Using Phone Camera for your Laptops

Most laptops have average webcams. Desktops may also not have cams. With more digital meetings, there is a need for better cams. But those are not available due to the current situation. You can, however, use the exceptional cameras on your mobile phone as wifi webcams.

Broadly you would need to do the following-

Download an app on your phone
Install drivers on your laptop
Choose the camera in your meeting app.

There must be more apps too, but these are the ones I experimented with

NDIHxCamera, an iOS app, utilises the NDI standard. This standard, popularised by Newtek, a broadcast solutions company. This app is reasonably simple to use but has been made keeping the broadcast solutions community in mind. To download their app and read more about the tools, please visit this link .

  1. Go to https://ndi.tv/tools/#download-tools and download NDI®? Tools for Mac or Windows. You will need to give your email etc. It will ask you to download a file. In that file, there are many tools. You just need to install one of them ie NDI Virtual Input.
  2. Download the NDI HX Camera app on your iPhone
  3. Connect your phone to the Mac with its phone cable or make sure both devices are on the same wifi. For better performance, connect with wire
  4. Now open the app on phone and you should see the camera. Plus click on the app ( NDI Virtual Input) and select the iPhone.
  5. In either Zoom, Teams or any other tool, select the NDI video of your phone instead of the laptop camera

Camo is another app that you can try. It has free and a paid option. It follows fairly similar steps as the app I have mentioned earlier but the big difference is the app on the Mac allows for some picture customisation and even choosing the lens of your iPhone. You can get it here

EpocCam is available both for iOS and Android. I experimented with this app on the Microsoft Teams. Kinoni claims that it works with Skype, Zoom and other applications too. It’s simple to use, but please follow the steps mentioned in the setup guide.

Photo by Matthias Oberholzer on Unsplash

3rd August – Post Updated with additional NDI and Camo related information.