By Markus Giesler, Associate Professor of Marketing
Idea 1: The Better Webcam You May Already Have
The webcams that are built into most computers have real limitations. However, many of us already are in possession of a much more powerful webcam without realizing it: the Apple iPhone. Zoom has a neat built-in iPhone screen share function that you can find under screen share (use the cable-connected option, not the bluetooth one).
But how can you feed your iPhone camera’s signal to your computer? For this, simply go to the Apple App Store and download the “Shoot – Clean Camera Feed” app. And with this, your new Zoom camera is ready to go!
Your iPhone camera can also double as a doc cam, second camera or handheld demo cam to capture closeups of objects you want to share with the class. And without the Shoot app, you can use it to share the iPhone’s desktop with your Zoom audience.
|“If you use an Android phone, there are two great apps that can function as webcams for your Zoom meetings. The first app is “DroidCam Wireless Webcam“, which can help you use your Android phone as a webcam if your computer’s operating system is either Windows or Linux. Secondly, if you use an Android phone and have an Apple computer (macOS), the app “EpocCam” is a great choice.” – Arjun Sundal, LMS Support Analyst & Liaison
Bonus Pro Tip: If you use photography in your research, chances are you are in possession of a DSLR camera. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflect and describes a category of higher-quality, modular lens cameras (think Nikon, Canon, Lumix). If you have such a camera at home, you can either directly or indirectly connect it to your computer. If it is a Canon camera, all you need is a USB cable (mini-USB to regular USB) and a free Canon webcam tool from their website.
If your camera has an HDMI output and you have some research money to make a small gear investment, an HDMI capture device such as the Elgato Cam Link will allow you to repurpose your camera as a webcam. However, keep in mind that 4k HDMI capture is far too advanced for the internal picture resolution Zoom can handle. As such, this is not a must-have device.
Idea 2: Zoom Like a YouTube Vlogger
Ever wanted to have a proper Schulich logo overlay, an on-screen countdown, or a split screen for guest speakers?
Three relatively cheap and easy ways to accomplish these and other cool things are Ecamm Live (for Mac only), OBS (for Mac and PC) and Streamyard (for Mac and PC). By giving you an easy-to-operate streaming dashboard that works in conjunction with Zoom, they can help transform your Zoom delivery into a more interactive experience. Ecamm Live (which requires a $12 per month subscription) has been my go-to solution for webinars for a while now. And this semester, I’m premiering it in my MBA classroom. Students love it!