531 – Spice up your video conferences

clip_image002

The New Normal™ will be all about avoiding people and using technology to supplement and even replace behaviours in ways we’d never have expected before The Event.

Video conferencing has been used in tech circles for years, though it was foretold many years earlier. 1989’s Back to the Future II showed one vision of how the future might look, and it wasn’t the only wry prediction.

Now that you’ve frouffed-up your home office backdrop and maybe thought about how you look on video calls, even going for a custom background image, maybe it’s time to mix things up and jazz up your video feed itself.

clip_image004One approach could be to play with Snap Camera, a PC or Mac software solution from SnapChat that takes the feed from your regular camera and applies some effects to it, before presenting that modified stream as a virtual hardware camera to any app that wants it.

clip_image006If you install Snap Camera, you can then use a catalog of “lenses” to add attributes to your video, or to alter the lighting or background, even if your chosen video conferencing app doesn’t give the option of doing so natively.

Roots or dodgy haircut starting to show in the lockdown? Perhaps try a nice tint?

clip_image008

Want to practice online before going out to the shops? Maybe choose a groovy mask?

Whatever your choice, if you install Snap Camera and choose (or even create) a suitable lens, then the software will run in the background and if you choose the “camera” from your video conferencing app, then the software will augment the feed from your real camera and present that image to your chosen software.

So for Teams, if you want to prank your colleagues, you can set up the lens of choice using that software, then when you go to join a meeting, clip_image010click the “PC, Mic and Speakers” settings cog, to get the Device Settings pane, and choose the Snap Camera as your source.

Just remember to switch back to the regular camera before you have an important customer meeting, OK?

clip_image012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.