Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to Use a Smartphone as a Webcam for PC

You know What ? you can use your smartphone as a web camera for your computer? Yes You Heard Me Right. This guide will help you learn how to use your smartphone with PC/laptop for Skype call or other video conferences.
We often face the need of a webcam. Sometimes to deal with clients and other times to talk to friends or our loved ones.
So, in case you don’t have a webcam, you need not worry at all as today I’m going to tell you how you can use your android phone as a webcam for video conferencing.

Earlier, I also used to worry about buying a web camera for my PC as I have to deal with the clients every day. So, I went to Google one day and started searching an alternative for the web camera.
Luckily, I came to know that I can use my personal android phone as a camera for skype video calling or Google+ hangouts or something else.
I’ve been using these methods for quite long so I thought why not to share it on my blog as there are many people who might be facing the same exact problem.
So, this article is going to help you learn how to use Android phone as a webcam in Windows computers.

HOW TO USE ANDROID PHONE AS WEBCAM ALTERNATIVE

There are many software and video conferencing apps available over the internet, but here we’re going to use some best apps out of them.

DROIDCAM

droidcam wireless webcam appDroidCam is arguably the best android app that turn your smartphone into a handy, portable webcam. DroidCam turns your Android device into a wireless webcam, letting you chat on Skype, Facebook, Google+, and other programs.

DROIDCAM FEATURES

  • Chat using “DroidCam Webcam” on your computer, including Sound and Picture.
  •  Completely free with no usage limits!
  •  Connect over WiFi or USB cable.
  •  Use other apps while DroidCam is streaming.
  •  Simple and efficient: Designed to save battery and space as much as possible.
Also Read : How to clean any camera lens

DroidCam comes into two parts, an android app (available on Google Playstore) and the desktop client component, which can be downloaded fromwww.dev47apps.com/droidcam for Windows and Linux. The PC Client component installs the webcam drivers and connects the computer with the Android device.

HOW TO SETUP AND USE DROIDCAM

  1. First of all, install the android app on your smartphone.
  2. Now, head over to your PC and download the desktop client component from here.
  3. Unzip the downloaded file and run it. Follow any on-screen instructions for help.
  4. Run the app on your android to receive IP address and port number.
  5. Launch the DroidCam desktop client and you will get an option to input IP address. Enter it.
  6. You will also get a choice to stream audio and choose video quality (low, normal and high). If you want to connect via USB, you can also do that.
  7. When ready, click Start to begin streaming. For devices with two cameras, you can choose your desired camera under the Settings button on the mobile app.
This is how you can use DroidCam Android app to convert your android phone into a webcam.
Even though,  the free version of the DroidCam is really great, but it offers only limited features. For example, you can use webcam in only landscape mode as well as zooming, brightness and other controls in the menu are also limited. In order to use these features, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium version of the app.

DROIDCAMX WIRELESS WEBCAM DEMO

IP WEBCAM

IP webcam is by far the best alternative of DroidCam Android App. IP Webcam turns your phone into a network camera with multiple viewing options, allow you to view your camera on any platform with VLC player or web browser and stream video inside WiFi network without internet access.

IP WEBCAM FEATURES

  • Several web renderers to choose from: Flash, Javascript or built-in
  • Video recording in WebM, MOV or MPEG4 (on Android 4.1+)
  • Audio streaming in wav, opus, and AAC (AAC requires Android 4.1+)
  • Motion detection with the sound trigger, Tasker integration.
  • Date, time and battery level video overlay.
  • Sensor data acquisition with online web graphing.
  • Videochat support (video stream only for Windows and Linux via universal MJPEG video streaming driver)
  • Cloud push notifications on motion and sound, cloud recording for motion-triggered records, online video broadcasting powered by Ivideon.
  • Advanced baby and pet monitor feature: night vision, motion detection, sound detection and audio streaming.
IP Webcam is also available at Google play store for free whereas the PC viewer can be downloaded from ip-webcam.appspot.com.

HOW TO SETUP AND USE IP WEBCAM

Setting up the IP Webcam app is very much similar to Droidcam. So, just go through the below-listed steps and you would be able to use your phone for video conferencing on computer smoothly and easily.
  1. First of all, install the android app on your smartphone.
  2. After installation of the app, you need to configure some settings (such as login, password, resolution, image quality and TCP port).
  3. Though you have configured the application, it requires you to view output in your browser. (Only Chrome and Firefox is supported).
  4. When you’re ready, click “Start Server” on the app and it will display the URL of the video so you can view it remotely (Only rear smartphone cameras are supported yet, not good for front-facing cameras).
  5. You’ll need to use the http://[IP ADDRESS]:8080/videofeed URL to view the feed.
  6. You may also take snapshots using the “Take Immediate Photo” feature (Various image resolutions are available for video and stills).
  7. Once the app is up and running, you can use the actions button on your android device to start, stop and do other tasks with the camera.
This is how you can use IP Webcam app to use your smartphone as a webcam for your computer.

WHICH ONE IS THE BEST WEBCAM APP?

So, this is how you can use your smartphone as a webcam for your computer using android apps. We’ve considered only free android apps as a majority of the people don’t like to buy the paid apps for such uses. Still, if the free version works so nicely, then I’m pretty sure that the paid version will be much more impressive.
The best thing about these Webcam Android apps is that they are really easy to use and setup as well as have plenty of useful features within the menu bar.
So, according to me, the DroidCam has an advantage over IP Webcam app as it is easier to use and has many more features.
What do you think? Is there any Android webcam app that you like and we forgot to mention? Tell us in the comments.