Tech

Document cameras: The key to virtual communication

Using the IPEVO VZ-R Document Camera to magnify butterfly specimens

(Using the IPEVO VZ-R Document Camera to magnify butterfly specimens)

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide are still struggling to adapt to the sudden changes in their daily lives. One of the biggest challenges was undoubtedly the transition to virtual communication. Without the ability to communicate face to face, people needed to find a new way to replicate their previous working environment, which is when they turned towards the document camera. A device that was once primarily associated with classrooms suddenly became one of the most sought-after products across the globe.

What Is A Document Camera?

document camera
IPEVO’s DO-CAM is just one example

A document camera, or otherwise known as a visualizer, is a camera designed in a way that allows the user to present in detail their material to the audience easily. The emergence of document cameras played a major role in replacing the overhead projectors that served a similar function. Not only are document cameras a fraction of the size and weight, but they also do not require the plastic slides that overhead projectors required. Along with the rapid growth of technology in the past few decades, the ability to integrate document cameras with both computer software and hardware was a major reason for their widespread popularity.

How Are They Utilized?

Although one would immediately associate document cameras with a classroom setting, thanks to their utility, they are now commonly used by professionals ranging from artists, accountants, and lawyers to pharmacists. Despite their seemingly simple and straightforward functions, a document camera paired with the right software is a force to be reckoned with. People worldwide use document cameras for various applications such as live-recordings, displaying materials, and scanning documents.

Presenting

Whether it be in-person or online, document cameras are among the most efficient and interactive ways to give a presentation. It effectively allows the presenter to display their material in fine detail to their audience, big or small. Unlike overhead projectors, document cameras can easily display both two-dimensional and three-dimensional material that would otherwise be extremely difficult to display properly. Users looking to elevate their presentation can consider pairing their document cameras with various software and hardware for an additional interactive element.

IPEVO’s VZ-R shown projecting documents to an online conference

Scanning

Scanning may seem like a task that could be done on a smartphone or printer, which might be true if it were just a few pages, but would otherwise be an extremely time-consuming task if the number significantly increased. This device can speed up the process by simply taking quick snapshots of the document placed in the allocated area. This essentially reduces the process down to simply placing the document and pressing a button, making it especially efficient for professionals such as lawyers and accountants that regularly scan large amounts of documents.

Conclusion

Document cameras are, without a doubt, a great innovation that can be utilized by countless people across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic only further highlights the importance of these devices and the benefits they bring to the table.

Furthermore, with the recent spike in demand for effective virtual communication, professions that had never thought about or even knew about document cameras now realize its potential. The sheer versatility they offer makes it a piece of essential equipment for working from home, regardless of occupation.

What are your thoughts on these devices? Do you use one? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

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