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When the iPad was introduced back in January, I admit I was a bit disappointed that there wan't a webcam for iChat. The portability of the device and large display would allow for an excellent video call experience. Adding a webcam to the iPad would have been a no-brainer move especially since other Tablets are integrating them, such as the HP Slat and the JooJoo Tablet.
Then I remembered a post back in early January on appleinsider.com. They mentioned that Apple submitted a patent back in 2007 with details of a camera that is mounted 'behind' the display. Although the patent illustration depicts a laptop, this concept could easily be modified for the new iPad. A bit of hope grew inside thinking that Mr. Jobs has another 'Just One More Thing' tucked up his sleeve.
We've already seen the iSight indicator light "disappear" behind the bezel of Apple's MacBook and iMac computers. A recently published patent application could make the iSight itself not only disappear, but move to the middle of the screen.
Submitted in July 2007, the filing details plans for a camera mounted behind a display that could capture an image... The filing explains how today's built-in cameras require a user to look away from the lens in order to see his or her video conferencing participants. Constantly looking back and forth between the display screen and the camera ... can be distracting and make the conversation seem awkward and unnatural.The new OS 3.2 SDK are revealing evidence of cameras and video capture on the iPad. There was even a discovery of two icons that clearly show buttons for either accepting or declining a video call. By the looks of it there is an iPad and/or iPhone in the future that will have a front facing camera for video chat. I guess we'll have to wait another month to see for sure.
Perhaps on January Steve Jobs was biting his tongue knowing what was secretly already installed behind the display....
....either way I'm not holding my breath.