LAS VEGAS - Livestreaming is quickly becoming the biggest thing in gaming, but few webcams are made with aspiring Twitch stars in mind. Enter the Razer Stargazer: a super-powerful $199 webcam that can scan your face and superimpose you atop your favorite games without the need for a green screen.
The Stargazer’s wide cylindrical design is meant to mount effortlessly to your monitor or laptop display of choice, thanks to a highly flexible hinge that makes positioning the webcam a breeze. Razer’s camera can capture 720p video at 60 frames per second as well as 1080p video at 30 fps, giving gamers a choice of whether they want to prioritize picture quality or smoothness.
But the Stargazer is built to do much more than capture your face in high definition. Designed in collaboration with Intel, the webcam features many of the same motion-tracking, depth-sensing and 3D-scanning capabilities found on RealSense cameras.
This means that, among other features, the Stargazer can cut the background from your webcam feed, hiding your messy bedroom and seamlessly superimposing you on top of whatever game you’re broadcasting to the world. This worked pretty well in my testing – after standing in front of the Stargazer for a second or two, I instantly saw my face appear on the bottom corner of the screen, where I showed up clearly without obstructing the game of Dota 2 that was running.
Achieving this effect on a standard webcam typically requires setting up a green screen, meaning that the Stargazer could end up saving broadcasters some time and money. The camera is compatible with popular broadcasting apps OBS and XSplit (as well as Razer’s own Cortex software), meaning that most streamers should have no issue integrating it with their setup.
The Stargazer’s benefits go beyond just streaming, however. The webcam supports Windows Hello, which lets you log in to Windows using just your face, and can create a 3D-scan of your face using one of the several scanning apps already available on Windows.
Razer mentioned that Stargazer’s scanning abilities will eventually work with certain games (such as scanning real-life objects into a Minecraft world), and will even let gamers program certain functions to hand gestures. If the final product works anything like the demo version I saw, you’ll be able to launch a game of Dota 2 by simply waving your hand at the camera.
I never thought I’d leave a CES meeting saying “I need this webcam,” but the Stargazer is awfully compelling. While its $199 price tag is hefty, the camera’s ability to capture high-framerate video, scan your face and even replace your green screen could hold a ton of value for broadcasters, casual gamers or even folks who just want to play around with gesture controls. We look forward to using it on our quest to Twitch stardom once it launches in Q2 of this year.