Today Opal Camera Inc. announced Tadpole, the first webcam built exclusively for laptops and tablets.
Opal’s newest product delivers ultra-portability with the best image quality on the market – at just one-eighth the size of an average webcam, Tadpole is the world’s smallest webcam ever made.
Powered with the first directional mic to be used on any webcam, along with AI noise isolation and a capacitive touch sensor for easy tap-to-mute functionality, Tadpole offers unprecedented audio quality designed for work anywhere.
“The way we work has changed. Modern work is fluid today. It doesn’t just exist in an office or in a home. It happens on couches, in coffee shops, over poor hotel room WiFi,” said Veeraj Chugh, CEO and Co-Founder of Opal Camera. “We wanted to build a great product specifically for the way people work today. Tadpole is the first product of its kind: it’s tiny, works on any laptop, and comes with a huge sensor, really cool audio features and reliable stability.”
Plug and Play Portability
Tadpole is remarkably small (just 1.2″ squared) and weighs about the same as two AA batteries, making it portable and easy for anyone to bring along. As a laptop dedicated device, it comes equipped with a clip that fits directly onto any laptop display without requiring a camera mount. Its built-in woven nylon cable with USB-C 2.0 allows anyone to easily plug in Tadpole and jump onto a video conferencing call within seconds, without needing extra software or third-party setup. Tadpole works with both Mac and PC, and comes with an optional carry case.
Stefan Sohlstrom, Co-Founder of Opal Camera, remarked on its design: “Most webcams are large and built to live on top of a monitor in a home office. At Opal, we challenged ourselves to deliver high-quality hardware, but in a beautiful form factor that’s as tiny, convenient, and plug and play as possible. We put everything that you would want when working on a laptop… directly into the hardware.”
AI-Powered Directional Microphone
A first on any consumer device, Tadpole’s trademarked directional VisiMic™ microphone only captures audio that the camera can see. VisiMic is made in partnership with Soundskrit, the Quebec-based audio firm that specializes in cutting-edge directional microphone technology.
By allowing sound waves to pass through a sonic tunnel inside the device, any sound outside Tadpole’s field of view is not recorded, resulting in crisp, distraction-free video calls in any environment for the first time. With AI-integrated technology, Tadpole intelligently picks up the human voice while filtering out other unwanted background noises to give you professional sound quality wherever you go.
“Tadpole’s audio capture technology is powerful enough to be a standalone product,” said Sohlstrom. “We’re all self-conscious about background noise when we’re on an important video call at a busy coffee shop or a noisy airport. With Tadpole, the mic knows to pick up your voice only and block out the rest. We built a webcam that makes you sound as good as you look.”
The Tadpole includes Tap to Mute, a capacitive touch sensor that is built directly into the camera’s USB-C plug. This technology allows consumers to instantly mute and unmute the microphone with a single tap.
“On a device this small, there’s really no room for a button. Putting a capacitive touch sensor into the USB plug is a feature we all love and an elegant way to solve the ‘you’re on mute’ problem everyone has had,” said David Kalinowski, the company’s Head of Hardware.
The company has a patent pending for its Tap to Mute technology.
DSLR Quality Video Calling
Two years ago, Opal launched the C1 which became known as the first professional webcamera with DSLR-rivaling quality. Opal’s camera engineering team pushed to make Tadpole’s image quality even better, with a completely new machine learning ISP system based on a brand-new processor. The Tadpole also includes a larger 4K, 48MP, Sony IMX582 sensor with an f1.8 six-element glass lens to produce the truest color.
Tadpole works with both Mac and PC. It is available today for $175 worldwide at opalcamera.com and coming soon to Amazon. Case sold separately.