The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries to go on lockdowns to prevent further spread. These lockdowns have forced businesses to adopt work from home policies to prevent consequential disruption to workflow. Resultantly, video conferencing solutions have seen an unprecedented rise with players like Zoom seeing 20X growth in the span of three months.
Unfortunately, an increase in the use of video conferencing solutions has placed an importance on webcams. But unfortunately, for users who don’t already own professional webcams or laptops with decent in-built webcams, it’s become increasingly difficult to procure one with operations of logistic companies being seriously affected.
But worry not. If you’re in dire need of a webcam, you’ll be happy to know that you can make use of your smartphone as a webcam. Now, before we get to know how to use your smartphone as a webcam, I think it’s important to know that most video conferencing services like Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have both Android and iOS applications with which you can place and receive calls directly via your smartphone.
Although, if you’re still keen on using your smartphone as a webcam for whatever reason, there are plenty of applications available that will let you use your smartphone camera as a webcam.
Here’s how you can use your Android phone/ iPhone as a webcam
There are multiple applications that will let you use your Android smartphone as a webcam; IP Webcam, and DroidCam to name a couple. However, I found iVCam to be the most user-friendly service and it’s quite easy to set up too.
iVCam is also a freemium application which means you’ll be able to use the basic service for free but you’ll have to pay to unlock more features. There is no stipulated trial period but the application does allow users to make use of premium features for a limited amount of time. After this, the video feed is limited to 640×480 resolution and will also add a watermark to the feed, besides showing ads.
The paid version of the application costs INR 750 and will unlock features like 4K video, and will remove watermarks and ads from the application.
Follow the following steps in order to use your smartphone as a webcam.
1. Download the application from the Google Play Store/ App Store, depending on which smartphone you own. At the same time, head over here to get the Windows client for iVCam. Unfortunately, iVCam is not available on macOS and hence you won’t be able to use this particular service in case you own a MacBook. In that case, you can try using EpocCam Webcam (Freemium) or iCam (Paid).
2. An important of using the application is that the laptop and the smartphone need to be connected to the same WiFi network. In case you’re using a desktop that doesn’t have a WiFi card, you can also make use of a USB connection via your Android phone or an iPhone.
3. Once the application on your phone, and the client on your laptop, is installed, open both the applications. If both the laptop and the phone are connected to the same WiFi network, the phone should automatically connect to your laptop and show you a preview on it.
4. The user interface of the application is quite easy too. You can flip the image, make use of the front or the rear camera, and also play around with settings like exposure from either the smartphone application or the desktop client.
5. This is only half the step. Now, in order to use your smartphone in video conferencing applications like Zoom you need to configure the camera in settings. For instance, in Zoom, you can head over to Video settings and change the camera input to “e2esoft iVCam” from “Integrated Webcam”. That’s all.