It may look a little like Project Natal, but this lengthy webcam is actually Panasonic's Skype camera for their latest HDTVs. The Panasonic TY-CC10W is intended to use with select Viera models, bringing 720p HD video and active noise cancellation audio to the sets for straightforward video conversations.
Panasonic reckons the system will appeal to grandparents and other tech-phobic users, who might find a notebook too much hassle and a standalone Skype phone unnecessarily indulgent. Plugging it in - via USB 2.0 - adds an new Skype option to the HDTV's on-screen menus, and you can browse contact lists and add new contacts directly from the UI.
The Panasonic TY-CC10W is expected to go on sale come June 11th; Panasonic have not confirmed pricing, but AV Watch expect it to be around 18,000 yen ($194). That's expensive for a webcam (especially one that will only work with your Viera HDTV, not if you plug it into a computer), but the company are obviously counting on people spending the extra for ease of use.
[via AV Watch]