Wyze cam webcam

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Smart home gadget maker Wyze has released a firmware update and set of instructions for turning its low-cost security camera into a working webcam at a time when proper webcams from brands like Logitech are increasingly hard to find.

The update, which was released roughly an hour ago on Wyze’s support website, involves manually installing firmware onto your Wyze camera that will temporarily turn it into a webcam, after which it will no longer connect to the Wyze app and function normally. However, Wyze says you can reverse the process to restore security camera access to the device and have it function normally again.

The instructions say you’ll need a Wyze Cam v2, a microSD card, and a USB-A to USB-A cable for transferring the free firmware update from your computer to the camera. According to Wyze, all you need to do is drop the firmware onto the root directory of the memory card, plug the memory card into an unplugged Wyze Cam v2, and then hold the setup button while restarting to flash the firmware onto the camera and reboot it as a webcam.

From there, you should be able to plug the device into your Mac or Windows machine (being careful to use the USB-A port of the device and not the microUSB power port) and manually select it as a third-party HD output video source for applications like BlueJeans, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom, among other providers.

It’s not an elegant solution, and I’m having trouble actually getting it to work on my own Wyze Cam here at home. That may have something to do with only having access to a formatted microSD I use for external storage on my Nintendo Switch. (One solution there might be copying the files off, formatting the card, installing the firmware, and formatting again for the Switch before transferring the files back.)

Regardless, for those in need of a webcam who are having trouble finding one right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has office workers worldwide working from home, this could be a solution if you have the necessary gadgets lying around the house.

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Sours: https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/31/21202022/wyze-firmware-update-webcam-security-camera-transform-solution-guide

Wyze Cam now can function as a webcam for video meetings and more

If you’ve found yourself working from home more than normal lately, well, welcome to the club. Working from home can be pretty great, but since you can’t go to meetings in-person, you’ll likely have to opt for video conferencing instead. If you’ve got a desktop and no webcam and weren’t able to buy one before they went out of stock everywhere, then we’ve got a solution for you. Wyze Cam, the budget-focused security camera, can now turn into a webcam to use with your computer. There are a few instructions to follow in order to enable it, but, it’s fairly simple overall.

You’ll need special firmware to use Wyze Cam as a webcam

Wyze Cam is a great home security camera. I recommend them to all of my friends who are looking to keep an eye on their home or business without breaking the bank. Well, now you can just load official firmware on your Wyze Cam and use it as a webcam. That’s right, all it takes to use Wyze Cam as a webcam is special firmware that’s fairly easy to install.

What you’ll need to use Wyze Cam as a webcam:

Wyze Cam Webcam

How to use Wyze Cam as a webcam:

  1. Download the special firmware for Wyze Cam
    • You’ll want to extract the firmware to your Wyze Cam’s microSD card
    • After extracting, rename the file to demo.bin
  2. Unplug your Wyze Cam from power and insert a microSD card
  3. Press and hold the Setup button and then plug in the USB cable. You’ll want to continue holding the setup button for 3-6 second until the light is solid blue
    • Note: The “Solid Blue” in this case is not the same as the one normally seen on the camera. Instead, both the blue and yellow LEDs will be on at once, appearing as a lighter blue.
  4. Wait 3-4 minutes. During this time, the camera will reboot and the light status will change
  5. Once complete, the light will flash yellow and blue at the same time (not alternating)
  6. Connect the USB-A to A cable to Wyze Cam (USB port, not the microUSB port)
  7. In your video conferencing tool of choice, select “HD USB Camera” as your input

There are a few steps here, but overall, it’s not super difficult. The one thing that Wyze does recommend is using an external speaker and microphone for the meeting. If you’re on a Mac, then it’s quite easy to use AirPods for this and they work great for that function. However, on Windows, a simple USB headset would work great, or you can go all-out and use a dedicated microphone and speaker.

Tested and working with some of the most popular meeting platforms

Wyze isn’t just pushing out this update untested. This webcam solution for Wyze Cam has been tested and works with Zoom, GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Cisco. While that’s not an exhaustive list of the compatibility here, Wyze has tested and verified those programs, which are among the most used meeting platforms around.

Wyze has also tested and confirmed that this solution works with macOS 10.13 as well as both Windows 7 and Windows 10. This should help ensure that you’re covered on just about any front. The one thing to keep in mind here is that you’re essentially limited to using Wyze Cam as a webcam while it’s running this firmware, and it’ll need to be flashed back to stock in order to function as a security camera again. Also, Wyze isn’t planning to continuously improve or support this setup, nor are they planning any bug fixed. Wyze has said that this solution should be considered “as-is” with no future updates planned.

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Sours: https://9to5toys.com/2020/03/31/how-to-use-wyze-cam-as-a-webcam/
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How to use the Wyze Cam as a webcam

Need a webcam but don’t feel like forking over the dough for an elaborate setup? Fortunately, there’s a much cheaper alternative, thanks to the folks at Wyze. The lauded brand of quality budget cameras, the Wyze Cam V2 and Pan models can be turned into fully-functioning webcams if you need live video in a pinch. Wyze has been firm with this firmware patch, mostly to alert users that nothing can beat the performance of a true webcam and that the company won’t be offering additional modifications for this update.

