Mi 10

You have a remote job interview in an hour, but your computer does not have a webcam? The solution that would surely come to your mind would be to hurry to get a camera to plug into USB.

But there is a solution that can be much more practical: using your smartphone. This can be turned into an IP webcam. The concept is to broadcast the image of your phone’s camera over a network that will be accessible from software on your PC that will emulate this video stream like that of a webcam.

Android offers different solutions adapted to Windows, macOS or Linux.

DROIDCAM WIRELESS: THE BEST SOLUTION FOR WINDOWS AND LINUX

Among the various applications that we have been able to use, DroidCam Wireless Webcam is clearly the most effective. The application, developed by Dev47Apps, is available for Windows and Linux, but unfortunately not for macOS.

To get started, install the app  from the Google Play Store . The application exists in two versions: free and Pro at 4.29 euros offering better image quality (HD 720p) as well as more controls (flash, zoom, autofocus, etc.)

How to use Smartphone as webcam on your computer

Then return to your Windows or Linux computer to download and install the client software available from the developer’s site . Accept that the software installs its drivers if prompted by the system. We also advise you to turn off all software using the webcam (such as Skype) during this installation to avoid any compatibility problems.

To continue, check that your smartphone and your computer are well connected on the same network. If it’s done, launch the DroidCam app on your smartphone and give it the necessary permissions (access the camera and record audio content only). At that time, the application will show you different IP addresses. The first two lines, WiFi IP and DroidCam Port will be the ones that interest us.

On the computer, open the DroidCam client that has been added to the desktop and copy the WiFi IP line of the application in the Device IP field . Check that the DroidCam Port line is identical on the application and the computer, select if you wish to have access to video and audio or only one of the two, then launch by clicking on Start.

How to use Smartphone as webcam on your computer

The image of the camera of your smartphone should then be displayed on the computer client. Your phone is therefore recognized as an input device for image and sound capture. All you have to do is configure it on Skype, Messenger or any other video conferencing application!

Also remember to connect your smartphone to a power outlet, because this kind of application is very energy-hungry.

Note, the version of Skype installed natively on Windows 10 was not compatible with DroidCam, but the version installed from the official Microsoft site did not present any problems.

USB CONNECTION

For those who have WiFi problems, DroidCam also offers to connect via USB. Connect your smartphone to your computer and click on the USB logo icon on the DroidCam client and everything will work the same.

Be careful however: for this to work you will first need to install the ADB and fastboot tools on your computer and activate the USB debugging mode available in the phones developer mode (a hidden menu which appears after clicking 7 times on the number of build in the “About phone” settings tab).

EPOCCAM: THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE ON MACOS?

For macOS, finding a good solution to do the same thing efficiently (and at an acceptable cost) is more difficult. EpocCam is the only client to have operated a minimum during our tests…

EpocCam keeps the same concept as DroidCam on Windows, that is to say it requires on the one hand an application on the phone and on the other hand a “driver” on the computer which will connect to it almost automatically if both devices are on the same network. Logically, the first step is to install the application for free on the Google Play Store , and install the drivers from the developer’s site (for macOS X 10.12 and above).

The application and the installed drivers, all you have to do is launch the application, give it permission to access the camera and launch software like Skype on your Mac which will offer you EpocCam among the different cameras .

Note that FaceTime never wanted to recognize EpocCam and that the image returned remains of very random quality, this solution is really that of fallback. Unfortunately for Macs, alternatives are very rare.

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