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Smartphones & gadgets

Free way to turn your phone into a webcam

With many working from home for the first time, video conferencing is a new part of the daily routine. However, built-in laptop webcams are notoriously bad, and standalone webcams can be pricey and hard to find now that everyone needs one. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: using your phone as your computer’s webcam.

Modern day smartphones are impressive pieces of technology. Tap or click here for 3 smartphone tricks you never knew before.

Smartphones these days ship with incredibly good cameras, but most people don’t know how to incorporate them as a webcam for their computers. Why not get some extra functionality out of something you already own and improve your video quality while you’re at it? Read on to see how a free app can turn your phone’s camera into your computer’s webcam!

What is Kinoni?

Kinoni’s pitch is simple: turn your phone into a webcam for your computer for free in under 3 minutes. It’s a simple app designed to turn your phone into a camera that you can use in other apps, like Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom on your computer.

While, of course, you can simply use the meeting software of your choice on either your phone or your computer, if your computer isn’t equipped with a decent camera and you’d rather not have all your meetings on your phone, Kinoni gives you a simple way to comfortably make video calls in high-quality.

Plus, with Kinoni, if you find yourself jumping between conferencing apps on your phone or tablet, you can make the whole process much more efficient by making calls on your computer.

Setup is easy as long as your phone and computer are connected to the same network. Simply install the Kinoni drivers, which are available for Windows and macOS, and then install the EpocCam app on your Android or iOS device. (Psst! We’ll show you how later in this post.)

Now when you go to start a meeting with the service of your choice on your computer you can select a newly added camera courtesy of Kinoni and use your phone as a webcam. If you have a decent position to place your device and a reasonably modern phone, this is a simple way to enjoy high-quality video without spending a dime on upgrades.

How to use Kinoni

Before you begin, you’ll need your computer, phone or tablet, and both to be connected to the same internet network. Kinoni supports a wide range of operating systems, but you’ll need to be sure your devices are at least running the following:

  • iOS 10.3 or later.
  • Android 4.0 or later.
  • macOS 10.11 or later.
  • or Windows 7 or later.

Thankfully, these requirements are fairly lenient. This means if you have an older phone or tablet gathering dust, you can re-purpose them to make use of as a dedicated webcam.

Depending on whether you’re planning on using an iOS or Android device as your webcam, you’ll need to download the EpocCam app from either the App Store or the Google Play store.

The final step is to install the Kinoni drivers on your computer. What drivers you will need depends on if you’re running Windows or macOS. Download links to either driver can be found here on Kinoni’s home page.

Now all that’s left to do is open the app on your phone and start the meeting software on your PC. Make sure to select the EpocCam as the video source, and once everything is set up, make sure your phone’s camera is properly facing you.

Kinoni creates a virtual camera you can select within your meeting app of choice that then connects to your phone, over your shared internet network, and uses its camera as a webcam. Because of the way Kinoni works, your conferencing software of choice will likely work out-of-the-box with Kinoni. Every video conferencing app allows users to choose their input, and simply selecting EpocCam as your input is all you will need to do.

If you’re looking for a higher-fidelity camera experience still, why not make the plunge? Tap or click here for tips to score a great deal on a camera.

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