Use Your Smartphone As A Document Camera

So in this article, we will see how we can use the smartphone as a document camera. Now as you know, every one of us hold a smartphone with us. So using it to help teach others in a better way is a great thing to do, Right?!

Smartphone Camera As A Document Camera
Smartphone Camera As A Document Camera

But before we learn how to do this, let us first know what a Document Camera is. Knowing what it does and the features it provides will help us know how good we can make use of it. This will help us better in turning our smartphone as a document camera.

You agree with me on this, right? Great! Then let us start from there!

What Is A Document Camera?

A document camera is a device we use for teaching purpose. We use it to take images or videos of a subject and send it to a projector to show it on a large screen.

But you may ask, why do we need such a thing?

Well you see, teaching your students using classroom board is all fine and good. But it is useful only when you are teaching theory. Now when it comes to explaining practical things, you need to demonstrate it as you explain, right?

But here is where you have a problem!

If you have a class with a lot of students, say something like 20+, how can you show your experiments to all? Surely you can not make them come take a look at your experiments one by one. Right? Because that will take you a whole day then.

So then what is an alternative way to demonstrate your experiments to your students? Well, just capture it with a camera & project it on a large screen, right? Does that make sense?

In that way, you will not have to bring in each student to the experiment and teach them one by one. You can simply demonstrate it to all in one go!

And that is why you need a document camera.

A document camera will capture an image or a video and send it to a projector to project it on a screen.

Why To Use Your Smartphone As A Document Camera?

So now that we know why what a document camera is, let us see how to use our smartphone as one.

But wait a minute. Before we go about exploring that, let us first see why we want to use a smartphone for that. Are there no document camera available in the market that we can directly buy?

Well, we do have document cameras that we can buy in the market. But the problem is that they are quite costly. They cost anywhere around $800.

Now that is quite a price to pay if you are a small teaching faculty right?

So our next better option will be to go with an alternative that doesn’t cost so much. And what better than to use an Android smartphone camera as a document camera. Right? As we already have them in our pockets, we do not have to spend any extra money for that. Right?

So that is why we are looking for a smartphone document camera. But do we have one?

How To Turn Your Smartphone Into A Document Camera?

Well, I tried to search through the Google Play store for an app that could turn my phone into a document camera. However, there did not seem like one exists.

So I had to get a little bit creative to create a solution myself. So what did I do for that? Read along to know.

Android Smartphone App To Capture Video

So the first thing I had to do was to find a camera app to capture image or record a video. Now wait a minute. Can I not use the camera app that already exists on my phone? Well, unfortunately NO. Because I need a way to send this video to my laptop screen and it was not possible with my built-in camera app.

So what else can I do then?

Here comes the IP Webcam Android App for the rescue.

Now if you recall, I had already installed this app from the playstore earlier. I had used it to turn my Android phone as camera for my OBS broadcasting.

And guess what? The video captured using this Android app can be accessed using an IP address!

The IP Webcam app converts by Android phone camera into a network IP camera that has its own IP address. Right?

So now all I need to do is use this IP address on my laptop browser and project it on the screen!

Pretty nifty, huh?! 😉


So that is it. That is how we can use our Android smartphone camera as a Document camera. So go ahead and try it out on your own. And if you come across any problem, do let me know in the comments below. I will be more than happy to help!

So until next time, take care and have fun learning new things! 🙂