These days most of the feature phones and all the smartphones come with one or other sort of camera. Some of the smartphones have low-res cameras of 2 or 3 megapixels, while others have HD cameras of 8 megapixels and larger resolutions. Some of the smartphones now come with two cameras – one in the rear for taking pictures or making videos and one in the front for video chat or video calls. If you have an Android smartphone with good quality camera, then why spend money on buying a webcam? You can use your Android smartphone as a webcam in your Windows PC.
While some of the manufacturers offer this functionality in-built in the smartphones, for other models of Android smartphones you have to depend on DroidCam software. This software connects your camera in Android as a virtual webcam in your Windows PC. As you can guess, for this to work you have to install an app in the Android phone as well as a program in the Windows PC.
Other than this, the basic requirement is that both your Android smartphone and your Windows PC should be connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network. You can achieve this very easily by connecting both the Android phone and Windows PC to the same WiFi router.
First of all you have to install the DroidCam app in the Android smartphone. This is very small app, downloads in the fraction of a second and and it starts the server as soon as it is launched. You have to note down the server IP and port number for using later in your Windows PC.
In the settings of the DroidCam app, you can change the options to keep the phone awake so as not to lose the camera, use front camera instead of the rear camera, auto-dim screen etc.
Next step involves downloading the DroidCam client for Windows from the developer’s website and installing it. During the installation, it will install virtual webcam drivers in your Windows system. After the installation is over, you can launch the DroidCam client from the Start Menu shortcut. You can choose how your smartphone is connected to the PC network – over WiFi or through the USB. You will have to enter the IP address and the port number that you have noted down from the Android DroidCam app, select video or/and audio, select video quality and finally click on the Start button.
You will instantly see a preview of the video currently being captured from your Android phone’s camera. There are some controls at the bottom of the DroidCam client that can control brightness, rotation, zoom factor etc., but all of them are available only in the paid pro version.
Now that you have a working webcam in your Windows PC, you can start using it in any application or website. When selecting for the webcam you will have to select the DroidCam as the webcam (if you have only one webcam in your system, then its not going to be a problem).
Conclusion: You can easily use Android smartphone camera as a webcam in your Windows PC. For this you can use the free DroidCam app for Android as well as DroidCam software in Windows. This creates a virtual webcam in Windows that takes its video and audio stream from your Android smartphone.