Friday, February 6, 2015

Home Streamer app

Here's a simple app that does a powerful thing. It's called Home Streamer and you guessed it, it lets you stream your devices's camera. Here's how it works.

First, download the app from the app store. It was free when I got it, but that doesn't guarantee it is now. But don't worry if it costs money now! If you are a teacher with Columbia Public Schools, we have copies of the app to give you for free. 

Once it's downloaded, the process to start streaming is very simple. Launch the app. You should be asked to allow the app to use your iPad's camera and microphone. You should agree. Now you'll see something like this picture, except you probably shouldn't see my tape dispenser. 

At the top of your screen, you'll see an IP address. Simply open up your favorite browser and enter that IP address in the URL bar. Voila! There's your video being streamed to your computer. And not only that. We tried it out across different buildings and it worked. There is a slight lag with the video and audio, but it was only about a second delay. 

There are only a few options to mess around with, which in my estimation, is a good thing.

One feature that is handy is that you can add a password in order to connect from the browser. When you enter the IP address on your computer, you'll get a screen to enter the password. I've connected a few times now, and both times I was given a different IP address to use. But using the password will help you determine when you want people to view. Simply change the password to revoke access. You can also turn off the audio.

How would you use an app like this? Well, lots of ways. We've had lots of requests for helping connect remote students to classrooms. You could easily use it on an iPad stand to use as a document camera. It's only a one way viewing, so you wouldn't use it for a video conference unless you just wanted to sit and get. 

Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Happy streaming!