Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Document Camera Designed to Fit on Teacher's Desk, Fold into Drawer or Pack to Go. Introducing HoverCam Solo 8

The HoverCam Solo 8 (on right)
 is designed for everyday desktop
 use and has a significantly smaller
footprint than traditional
document cameras (left). 
The “traditional” document camera has a large platform with many connectors making it cumbersome to move around the room, put in a drawer, or take home to do class preparation. As for fitting on a teacher’s desk, traditional document cameras with their large base aren’t practical because they take up so much space.
Enter the HoverCam Solo 8, which has a small, weighted base trim enough to sit comfortably on a desktop without hogging space. It is the first fully-featured document camera designed to fit on a teacher's desk, fold and put into a drawer or pack to go. “Why isn’t my document camera this small!?” teachers ask me when seeing the HoverCam for the first time. The HoverCam Solo 8 is powered by a USB cable connected to the computer - there is no power cord or power adapter - so the HoverCam Solo 8 is always connected to the computer and is always available to use. Use it for a quick demonstration; a quick show and tell; to show a lesson on a tablet or smartphone; to make a quick scan of a document – saving a trip to the office; to take a quick snapshot; to video record a student presentation or a “flipped” lesson. The HoverCam Solo 8 is four pieces of equipment in one – a scanner, an HD video recorder, and HD webcam and a document camera – and sits right on the teacher’s desktop, always available to use, and its price is affordable for many schools at just 349 dollars per classroom, including the software.
The HoverCam Solo 8 is not a piece of equipment to keep in the closet to pull out for occasional use. It’s designed to be on a teacher’s desktop all the time, taking up very little space. And, it folds up flat when not in use. It weighs just 2.2 lbs. and can easily be folded and taken home to create lessons when school isn’t in session. And, because it’s small enough to be on the desk ready to use anytime, it is used. Principals find the ROI of a HoverCam is high and so is teacher satisfaction.
Have an old, clunky document camera in your room? Want more space on your desk? Consider trading it in for the HoverCam Solo 8, the world’s first SuperSpeed USB 3.0 document camera with 8-megapixel resolution and a 30 frames/second refresh rate designed for desktop use. For additional information, please visit

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Only Document Camera Designed To Scan: Introducing The HoverCam Solo . Yes, It's a Scanner, Too

From its debut in 2010, the HoverCam was designed as a new kind of “top down” scanner to scan documents with a camera positioned above the paper on a stand instead of below a glass platen. The design was so innovative it was awarded several U.S. patents. Unlike traditional document cameras with VGA connectors designed to connect directly to projectors, the HoverCam is a USB computer peripheral with a high-resolution sensor and scanning software that allows users to crop an image, straighten and scan directly to PDF. There is an auto-timer allowing scanning at specified intervals – for example, every five seconds – and even a motion-sensor that triggers scanning a set number of seconds after motion is detected, such as placing a paper down in the scan area. Using the motion-trigger function and HoverCam’s “Flex” software included with every unit, it’s easy to scan multiple documents into a single PDF file, saving a teacher time and trips to the office. And HoverCam’s software allows easy sharing of documents through email, drag-and-drop into another program, and uploading to Evernote or Dropbox.
HoverCam’s Flex software also includes a simple OCR – Optical Character Recognition –function that allows the user to scan text from a document then edit the text and paste it into a Word document. This makes it easier for teachers to create some lessons. Then there is the text to speech function, which reads out loud in selected computer voices the text that was scanned – useful for language instruction and also a few laughs depending on the voice selected. Traditional document cameras could always take a low-res photo or a low-res snap shot with their low resolution cameras, but from the beginning, the HoverCam was the world’s first “document camera” that was also truly a document scanner so schools were getting four pieces of equipment in one: a document camera, an HD video recorder, an HD webcam and a scanner.
Once again, HoverCam has changed the game with the new Solo 8, the world’s first document camera to incorporate an 8-megapixel sensor that scans text even more clearly than earlier models. The Solo 8’s camera scans 8-megapixel resolution images that are “uncompressed” which means that scans of text are cleaner with fewer artifacts and OCR accuracy is improved. The typical storage size of each scan is about 1MB so it’s easy to share files. And, the Solo 8 works great with leading OCR software packages, such as ABBYY Fine Reader. For additional information, please visit

Friday, July 18, 2014

A New Document Camera Designed to Record Video for “Flipped Learning” and Classroom Instruction. Say Hello to Solo 8

Use of video recording in schools is increasing, with more teachers “flipping” their classroom and video used as a tool to assess how well students present and comprehend material. At the Illinois Computer Educators Conference in Illinois in February, spotlight speaker Richard Colosi, an educator from New York and winner of two national video contests, urged conference attendees to record student presentations and play back the recordings.  “It’s when you record the material you find out if the students really understand what they’re talking about,” he said.