We’ve put together this guide to walk you through the download and hardware patch from start to finish.

Webcam and security camera on the cheap

The Wyze Cam V2 isn’t terribly new, but if you need a webcam or home security camera that won’t cost you too much cash, then it’s a winner. If you also happen to own the Wyze Cam Pan, it’ll work as well.

Before you get started, you’ll need to pick up a couple of mandatory accessories to complete the task. You’ll need to purchase a microSD card and a specific type of USB cable, a USB-A to USB-A cable to be exact. And lastly, this has been confirmed to work with computers that have Mac OS 10.13, Windows 7, and Windows 10.

1. Downloading the new firmware

Wyze Cam update screen

Before you start zooming with the Wyze Cam, you’ll first need to install the new firmware. Download the zip file through here, then after you’ve unzipped it, copy the “demo.bin” file to the root directory of your microSD card. It’s recommended to use a 32 GB microSD card.

2. Installing the new firmware

Wyze Cam microSD update

Once the file has been copied over to a microSD card, unplug the camera before popping the card into the slot on the underside of the Wyze Cam V2. Press and hold the Setup button, while connecting the power source back to the camera. You’ll need to hold down the Setup button for another three to six seconds until the LED light turns to a solid blue color, then you can release it.

3. Connecting it to your computer

Wyze Cam hookup

The firmware takes approximately three to four minutes to complete the installation. You’ll know it’s done when the status light flashes yellow and blue colors at the same time. Once you see this, you can disconnect the camera from the power source, connect one end of the USB-A cable to the back of the Wyze Cam V2, and the other to your computer’s available USB port.

Wyze mentions it’s also possible to use a USB-C to USB-A cable, but it didn’t work in our testing. Your computer will recognize the Wyze Cam V2 as an “HD USB Camera,” so you’ll be able to select it as an option in your conferencing apps.

Going back to a security cam is a pain

Yes, it’s helpful that the Wyze Cam V2 can convert into a webcam, but if your purpose is to go back to using it as a security camera, you must undergo the process of returning it to the initial firmware. It’s pretty frustrating since the method is basically identical.

Notwithstanding this, it remains a more affordable option than some of the controversial webcams that are obtainable online right now — even if you add in the expense of the microSD card and USB-A to USB-A cable. Nevertheless, you’re still paying below $50, which is a fraction of the $100 price that most independent retailers ask for on Amazon.

Recognizing this is most fitting for desktop structures, as most people leverage the convenient, integrated webcams on laptops, making it a lasting occupant in your work-from-home office is a sensible plan. The video quality isn’t that poor either, just as long as there’s sufficient lighting around you. However, the audio quality isn’t the greatest. That’s presumably why even Wyze suggests using an alternative audio source for the microphone.

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Sours: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/how-to-use-wyze-cam-as-webcam/
How to Turn a Wyze Security Camera into a Webcam!

How to turn your Wyze cam into a webcam

With much of the world working from home and turning to video conferencing to connect with colleagues, webcams have become scarce commodities on AmazonRemove non-product link and other online retailers. But even if you can’t find a webcam in stock (or an affordable one, anyway), you can still Zoom or Skype chat from home if you have a spare Wyze cam handy.

Mentioned in this article

The tech gurus at Wyze say they’ve devised a hack for turning your Wyze Cam v2 or Wyze Cam Pan into an impromptu webcam. Granted, your jury-rigged Wyze webcam won’t be able to compete with the performance of, say, Logitech’s popular 1080p desktop webcamsRemove non-product link, and Wyze itself makes it clear that its budget security cameras are “not designed to be used as a webcam.”

But if you need a webcam to work from home and you can’t snag one online, this relatively simple Wyze hack is better than nothing.

The trick involves flashing the Wyze cam’s firmware so that when it’s plugged into your Windows PC or Mac via USB, your system recognizes it as a webcam. Besides the Wyze cam itself, you’ll need a USB 3.0 Type-A to Type-A cable, along with a MicroSDHC card (which you probably already have installed in your Wyze cam for local storage of security video).

Mentioned in this article

Wyze has the complete step-by-step instructions on its support site. In a nutshell, the steps involve downloading a tweaked firmware file onto the MicroSDHC card, inserting the memory card into the Wyze cam to flash its firmware to the new version, connecting the camera to your system via the USB cable, and then selecting “HD USB Camera” as the video source in your video conferencing software. From start to finish, the procedure should take less than 10 minutes.

Wyze says that it has successfully tested its webcam trick with Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, and Cisco. That said, Wyze suggests using your own microphone because the microphone audio on the camera “may be low.”

Wyze also noted that the firmware is an “as-is” update, and “we are not planning on continuous improvements or bug fixes” for the patch.

When you’re ready to turn your Wyze cam back into a security camera again (it won’t work as a security cam and a webcam at the same time), you’ll need to re-flash its firmware, and the directions are right here.

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Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart home and home entertainment products.

Sours: https://www.techhive.com/article/3535271/how-to-turn-your-wyze-cam-into-a-webcam.html

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