You can't mount a webcam in the middle of your laptop display, as even a small camera and thin cable would get in the way of looking at the screen.
But using a two-way mirror, you can be looking at both the screen and the webcam at the same time, without the webcam being visible to you.
If you're going for cheap and simple then the tools and materials should be available to almost anyone. This mean nothing beyond a trip to the hardware or variety store. I'm sure if someone were determined enough this could be made with things like cardboard, junk plastic strips, scrap metal, duck tape, wire ties and a little ingenuity. Sure it might not be as nice but it WILL be cheap and simple.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
- no 3D printer
- no resin
- no velcro
- no cable ties
- no suction cups
- no adhesive film
- 2 or 3 paperback books
- 2 large-ish rubber bands
- stick your phone an inch down into a not-too-thick/not-
too-thin paperback book
- squeeze it tight-ish with a rubber band
- prop it up behind your monitor on a couple other paperback books
- hold it in place with a rubber band
You might also have friends who have a 3D printer and are happy to print something out for you. A good 3D printer can be had for $200 now, so they're pretty accessible.
I got my son one for his birthday last year, and now I don't know how we "lived without one". :-)
So glad you're enjoying yours. What do you do with it?
Things I've downloaded and printed: Headphones holder for my new desk, cable hangers for running cat5, Microphone "shock mount", a centrifuge for the kids science project, drywall passthrough grommets, painters pyramids because I forgot to pick some up when I was at the store, Christmas ornaments for us an our family, heart drink coaster for my anniversary.
Things I've designed: Hold-downs for my shop vac, hose adapters for my dust collector, hose adapters for a variety of my tools (many of these hard to just go out and buy), repair parts for my christmas lights to replace broken holders, a tool for more quickly raising/lowering the feet on my workbenches, a customized lathe tool holder for a friend.
The first time I shopped for something on Amazon (the headphone holders), and realized I could print on for a fraction of the cost in 4 hours, I was hooked!
And happy anniversary!
For mounting, i went even simpler than the article. Since I had a kid, I've got a tonne of these things: https://www.kmart.com.au/product/outlet-plug-covers---pack-o...
I simply stuck two of them together: back to back. So there's three prongs facing down and three prongs facing up.
The downward prongs hook over the top of the monitor, and the upward prongs hold the phone. A bit of blu tack to absolutely make sure everything stays in place and remains level, and for the cost of the license (which is diddly squat) I've got a higher-quality streaming device than most of my colleagues that comes off my monitor whenever I need it to and has seen me through the pandemic.
Simple hack that should be good for quality.
EDIT Looks like there’s a couple of options, for example EpocCam.
Fair warning, depending on how strong the laptop's hinge is, it might not be able to support the additional weight of a smartphone while staying in place; with my lapdock unfortunately the screen starts falling backwards if it's tilted backwards at an angle at all.
I think the issue steems from the fact that the title is editorialized. TFA article speaks about a way to improve online video calls, not a "cheap and simple way to mount a smartphone".
The gist of it is actually using your phone to display the speaker in the meeting in the phone, and everybody else in the laptop / computer.
”here’s is the cheap meant we made, but really, let’s talk about telewindow!” Which is fine and I found both interesting, but unusual imo.
Or did they manage to use multiple cameras to create that "Telewindow" effect?
If it's just the holder, you can make the same thing with a small sheet of metal (something decently pliable, like aluminum), a small rubber hammer, two pliers and maybe a screwdriver (for shaping). Oh, and two hands with a thumb and at least two other fingers each.
Use some sandpaper to smooth it out and maybe paint it. It actually looks nicer than that 3D printed part heh. The only "special" thing about it is the shape.
Now that I think about it, I can't believe I didn't consider simple copper wire... Guess I wanted something that will look great and last long, but I never used the thing anyway.
You are right to be confused. The 'how we got there' section seems to be tangential at best to the rest of the content and can safely be ignored. It may have been added in as an acknowledgment to their sponsors on the past project perhaps.
Kind of like my own "make it out of a sheet of metal" idea, and then someone replied they did it with wire... It honestly did not cross my mind at the time, or any time, until I read that today. Weird how brains work :D
Sure, I can do something similar today with my secondary monitor, but it’s exciting to level the playing field without requiring costly additional hardware.
>Also, a face displayed on a smartphone directly above the laptop camera is closer to the camera than a face displayed on the laptop
my approach doesn't work with multi-way video where you likely need the entire window and cannot priviledge just some section of it. but it does work with 1:1 video calls - just move the entire window with the video call so that the other person's eyes are very close to the camera (i.e. near the top edge of the screen, typically)
Whether you look either at the other person's face, or at the camera, to them you're maintaining eye contact.
For XFWM and related window-manager users: Alt-F7 to just drag the entire window, possibly leaving some of it off-screen.
I read this and thought of how under used classic side-by-side stereoscopic imagery is. Then I imagined a Zoom meeting where everyone is slightly cross eyed. Just wanted to share this picture with you.
I don't spend a lot of time on Zoom, but the experience is all around miserable. Even a small improvement adds up to a lot over time. I think the point about the higher pixel density for the speaker is just one (important) part of why this is effective. For a class, it also mimics the teacher up front facing the students aspect. I suspect those two factors work together: you don't perceive the backs of your fellow students' head as sharply as you do the teacher's face because you're focused on the teacher in an in-person class.
I bought this one, which I've been happy with: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0753GCMH5/. I'm sure there are dozens of good options, though.
* build one out of balsa wood or thermoplastics (available at hobby stores)
* ask a friend with a 3d printer
* visit a makerspace that might have one
* have a commercial 3d-printer shop print one for you
Probably more options available if you spend some time rubbing your temples.