Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Pop-up Sprinkler Head Laptop Camera

With Stereo Microphones
  [vote for,

This morning I was fortunate enough to be able to remotely attend the San Francisco Halfcon.

Jutta brought her laptop, and we Skyped. Oh, how we Skyped. The sky was both blue and cloudy, and hawks circled overhead watching for errant rodents that might be scouting for croissant crumbs.

But I digress. While I could see my fellow bakers on Jutta's laptop camera, and I could verify that my camera was on by viewing my own image on my computer monitor (BO-ring...), the clan in SF could only see an icon image where my fair visage should have been.

But that's probably just a FIFO buffer or something. Or a thingy setting. That's not why I'm here. I'm here to talk about the SHLCWSM. And why?

Because while the 'bakers were kind enough to move the laptop regularly and give me shifting views, periodically somebody behind the laptop camera would speak up. And my human impulse was to turn to see who was talking.

So, on to the meat of the idea. Laptops have cameras, they have speakers and microphones. But this idea (those three words are the digital equivalent of " Here, hold my beer, watch this!")is a camera in Jutta's computer that I can control from my keyboard.

When the position of the person speaking (not referred to as "the speaker" for technical reasons) shifts, I want to be able to extend the telescoping "Sprinkler Head" unit up until it is above the laptop screen.

Then, using input from the Stereo Microphones through my speakers, determine where the person speaking (not referred to as "the speaker" for technical reasons) is seated and swivel the camera around so I can see them while they're talking.

And every time the focus of the conversation switches position, I want to swivel the camera to follow it.

Oh, and the term "Sprinkler Head"? Both due to the telescoping / rotating functions that resemble the device's hardworking lawn cousin, and also because if the laptop owner chooses to fill the reservoir, the operator can once or twice squirt a stream of water like the classic lapel flower.

normzone, Jan 30 2010

Webcam with Motion Tracking http://www.ubergizm...racking_webcam.html
Should be possible to add a squirt function. [csea, Jan 31 2010]

sound-seeking_20swivel_20base Ahem. [jutta, Jan 31 2010]

Determinant technology http://www.mooncostumes.com/image/8037
[normzone, Feb 02 2010]

Addressing your technical concerns http://www.google.c...as_nhi=&safe=images
[normzone, Feb 02 2010]

A reddit relative ... https://www.reddit....ok_x_pro_is_inside/
[normzone, May 30 2018]

Twin sensor webcam Twin_20sensor_20webcam
Could be combined. [8th of 7, May 31 2018]

Futuristic Videoconferencing https://www.youtube...watch?v=rDpg580OfC0
Why not rotate the screen too? [Wrongfellow, May 31 2018]

Polycom CX5000 (fka Microsoft Roundtable) https://www.youtube...watch?v=USsokAUziHM
This is what you want. We have one at Protospace that we use to record meetings, but it's designed for teleconferencing with multiple people in a room. Polycom has some PTZ conference cameras too. [notexactly, Jun 02 2018]


       I've used webcams with "head tracking", but this is a nice advance. + Perhaps you could incorporate a whoopie cushion, as well?
csea, Jan 31 2010

       Yeah, the mechanism is baked on video conferencing systems. Tough to do on a laptop due to the lack of stereo mic separation, but bakable.   

       The pop-up part is qeven baked on a USB camera.
MisterQED, Jan 31 2010

       Awesome! There was a Halfcon? It's so cool that you went to that!
drememynd, Feb 16 2010

       or you could just have 2 or 3 usb cams plugged into the laptop, and write a pseudo-webcam driver with inbuilt webserver, that lets you control at runtime which cam gives the real input. Needles to say, it should be password protected.   

       As far as I can remember, skype lets you choose the camera in the preferences. Just choose the pseudo camera.   

       The recieving end keeps a webrowser open pointing to the server of the pseudo-camera driver. Could have one single button - toggle cam :)
kamathln, Jul 04 2010


8th of 7, May 31 2018

       Something like a Polycom CX5000 [link] could be miniaturized and given a clip so you could mount it on top of a laptop.
notexactly, Jun 02 2018


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