15 tips for your webcam

Webcams are anything but new technology. We are no longer surprised by video calls with the other side of the world. Still, there are many more things you can do with your webcam than just visually enjoying your coffee. We give you fifteen tips for your webcam.

Almost all webcams

To run the applications in this article with your webcam, you don't need a brand new webcam (except for tip 2). The idea behind this article is precisely that you breathe new life into that trusty old webcam that is gathering dust. It is true that very old webcams naturally have a lower resolution than the newer ones. A cam with a resolution of 640x480 is perhaps less suitable as a baby monitor, for example. So it is possible with very old webcams, but it is not always ideal.

1 Broadcast live

One of the nicest new possibilities that social networks offer us are live videos. Instead of recording a video, you broadcast live for your friends to watch. This is usually done with a smartphone, but it is also possible with a webcam. To start a live video on Facebook (as an example), click on Facebook on live video in the frame What are you doing. Give a description of the video and click Next one. As soon as you're on To allow press, you are immediately live.

2 Log in to Windows

For this function you need a new webcam, namely one with 3D functionality. You can use this to log in to Windows 10 using facial recognition (this feature is called Windows Hello). To enable Windows Hello, click Start and then Settings / Accounts / Login Options. Under the option Windows Hello you will now see the option to log in with your face, fingerprint or iris. Go for the first option and follow the Windows instructions. After this you can log in by simply looking into the camera.

3 Security

It is of course not quite the same as an IP camera that you hang outside on the facade, but a webcam can serve as a security system in the house. A nice program for this is iSpy. Install the program and after launch click Add top left and then Local camera to add your webcam. Then click in the properties of the camera on Alerts and indicate what should happen if movement is detected, for example sending an email/sms.

4 Gesture Control

If you're feeling adventurous, unleash your inner Tom Cruise and control your computer by gesticulating your hands in front of the webcam, in the style of the movie Minority Report. A small free program that you can download is NPointer. Gesture control isn't really practical yet, but it does look cool. Download, start and it works immediately. Scrolling with a nod of your head we found actually helpful when reading long documents.

5 Baby monitor

The software we discussed in tip 3 also serves as a baby monitor. But with some different settings. In the tab Motion Detection in the properties of your camera, we recommend that you lower the sensitivity and of course not play any sound (since the laptop to which you connect the webcam must be in the baby's room). In addition, we recommend in the tab recording to go for the option Record on Alert instead of Record on movementdetection.

6 Barcode maker/scanner

A fun and comprehensive application for your webcam is making a barcode scanner. Are you organizing an event for your association for which there is a ticket sale? With ID Card Workshop you can easily create cards/passes with a barcode on them, where the system keeps track of which codes there are and who they belong to. On the day itself, you use the software to scan the passes/admission cards with your webcam. Here you can immediately see whether someone has permission and you also know who all came.

7 Stop motion

In principle, you can use your smartphone for a stop-motion video. The only problem is that you 'need' it again quite quickly, which interrupts your set. So use your webcam! Useful software for this is QStopMotion. The program is wonderfully simple: you select your webcam, choose the resolution and start recording. Each time you press the red button, a frame is captured. This way you can shoot your stop-motion videos without any problems.

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