LG's Smart Cam is a dedicated HD camera for smart TVs

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics has launched a dedicated TV camera called the LG Smart Cam, and it’s going on sale in the U.S. priced at $99. It’s a 1080p camera equipped with dual microphones, a physical shutter for privacy and support for the multi-view feature on webOS TVs. Multi-view enables users to split the TV screen into two segments.


LG said the LG Smart Cam is supported by any TV that runs webOS 22 or webOS 23, and it’s pitching it as a way to do video conferencing on a living room TV. To that end, it supports a number of LG TV apps, including the RemoteMeeting application. It’s also compatible with the Exercite fitness app, which uses the camera to analyze the user’s movements, and Flexit, which is another fitness platform that offers wellness and exercise coaching.

Other apps that support the camera at launch include Home Dance by 1M, which is a K-Pop dance app that teaches you how to dance to K-Pop hits.

All well and good, but users might be aware that the compatible apps are not especially popular with anyone who doesn’t own an LG TV, and even then, there are alternative applications that people are more likely to use.

This is a problem because LG’s webOS cannot run popular Android and iOS applications unless they’re ported over by the developer. For example, while RemoteMeeting is a web-based app that anyone can use, it’s going to be hard to convince someone to call you on that relatively unknown service instead of the much more popular Zoom, Skype or Google Meet.

In addition, the LG Smart Cam faces competition from other TV webcams. For instance, Sony previously launched a more sophisticated camera called the Bravia Cam, which costs $199 but has more fancy features, such as gesture controls. It can also do more, for example warning people that they’re sitting too close to the TV, and therefore at risk of harming their eyes. Another rival is Sky TV’s Sky Live camera, launched just a few days ago with a much heftier price tag of £290. It too offers Kinect-style motion controls.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Continuity Camera is perhaps a more compelling option given that it allows users to use their iPhone or iPad as a TV camera… So long as you have an Apple TV box.

LG is simply keeping up with the trend for TV web cams, which some people may decide is a nice thing to have. But, truth be told, if the idea is to really catch on then TV cameras will need the support of a decent app ecosystem, which LG’s Smart Cam doesn’t really have. Not yet, anyway.