If you’ve visited the Leoville Pix page lately you may have noticed I’ve redesigned it. There are now four cams to choose from, each displayed in its own automatically refreshing window.
The original Screen Savers cam and my home office cam are unchanged. They’re both 3COM HomeConnect USB cameras connected to desktop computers running WebCam32 from SurveyorCorp. Over the years I’ve increased the size of the pictures to 320×240 and upped the refresh rate to 10 seconds to accomodate users with faster connections. But the 3COM cams are USB and don’t do a great job especially with typical office lighting.
I just found an amazing Macintosh program that really blows away the competition. Oculus 3.1 ($20 shareware from International Web, Inc.) has every feature I’d want in a webcam and then some. It supports any cam that works with Quicktime and has a VDIG driver. I’m using it with my Canon DV camera over Firewire and the image quality is noticably better.
Oculus can also capture the computer’s screen, so I’ve added a screen capture window for the truly nosy. There are many other features, including amazing captioning capabilities. Look at my iBook cam to see the clock and weather extensions combined with a standard text caption. The weather automatically updates itself from NOAA. If the camera is off the captions are replaced by an inactive message. But here’s an example of what it looks like when it’s live:
I can also use it to detect motion or sound, and to create time lapse movies. I’ll give that a try down the road. Since Oculus is written for OS X (there’s a MacOS 9 version, too) it runs in the background perfectly and undetectably. I only wish there were a Windows program as good. If you know of one let me know!