Fun and Functional iPhone FaceTime Tech

Fun and Functional iPhone FaceTime Tech

Jeff Heaton
Nov 15, 2011

FaceTime is that wonderful video chatting app from Apple that makes it possible to see whomever you're talking to on just about any of your (Apple) devices. But like Skype, G-Chat and many other webcam-based video chat services before it, there are plenty of perils. We've already written out some basic etiquette, now we're taking a look at some tech that will help make the quality and use better.

A Sturdy Stand

To take good looking video that isn't jarring it's key to have to your iPhone stable. While the standard dock is pretty, it's been outpaced by much more useful rivals. We like the Oona ($25, pictured here) for it's ability to go just about anywhere, and even pair well with an egg timer for time lapse photography. Even better than that, though, are the Swivl ($160, featured picture) and the Satarii Star ($200). These two devices act as electronic cameramen, track the movement of a clip you wear so you can be cooking, working or just plain antsy and still have a great conversation.

A Handsome Headset
While the microphone in the iPhone is nice (it is a phone after all), we find it easier to use a headset. For one you will always have clear, correct volume no matter where you are in relation to the phone. And two it won't suffer from ambient noise as much as the built in mic; this is especially true if you're in a windy environment. We like the Jawbone Era ($99), not only because it looks awesome compared to most of the telemarketer-looking headsets we've seen, but also because it's got excellent sound quality.

A Luxe Light

Probably the least often considered part of video chatting is the lighting. Good photographers and videographers know this is everything when it comes to getting a good picture, so improving your lighting can make a big difference. Lighting from above and front, like bathroom lighting, makes a nice cast on the face and gives the person you're talking to a clean picture of you. Pictured here is our editor-in-chief's office space, with a cool looking overhead light. We also like the Firefly Pendant lamp ($199) from CB2 because it adds style as well as functionality to your workspace. Given that you're on your iPhone you won't always be at your desk. In these situations we like Verilux Travel Lamp ($29.95) for its portability as well as LEDs.

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