Old USB Webcams used with Alfred

I have successfully used an old Windows PC Logitech Webcam plugged into my Android TV box to monitor with Alfred. My Android TV box is about 2 years old and cost about $35.00 on Amazon. Setup was as easy as plugging the Logitech Webcam into the Android TV box (1 of 4 usb ports) then installing Alfred from the play store. So…if you have an old Webcam and also happen to have an Android TV box you can now put that old Webcam to some use.


Seems this was not my original idea

This person first mentioned this method at this link

I am wondering if using an OTG cable with a different android device could also function.
I will test some devices and update this thread later.

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Hey @thanosdestro,

Wow, wow, wow!!! You have been doing such amazing experiments with Alfred! We knew that technically speaking it can be done, but we’ve never tried.

Thank you so much for showing us such wonderful photos! We’d love to hear more about it as you experiment further :slight_smile:

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I finally found the time to test a few android phones and tablets with an OTG-cable and my USB Logitech Webcam.
RESULTS.
-This combinationn was successful on devices that only had 1 camera.
-If the device already had 2 cameras (front and back)
Alfred would not recognize the attatched USB Webcam.
-If the device only had 1 camera then I was able to switch from the device’s internal camera to the USB Webcam by toggling the Front/ Rear toggle interface provided in the Alfred App.

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Hey @thanosdestro,

Thanks for keeping me posted!

This sounds really cool, and can serve older models well. I suppose we’ll have to figure out what to do if a device has three cameras soon, because some of the latest models already have three!

PS: Have you tried Zoom on your USB webcam? Very curious about how/if it works!

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Hi, I’m curious, can you stack a micro usb splitter to run a usb camera while charging and use succesfully ?

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Im not exactly sure what you mean by "stack a micro usb splitter"
If you are referring to a OTG-Y cable that also allows you to charge the Phone\Tablet that is your “HOST” for using a USB webcam…
In my personal experience most Android Devices do not support “HOST” and “CHARGE” functions simultaneously.
If your device does support simultaneous “HOST” and “CHARGE” functions then best practice is to…

  1. First plug in power supply to OTG-Ycable

  2. Then plug in USB device (WEBcam) to OTG-Y cable

  3. Last plug in “HOST” phone/tablet into OTG-Y cable

There are some OTG cables and\or hubs that claim to (charge the host and power USB device simultaneously) and work on any device such as this example
If you find one that works let me know :wink:

Alternatively you can power the device with a power supply instead of a battery (see my post) and then connect a WEBcam via OTG.

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Why not use one phone as a wifi hotspot with any number of other phones connecting through it?

Due to my circumstances with providers not unlocking an old phone I use this method.

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I can also vouch for this approach. I used a logitech webcam along with a cheap android box. One key thing is to install the app after you’ve hooked up the usb camera (or reinstall). Rebooting afterwards might also be in order.

For my test, I used the following two items but others might work as well.

Also,

This page was helpful for looking into webcam models to test out.

http://blog.webeecam.com/webeecam-android-usb-camera-app/supported-cameras-and-devices/

I suspect that the C270 must use the same driver (kernel module) as the C310 because it worked out of the box. I tried with 2 other webcams that were pretty ancient and neither of them worked.

The most important thing about this alternative approach is that it helps you avoid the issue of overheating from phones that sit in direct sunlight.

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Yes look into it please

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Sure! I have an old webcam that would be great to get working with Alfred.

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Or if you have an old PC/laptop or a new one. You can install an Android OS along side windows in dual boot or as a standalone OS.

My 2 favs Android PC OS at the moment.

BLISS OS
https://forum.xda-developers.com/bliss-roms/bliss-roms-development/x86-bliss-x86-pc-s-t3534657/amp/

PRIME OS
https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/development/rom-x86-primeos-laptops-desktops-t3858992

BOTH run Alfred successfully.
I Have not tested multiple cameras.
science

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I have never used primeOS, how well does it work, and is it high on system resources?
How did you do the dual boot???

Your post looks like the end all be all solution, great little post. Totally intrigued. I started with Bluestacks, and everyother emulator out there. This I have never seen… Looks like its worth a look. Thanks for the links.

How do these work briefly, mainly the phone one, I think I get the jyst of the pc one, Not looking to read the site just yet.
@thanosdestro

Not sure what you mean by “phone one”
Both links that I posted were Android Operating Systems for PCs.

BLISS and

PRIME

.
I should probably also mention the Android OS for PCs named ANDROIDx86
Is one of the more “prominent” versions of Android OS for PC and maybe the only one or only one of a few that have updated to Android OS 8.1 OREO.
I’m pretty sure all 3 of these ANDROID operating systems also have instructionsto be made into bootable flash drives.

As far as “dual boot” is concerned. I think it is a bit of a misnomer. I think it is a confusing term that I originally thought meant actually booting 2 Operating Systems at once.
“Dual Boot” actually means having 2 Separate OS installed on a hard-drive\s and choosing which one boots from a boot menu when your device is turned on. There are a number of youtube tutorials for
“dual booting”.

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Is there a way to get a webcam hooked to a Linux computer working with Alfred? The options I have seen above (Koplayer and Bignox) both are for Windows or in the case of Bignox, Windows and Mac. I suppose I could run a session of Prime OS or Bliss OS in a virtual machine. However, if I can connect a camera connected to a Linux machine directly, that would be better since Android is essentially a version of Linux.

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Android is not built for Windows as it is not for Linux. You would have to as you already suggested and possibly turn your linux device into a dual boot Android/Linux or nada…

BUT… I suppose if someone made a Kodi Alfred app somehow. You could install Kodi on your linux system and run alfred through that. I know you can run IP cam software already. I’m sure Alfreds not up to PAR jussst yet with technology.

By the looks of that Androidx86 link, linux based mostly. I would say that would be your best course of action. The Bliss and Prime look much easier though for a Win or Mac user.

Great post, got the brain turning…

Dual-boot is definitely out of the question as it means running one or the other and I have other cameras running with Motion on my main Linux box. Running AndroidX86 in a virtual machine session though would likely work. I’ll have to give it a try.

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Absolutely, i have a box of old usb cams and ip cams, if i could plug them into raspberry pi’s that would be the bees knees!

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I have a couple web cams plz check into this im interested

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