With many of us stuck at home these days, videoconferencing is more important than ever. Though it’s neat to see a person’s expression along with the voice, you’ll notice that he or she doesn’t really appear to be looking at you, as your on-screen eyes are in a different position than actual camera. While most probably find it a little annoying and don’t give it much extra thought, Matt of DIY Perks apparently wasn’t content with this situation. Instead he came up with a very clever way to get your eyes in the correct orientation.
His hack is surprisingly simple, consisting of a black shroud made out of foam board that surrounds the screen’s perimeter and a two-way mirror positioned at 45 degrees to the screen. Below this, Matt placed a flat black camera assembly salvaged from a dead laptop. This could record a straight shot of his eyes as he looks at the middle of the screen and it shines through the back of the mirror assembly.
One might note that the setup is reminiscent of an infinity mirror arrangement, though adding a prominent 45-degree angle to keep things separate. Aside from this optical trick, you’ll want to take note of how easy it is to convert old laptop cameras into usable webcams, by simply connecting the four USB wires. Matt also shows how to make a diffuse light for your conversation, providing everything you need to stay in (eye) contact.