Dell is taking user privacy very seriously. The computer hardware and peripheral maker has introduced a new line of laptops as well as desktop monitors that have physical shutters for webcams.
Dell has launched a few premium monitors. Additionally, the company has introduced the new Latitude 9000 series of laptops. Both products come with ShutterSafe technology.
Both the premium office productivity and multimedia content creation tools protect user privacy with physical barriers for cameras. Interestingly, Dell has also tweaked the software for these shutters. They now sync with video conferencing apps, ensuring the cameras pop up only when needed.
Dell Latitude 9420 and 9520 laptops get a videoconferencing-friendly but privacy-focused upgrade with ‘ShutterSafe’:
Primarily aimed at business customers, the new Dell Latitude 9420 and 9520 pack the latest hardware. The portable computing devices will feature Intel’s new 11th Gen vPro chips. Intel’s powerful 11th Gen Core I Series has integrated Iris Xe graphics.
The new Dell Latitude laptops will have a 2K or 1080p resolution display, with up to 32GB of RAM. Buyers can configure their devices with up to a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD. Dell is also offering optional 5G or LTE support through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 (for LTE) or X55 (for 5G and LTE) modems.
While the specifications are surely impressive, it is Dell’s SafeShutter system for the webcam which is a must-have technology for modern-day officegoers or remote workers. As businesses transitioned to remote work video-conferencing has taken center stage.
Dell’s SafeShutter system for webcams has a shutter that can open and close automatically. Privacy-conscious users have previously resorted to sticking tape over webcams, but this tech eliminates such crude safety and privacy measures.
The SafeShutter is synced with video conferencing applications. This means users needn’t even manually ask the webcam to open up.
New Dell 24, 27, and 34 video conferencing monitors have pop-up webcams that hide when not needed:
Apart from the premium Latitude laptops, Dell has also introduced a new line of “Video Conferencing Monitors”. These plug-and-play desktop PC monitors hide a webcam inside the chassis.
The new Dell monitors are available in 24-, 27- and 34-inch iterations. These monitors are clearly meant for businesses who want to add video-capable setups but wish to keep the wires to a minimum and privacy to a maximum.
— Aaron Buley (@aaronbuley) January 6, 2021
Dell has attached a felted speaker bar below the new monitors. The speakers aren’t loud but reportedly have the capability to relay human sound during meetings. The soundbar comes integrated with multiple standard buttons such as call, volume, and mute. There’s also a dedicated Microsoft Teams button for convenience.
The most interesting feature, however, is the pop-up camera at the top. Although explored as a concept by a few companies in the past, Dell’s implementation appears to be the smoothest, most practical, and stylish.
The webcam has a 5MP sensor, which should offer better than 1080p resolution. Interestingly, the pop-up webcam also has an IR camera sensor that works with Windows Hello for facial recognition and authentication.
Although not fancy, the webcam hides inside the chassis of the monitors. It pops up whenever it is needed or called. An added benefit of the webcam is that it doesn’t sit atop the monitor with a dangling cable.