Back to the office? 5 ways to use your webcam other than Zoom meetings


Remember back in early 2020, when we were excited to join Zoom’s happy hours, and every meeting was a video?

If you’re still meeting clients, colleagues, and friends over video, you might as well look and look good. Tap or click for my top Zoom tips.

Maybe you’re back in the office or at least not taking so many video calls. A clever use of your webcam, or an old phone or laptop, is to turn it into a security camera. Tap or click here for setup steps in less than a minute.

Here are five more ways to get the most out of your webcam.

1. Use it to scan documents to your computer

Taking a picture, cropping it, emailing it, then uploading it or attaching it to another email is a pain. If you need an image on your computer, use your webcam. Even a decent webcam is good enough to scan a document for you.

On Mac:

  • Open photo booth. Your webcam will open automatically.
  • Place your document in front of the webcam and align it on the screen.
  • Hit it red photo icon to take a picture. It will then appear in the lower right corner. Drag it to your desktop or to a folder.

On a Windows computer:

  • Open the Camera app.
  • Align your document in front of the webcam, then press the white camera icon to take a photo.
  • Your photo will appear in the lower right corner. Click on it to open it, then click on the three points top right.
  • Choose Open Folder to see where it’s stored on your computer, then move it wherever you want.

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2. Set up a photo booth

Set up a photo booth at your next meeting using your webcam. People can walk up to the computer and take solo or group photos, which can be shared with everyone at the party. Add fun accessories to wear if desired.

Photo Booth Pro is a free application for Windows that lets you add real-time effects to your images and videos and capture single photos or photo strips. Footage is saved locally or to OneDrive.

On Macs, open Photo Booth, then click on the Effects button in the lower right corner to brighten up photos. The plastic camera and cartoon are fun!

Tired of blurry and boring photos? Scroll through my 5 ways to take better photos and videos with your phone.

3. Unlock your computer with your face

Why should your phone have all the great security features? You probably use a password to unlock your computer, but you can take your privacy a step further with facial recognition.

Windows Hello lets you use a PIN, facial recognition, or fingerprint to unlock your Windows 10 and 11 devices. Windows Hello Face uses infrared technology to scan your face, so you need a compatible webcam.

Speaking of security, is it safer to use a password, facial recognition, or your fingerprint to unlock your phone? Here is my verdict.

4. Use your body like a mouse

Wait, really? Yes! Control actions on your computer without a mouse.

CameraMouse is a free program that lets you use your head to move your mouse pointer around the screen. The software was developed for people with cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, ALS, MS, brain injuries and various neurological disorders.

5. Record time-lapse videos

Time-lapse videos are fun to create and share. You can time-lapse your face over a year or compress your 2-hour house party into a 20-second time-lapse video. The only limit is your imagination.

VideoVelocity lets you record time-lapse videos from any webcam. You can grab snapshots of the footage and do whatever you want with them. The program is free, but you can upgrade to the HD version for $98.

Male, 38, married, two children under 5, watched lawn care YouTube video, visited home improvement store in past 10 days, listened to lawn care podcast, won $68,000 a year in a management position and lives in a certain zip code. This is how specific advertising can be today. In this episode, I sit down with Freestar’s Technical Advertising Manager Premesh Purayil to find out how it works and how to opt out of data tracking.

Check out my “Kim Komando Explains” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”. What questions do you have about the digital lifestyle? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

What questions do you have about the digital lifestyle? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2022, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. By clicking on the purchase links, you support my research. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that I believe in.


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