A challenge when recording video with a smartphone or tablet is stability – and a tripod or stand may not always be available. Also, once you record the video on a device – or snippets of video – sometimes there’s a need to edit the content into a more coherent lesson, and that often means transferring the video to a computer to use the best editing tools.

The HoverCam Solo 8 was designed from the ground up with the latest microprocessor power and highest sensor resolution to record HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second over a USB cable directly to a computer’s hard drive.  It is the only document camera available today that does that over USB – with most other document cameras recording at lower resolution, lower speeds and with video recording time limited by the size of inconvenient SD cards. With the Solo 8, instructors can record hours of video footage directly to their computer, without the extra step of transferring video to the computer. Furthermore, the Solo 8 allows annotation over video while recording, to further enhance a lesson.

The Solo 8 weighs just 1 kg – 2.2 lbs. – and has a small base so it’s easy to pick up the camera and swivel it in any direction.  It has a flip-up camera head that is fully rotating and a bendable arm to record video in almost any direction.  It can be used to record video of students at the back of a classroom – or up-close to reveal amazing features of objects - and it records and plays back in HD 1080p resolution with the speed and clarity you expect to see from an HDTV broadcast. And, when using a USB 3.0 cable, the video is uncompressed YUV video – for an even better HD image.

The HoverCam Solo 8 is more than just a “document camera.” It is becoming a teacher’s best friend for easily recording and playing back high-quality HD video using the computer and for “flipping” the classroom. To find out more, please visit and click on the video below.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Finally, A Document Camera Designed for Easy Use With Interactive Whiteboards. Introducing The HoverCam Solo 8

At education technology trade shows around the country teachers seeing the HoverCam on display walk up to me and say, “I can’t figure out how to connect my document camera to the interactive whiteboard.” Sometimes the teacher admits “the document camera just sits in the closet.” Traditional document cameras were designed to output video through a VGA port directly to the projector and lacked the connectivity to communicate with interactive whiteboards - IWBs.  And, even as traditional document camera manufacturers added USB connectivity to their products, the video streamed over their USB cables is either low-resolution, unacceptably slow, or both.

The HoverCam Solo 8 is the world's first
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 document camera
with 8MP resolution and a
30 frame/sec refresh rate at high-resolution. 
It's designed to work with 
Interactive Whiteboards.
From its initial conception five years ago, the HoverCam was designed to work with computers and to connect to PCs and Macs with a USB cable, just as an IWB connects to the computer via USB.  The HoverCam represents a whole new philosophy in document camera design.  The HoverCam is a “computer peripheral.” It didn’t take long for school principals and district IT directors to learn that the HoverCam being a USB “document camera” is an advantage, because it allows easy connecting and use with IWBs. Moreover, the HoverCam design – which uses a high-resolution sensor instead of bulky, expensive optics – has a clearer image and costs significantly less than traditional document cameras to produce. Not because it’s cheap - because it’s innovative and incorporates advanced, patented technology.

Not only is the HoverCam hardware ready for use with interactive whiteboards right out of the box, the HoverCam “Flex” software included with each unit is also compatible with IWB software.

There are four ways to import HoverCam images into IWB software:

·        Drag-and-drop any captured image or photo from HoverCam’s software window into the IWB software.
·        HoverCam’s “Slingshot” feature which allows an image being shown by the HoverCam to be captured and inserted into any software program – including IWB software – with just one click without leaving the IWB software.
·        HoverCam’s “Whiteboard Connector,” a flash-app that allows the camera’s live streaming video to be displayed within the IWB software.
·        Using the “transparency” feature of the IWB software to display HoverCam’s live, full-motion, 30 frame/second 1080p video image inside the IWB without installation of any additional software, app or driver.

It’s easy to connect a HoverCam to any computer for use with any IWB, and best of all, the new HoverCam Solo 8 delivers clearer images over USB than any other document camera costing less than 3,000 dollars with its true 8-megapixel resolution and full-motion, 30 frames per second video. For more information please visit