So Elmo’s are all the rage. I get it. But isn’t a document camera really just a mounted camera connected to your computer with some features for zooming, drawing and the like? So what’s the big price tag all about?
Lee Kolbert’s blog (via a Tweet) got me looking into IPEVO’s camera. $80-ish, small, simple and does what I need it to do–project a document or object for all my students to see. I have drawing software to do the rest. Got it, tried it, it works. But it’s resolution is not ideal nor is the size of document it can capture.
Then our lab coordinator, Ginny, got me turned to The Hover Cam as a doc camera solution with a less-than-Elmo price tag. $250-ish and boy was it sleek lookin’! It even comes with a mat that helps you align various sized documents without a lot of car-sickness-inducing adjustments. It plugged in, software was installed and boom! Amazingly clear images appeared on my screen. I captured images, drew on them, sent them to my Picasa drop box and was generally impressed with the whole set up.
But… there had to be a “but.” It didn’t work the second time I turned it on. The USB device could not be found. I tried a few other “fixes” but none worked. Ginny came to help too (she know WAY more than I do about all this). We filled out a help ticket on The Hover Cam website. A few back and forth’s of the help ticket, and I got the message, “Sounds like a defective device. We will issue you a RMA and send you a replacement unit.” Wow. That’s it. I am excited to work with a company so quick to make their product right for the consumer. Let’s not continue with the try-this-now-try-this routine. We did the obvious: try on different computer, install updated software, search for hardware. Now it’s time for a new machine and Viola! It’s coming!