SGS Thomson Microelectronics NV is supplying the chip set that will be used in a joint development with Logitech International SA to put digital camera inside computer monitors. Logitech, the Fremont, California-based computer peripherals maker, will provide the software driver involved in the project. The companies will market a fully functional digital video camera that will be installed at eye level in monitors for digital videoconferencing functions and a like, replacing current products that are attached externally to the monitor or placed on the desktop. The camera will use the universal Serial Bus USB interface to add plug-and-play power. The companies are developing the product with the belief in mind that the next few years will see an increasing number of video-enabled desktops as the technology involved becomes more powerful and affordable. The companies, who have worked together in the past with SGS Thomson developing Logitech’s Application Specific Integrated Circuit ASIX chips, will develop the module that will enable the installation of the cameras. Logitech’s OEM marketing manager Hans-Peter Rieken said the technology will be targeted at the home and the corporate sectors, and it is unclear which will be the more dominant at this stage. Cameras will be available within monitors at the end of next year, with users controlling them via software installed on the machine the camera resides within. Rieken doesn’t rule out the possibility of outsiders being able to activate the cameras without the users knowledge and said there will be a switch on the monitor itself that will activate a slide cover on the lens, preventing such observation. It seems the general idea is to develop fixed cameras that will focus on the person directly in front of them. If more than one person is involved on the video conference call, Rieken said people will simply have to sit further back.