webcam uses a 1080p resolution over Wi-Fi and also includes a light indicator to help you keep the webcam straight.

Because the webcam is wireless, Dell showcased other use cases, such as holding it in your hand or attaching it to a stand. The application on the stand is the most interesting, as it allows you to have a highly adjustable view of your desk. This could be useful for teachers, content creators, or anyone else that needs to show a view of their desk.

HP recently showed off a similar concept in the HP Envy 34 All-In-One, which included a detachable webcam that could be moved around the frame of the screen. While that solution didn’t solve the eye contact problem, it did provide an easy view of your desktop. HP’s webcam also wasn’t wireless like Dell’s concept.

Dell had a working version of Concept Pari at its exhibit, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you’ll be able to go out and buy this year.

Dell often showcases concepts or prototypes to preview technologies being developed, some of which get used in other projects and some which get discontinued entirely.

Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
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