“Why would anyone want to use their phone as a webcam?” This was the most common reaction people had when we told them what we were trying to do, but there are actually some pretty good reasons to do this.
It is obviously easier to buy a dedicated camera, but if you don’t want to buy a brand new webcam, or want to find a good use for your old phone instead of selling it, then setting it up like this is a nice idea. Here’s how to set it up.
One of the ways in which you can use an old phone is by setting it up as a security camera or a baby monitor. This is pretty easy to do with the right apps for both Android phones and iPhones. This is how you set it up:
A quick search on Google Play throws up several webcam applications. We tried 5 of the top 10 results, but most didn’t work properly. From the ones that didn’t crash repeatedly, SmartCam failed to show the video, and DroidCam needs you to install an app on Windows to work.
To set up a security camera on Android, follow these steps.
2. Install the IP Webcam app on your smartphone.
4. Launch the IP Webcam app. Scroll to the bottom and tap Start server.
6. Enter this URL in any browser on your computer and hit Enter.
8. Below that, you’ll see Audio renderer. Select HTML wav.
9. To do this, first download and install VLC from this website. Then in VLC, go to Media > Network Stream and enter the URL from the app as seen in step 5.
On the other hand, EpocCam is free (with ads) and it is very easy to set up. That’s why we would recommend using EpocCam. This is how:
2. Download the EpocCam app on your iOS device and Windows or Mac machine.
4. Start EpocCam on your iPhone and your computer.
While this app generally works well, we found that at times the phone and the computer couldn’t connect to each other. Restarting the app on both devices quickly fixed the issue for us. There’s no recording feature in this app, but you can easily setup a screen recorder app such as Camstudio on your computer to record the feed from your iPhone, if you want to use the phone as a security camera and not a CCTV feed.
First, you need to set up the camera using an app on either your Android phone or iPhone. This is how:
Here’s how to set up your Android smartphone as a webcam. IP Webcam does not work with Skype, so you’ll need to install DroidCam and its PC client for this to work:
2. Download and install the DroidCam client on your computer. Both the phone and the computer should be on the same Wi-Fi network.
4. Open the Windows client and paste the IP on the computer.
6. Click Start.
8. Restart Skype (if it is open) and select DroidCam Source 1 as the webcam (explained after the iPhone section).
1. Install and run EpocCam on your computer and iPhone, as mentioned earlier.
3. Now make a video call to any of your contacts. You’ll be using the iPhone as a webcam for the call.
After you’ve gotten your phone to work as a webcam (using DroidCam or EpocCam), you need to change the settings in Skype before you can use your phone as a webcam. This is what you need to do:
2. Once Skype is running and you have signed in, you’ll need to go to Tools > Options.
4. Select the correct camera from the drop-down menu next to Select webcam:. The name of the camera varies depending on the app you are using to connect. Android users will have to select DroidCam Source 1, while iPhone users will select EpocCam.
You can now use Skype on your computer to make a video call, and it will use the feed from your phone’s camera for the video.