N95 can be a web cam - Hurrah!
June 13, 2009
Live mobile streaming is magnificent. I use Qik when roaming and chatting and grabbing the mood of an event. A Qik player is embedded in this blog. There are times when the hand-held roving video is a bit of a hand full...well both hands full.
For audience engagement web cam streaming leaves my hands free to respond to messages in the live chat (see my blog post about when Pilot Theatre live streamed "The Child") So it has always seemed a logical step to some how use my N95 to perform both roles.
Why take two cameras? PCM creative in action has always been about how social media technology can be harnessed for the arts and creative businesses. When I am traveling around I don't what to cart masses of camera kit with me. Light and liberated...have media will travel that's my philosophy. From a touring perspective the N95 or equivalent smart phone with a notebook mini laptop seems a perfect production documentary set up to get a flavour of a stage production on tour from a behind the scenes perspective.
But I digress...How did I turn my N95 in to a web cam?
After much searching and many conversations with promises of the future talents of the N97 I discovered Mobiola. It has two parts the bit you run on your PC and the bit you run on your mobile. Before you go any further I have to point out that this is not a free application it costs $19.99 + VAT and if you buy before the nifty 7day 20% off promotional code runs out it costs a bit less! See if your mobile is supported.
Ok... you will need:
- Mobiola installed on your PC
- Mobiola installed on your N95 (or compatible smart phone)
- Your phone's software installed on your PC or Laptop
- Your USB connection cable to connect mobile to PC (you can connect via wi-fi or bluetooth also)
The first time I fired up the application on my PC I was informed I had the Nokia ConnAPI.DLL missing. Please don't run away at this point! I'm not that technical either. I collected the DLL from DLL-files.com, unzipped it, copied the .dll file and pasted it in to the windows/system32 folder on my hard drive. I also discovered that the activation code when you purchase a license is for one PC only so its important to deside which machine you will be connecting the webcam to. I'm using my full sized laptop.
Once I had that sorted and the webcam application running on my PC I
- connected my N95 via USB
- selected "PC suite" when prompted on my mobile
- navigated to the "WebCam 3" application
- selected the USB option on the PC applications dashboard
- selected Options - Connect - USB on my N95
- opened the lens cover on my phone
- shrieked with joy as the cameras feed was displayed on the PC
I've had it working with Bambuser, Tokbox and Ustream. It uses the Mic on my Laptop so I'm going to look in to getting a better quality plug in one. I'm going to field test my set up at the East Midlands Amb:IT:ion roadshow on June 19th. I hope to have blogged again before that but I will report back.
If you have a go please leave me a comment saying how it went.