Document cameras are great tools to engage students in learning. They are often also called visualizers (visualisers in Europe). This is because they do a great job in presenting materials teachers present in live video and still images. With document cameras, teachers can create highly interactive learning experiences. For this reason, document cameras are becoming an essential and indispensible tool for virtually every teacher, especially in the United States. Teachers in many European countries are also learning about the benefit of document cameras and increasingly adopting them.
However, document camera technology is also entering’s second decade since it’s first creation. Little has changed in the past. That’s until recently, newer technologies that can fundamentally improve the functionality and performance are finally taking place and changing the landscape. HoverCam document camera technologies are leading that charge.
Ultra High Resolution
Traditionally, document cameras imaging was driven by CCD or CMOS sensors that have 300K to 1.0 million pixels (also known as MegaPixels). Such low resolution is no comparison to higher grade sensors found in consumer oriented digital cameras. To compensate resolution, document camera manufacturers typically use optical lenses to zoom in on objects to see more clearly. The price to pay for optical lens enhanced clarity is in…well, the price of document cameras. They were just too expensive.
HoverCam first pioneered the concept of using ultra high resolution sensors of minimum 3.0 MegaPixel, while reaching as high 10+ or even 20+ MegaPixels. By leveraging pixel density, a great degree of gain in clarity is achieved.
HoverCam Solo 5 and T5 deliver great image resolution, while HoverCam Solo 8 break new ground by delivering industry’s first 4K level image resolution.
Because the gain in clarity is achieved through higher pixel resolution, the cost of making HoverCam’s is lower than making an optical based document camera. HoverCam has since won accolades in offering educators unprecedented clarity and performance at dramatically reduced bargain prices. Our document camera’s price performance level is virtually unmatched.
Full Motion Video
If one can make a document camera with just high resolution, life would have been easier. Today’s classroom is a highly interactive learning environment. When resolution of sensors go up, video speed unfortunately often suffers. It was commonplace to see document camera products costing between $600 to $1,000 only delivers 15 to 20 frames every second (often at less than HD video resolution) only a few years ago.
HoverCam’s next generation video technology broke the barrier of speed. HoverCam document cameras now routinely delivers 30 frames per second while maintaining 8 megapixel level image resolution. For lower resolution HD video, users can benefit from life like 60 frame per second video.
Today’s document cameras are born in the age of lightening fast internet era, like the HoverCam, they must empower teachers so that they can teach truly at the speed of learning.
Today’s document cameras also integrated significant intelligence so that teacher can do a lot more than before.
It used to be that teachers can only work with a few button on a document camera’s control panel. Little real time interaction with the video was possible. The latest document camera, like the HoverCam Solo 8, is couple with a full PC or Mac through a single USB 3.0 or 2.0 cord. This allows the full computing power of a PC to be available for teachers as real time document camera video is shown on a PC screen. Instead a few hard to understand buttons and awkward menu items, teachers can simply use the camera the same way of using any PC software. Computer mouse, touch screen, and Graphical User Interface on PC or Mac apps, are all at the fingertip of users now. Users can easily add annotation marks right on live video. Other interactions in live video mode are also easily achievable. Student test results can be graded automatically within seconds as a teacher simply flip through a stack of answer sheets. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) also converts the captured images into editable text giving static images a whole new life.
Document camera now has a brand new meaning. In fact, it doesn’t even do it just to call something like the HoverCam Solo 8 a document camera anymore.
Interactive White Boards (IWBs) must be used today with a PC or Mac. A document camera is a great companion for a IWB. Both can be used in conjunction if both are plugged into USB ports of a computer.
Every single model of HoverCam document cameras has the ability to be plugged into a USB port of a computer and delivers great video.
USB2.0 was the industry’s workhorse technology. It offers great compatibility. However, when it comes to USB Video, USB3.0 is far superior. USB3.0 is also known as SuperSpeed USB3.0 is blazing fast. A USB document camera like the HoverCam Solo 8 delivers flawlessly smooth HD video on just about any PC or Mac computer.
Smaller and Better
By eliminating the dependency on telephoto optical lenses, weight and bulk can be significantly reduced.
Traditionally, document cameras take up large surface areas. In most classrooms, desk or podium surface space is precious.
Today’s high quality document cameras are made with remarkably high level of craftsmanship with highly compact footprint. The HoverCam Mini 5 takes on a form factor that is no bigger than a chocolate bar but packed in awesome high performance as a full featured document camera with 5MP resolution and 20+fps HD video.
So, smaller is better.
Let’s face it, when you have a document camera that can capture high resolution images at full motion speed, you will want to record the whole class. In fact, your document camera should be capturing your teaching all day long. You should be recording HD video for hours and hours without creating too much of a bloated file. The HoverCam Solo 8 for example can be connected to a PC or Mac directly, and recording of video from the document camera can be stored right on the computer’s hard disk drive. At 2GB per hour, you could record 100 hours of video and barely take up more than a fraction of the whole hard drive.