Lumina: World’s First AI-Powered Webcam Brings Hollywood Effects to Your Zoom Calls

·3 min read

Life is lived largely online these days, especially with the rise of Zoom calls for business and educational purposes. Everyone wants to make a stellar first impression on such calls, but the limits of today’s webcams can make it hard to be seen in a good light. Enter the Lumina 4K Webcam, an AI-powered device that claims to make you look great on every call

Close-up view of the Lumina 4K Webcam's lens.
Close-up view of the Lumina 4K Webcam's lens.
The AI-powered Lumina 4K Webcam attached to a desktop computer.
The AI-powered Lumina 4K Webcam attached to a desktop computer.
Graphic breaks down all the components that go into the Lumina 4K webcam.
Graphic breaks down all the components that go into the Lumina 4K webcam.

The Lumina webcam offers three essential features that set it apart from all the others. First, it uses artificial intelligence and a CMOS sensor to auto-correct for ideal color. The user simply holds up the included color card and it automatically pairs with the camera, giving the system a baseline “for realistic color which is used to repair color deficiencies, find the perfect exposure levels, and correct for lighting temperature.” Users can customize even further, if desired, by fine-tuning the camera’s 30-plus settings and parameters.

Color calibration on the Lumina 4K Webcam is as easy as holding up an included color card.
Color calibration on the Lumina 4K Webcam is as easy as holding up an included color card.

Second, it allows for a DSLR bokeh effect with its innovative blurring techniques. Inspired by the way 3D gaming engines use blur functions, Lumina can keep the user looking crisp and crystal clear while softly fading the background, allowing the focus to stay entirely on the person in the center. Users can manually adjust the amount of blur and even add RGB/HSV transformations if desired.

The Lumina 4K's DSLR bokeh effect blurs the background and keeps the focus squarely on you.
The Lumina 4K's DSLR bokeh effect blurs the background and keeps the focus squarely on you.

Third, Lumina includes an auto-framing “cameraman” feature that tracks the subject’s face and body position. This means the background will be ideally composed no matter how often a person moves around during a call. The ultra-wide 95-degree field-of-view lens works with the AI Cameraman software to “adjust everything from video framing, transition speeds, reaction time, and even the transition easing curve to be more fluid and natural.”

Businessman uses the Lumina 4K Webcam's auto-framing cameraman feature to keep his image clear no matter how much he moves around.
Businessman uses the Lumina 4K Webcam's auto-framing cameraman feature to keep his image clear no matter how much he moves around.

The camera’s compact body is made of aluminum, with a choice of four sophisticated colors: gold, rose gold, dark gray, and silver. And at just 2.75 inches long, it’s even smaller than a tube of lipstick. The Lumina package also includes a magnetic privacy cover “that snaps on like magic,” a camera mount, two USB-C cables, and a 17-patch color card for calibration.

Side-by-side comparison between the Lumina's image quality and that of a competing Logitech webcam.
Side-by-side comparison between the Lumina's image quality and that of a competing Logitech webcam.

Being able to appear perfectly photogenic on each online interaction is apparently a prevalent desire, as Lumina’s Indiegogo campaign raised over 5,000 percent of its funding goal from more than 4,000 supporters with six days left to go.

A super-small Lumina 4K Webcam being pulled from its packaging.
A super-small Lumina 4K Webcam being pulled from its packaging.

Lumina’s CEO Raymond Lei is no stranger to finding a need and filling it. After a frustrating interaction while trying to order t-shirts for his high school tennis club, Lei was inspired to improve the online shopping experience for everyone. Starting with just $2,000, he started his own t-shirt company “ooShirts.” After its massive success, he dropped out of UC Berkeley to create Scalable, a multi-million dollar firm that builds e-commerce infrastructure for entrepreneurs. After a year of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, he realized the universal lack of video quality for conference calls and decided to solve that problem, too. Together with Chief Technology Officer Mike Xia, they created the Lumina 4K webcam to give everyone a leg up on Zoom.

All the different color options available for the Lumina 4K webcam.
All the different color options available for the Lumina 4K webcam.

Early bird backers of the crowdfunding campaign were offered the AI webcam package for $170, a 32-percent discount from the intended price. The website says Lumina will start shipping sometime after mid-October 2021.

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