Ever wondered that the smart phone can be used as a webcam? Neither we did until we found the need for doing so. There is a popular saying that necessity is the mother of invention and this is quite true in this case.
Current generation smartphones are different from old phones. They can adapt furiously to user needs with the help of apps. So, do you really need a webcam? There are more than one reason why you might need one. The smartphone can easily be turned into a security camera or a shaving mirror. (Got any innovative ideas, do comment below!).
Let’s iterative through all the major mobile OS for which you can turn your phone into a webcam.
Turn your phone into a webcam: Android
Android Marketplace hosts tons of apps that claims that they can turn your phone into a webcam. This is hardly true as many of the apps failed badly, the only app that kept us busy is IP Webcam. The app is unique as it works from the browser, giving it the chances to work on any platform.
Let’s iterate through the steps of setting up your phone into a webcam.
1. Setup your Wi-Fi network and make sure that both the computer and the phone are connected to the network.
2. Start installing IP Webcam app on your phone. Before the installation, make sure that all the camera apps are closed.
3. After installation is complete, turn on the app and tap Start Server.
4. This will activate the phone’s camera and display a URL. Copy the URL and run it on your computer browser.
5. Hit Enter and the browser will load app page. Select Video Render and then Browser.
6. Then, you need to select the Audio renderer. Choose HTML wav to move forward.
Boom! A live video feedback will come up. Recording the video is easy and requires you to just press the red record button under the video tab. The default format in which the video is saved is mp4.
Keeping your phone screen ON is optional. Keeping it ON forcefully will give you high-quality video feedback to the browser.
Turn your phone into a webcam: iOS
As you might have guessed, there are many apps available in iOS marketplace that can change the way you operate your phone. Currently, there are two popular apps available for iOS that turn your phone into a webcam are EpocCam and PocketCam. PocketCam didn’t live to our expectation as it has complicated installation process and is limited in nature.
In comparison, EpocCam is free to use but shows ads to generate revenue. EpocCam is easy to set up and we will go through the process of setting up webcam.
1. Setup your Wifi connection and make sure that both your computer and phone are connected to it.
2. Download EpoCam for your iOS device.
3. EpoCam will ask you to install some drivers. Go ahead and install the audio and video drivers that came with EpoCam.
4. Start EpoCam on your Computer and Iphone. The app will start automatically and quickly search EpoCam on the network. The video feed will start to flow in after it is connected.
Small bug plagues the application. There are chances that the phone and the computer will not get connected. Restarting the application on both the devices will fix the issue. Also, the application does not support recording, so it will give best results when used by Camstudio.
Once your phone starts to act as a fully functional web camera, then you can use it as a video call generator. It is a two-step process that includes configuring camera on the phone and configuring Skype to use the phone accordingly. Let’s walk through the process.
Setting up camera on your Android Device:
Before we proceed, we need to setup Android smartphone. This time IP Webcam will not work will skype, so we need to install DroidCam on both PC and the Android Phone.
2. The next step includes noting down the WiFi IP listed on the main screen.
3. After that move to your computer and paste the IP in the web browser.
4. Select the right video quality option and click start.
5. Make sure that your phone is not locked. Locked phone will result in video shutters. It is advised to turn off auto-lock on the phone.
6. You need to restart Skype and select DroidCam Source 1 as the source of webcam feed.
The rest is self-explanatory, the android device is now ready for webcam usage.
Setting up your camera on iPhone device:
As explained earlier, EpoCam can be used to turn your phone into a webcam. Just make sure that both your phone and the computer is on the same WiFi network. Let’s move through the steps one by one.
1. Install EpoCam on both the iPhone and the computer(use above guidelines).
2. Start your skype and change the option for webcam(EpocCam).
3. Your skype is now ready to use your phone as a webcam. Start calling!
Default camera on Skype and How to change it.
The most common step of using Skype with your phone as a webcam is to change the default settings. The steps are listed below:
1. Start Skype and make sure you are signed in.
2. Select Tools > Options.
3. Go to General tab and click Video Settings.
4. Select the camera you wish to use from the drop-down menu. The name can be a little different from what you may expect as the names depends on the apps being used.
5. Click Save and start your journey.
Now, your Skype is ready to make a video call using your phone as a webcam. The feed can also be saved for future references.
Today we turned your phone into a webcam. Though we have gone through the process with a single app, there can still be many ways to do it. Comment below to tell us, if you have used any other app or a better approach!
Image Courtesy: NDTV, Google