Wristcam, the camera for your Apple Watch, is adding FaceTime-like video calling

Years ago a private investigator in a yellow coat and hat named Dick Tracy used a watch to make a phone call, and then everything changed. Of course, Tracy is a fictional character and that smartwatch never actually existed as a product someone could buy (especially not in 1990 when the movie came out). But the dream of achieving that goal, of making a call (or answering one for that matter) on your watch was born. The good news is that we live in a reality where that’s an option now.

The Apple Watch is a well-equipped smartwatch, but one thing that’s missing is a camera. That means while you can make audio calls from your smartwatch, you can’t make FaceTime video calls. Or video calls in general. But that is not the case anymore, as long as you’re willing to shell out some cash for a specific band. It’s called the Wristcam, and the product actually launched in 2020. As you can guess from the name, it adds a camera to the band of your Apple Watch, and now it can actually support video calls.

The Wristcam band can achieve this thanks to the launch of a brand new “WristcamOS” software. This makes it possible for the Wristcam to support “FaceTime-like video calls” right from the accessory. Which means you can now actually make and receive video calls from your smartwatch. Check it out in action in the video above.

The Wristcam is actually well-equipped in its own right. It features a pair of cameras (one 8MP shooter and a 2MP selfie camera), and the band can hold up to 2,000 photos. It can also store up to an hour of video, all thanks to the 8GB of built-in storage. The band connects directly with the Apple Watch via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and today it’s getting much more useful. Previously the Wristcam was only able to snap photos and record videos, which could then be shared to others, but it didn’t support actually making a video call from either one of the cameras.

Now, for the nitty gritty. This is not FaceTime video calling. Wristcam has a dedicated app that both you and someone else will need to have installed –along with the Wristcam band for the Apple Watch– before you can initiate a video call. As long as those demands are met, you’ll be able to make Wristcam-to-Wristcam video calls. Or you can make Wristcam-to-iPhone calls, just as long as the app is properly installed on the other person’s iPhone.

It’s also worth noting that while the feature is going live today, Wristcam owners still need to request access to use the feature. To do that, go here.

A cool accessory for the Apple Watch gets even better starting today. The Wristcam band is available now from the company’s online store for $299.