What can your iSight see?


What can your iSight see?
Mac Tip #355, 10 September

Miraz and her cat Olive

Miraz and her cat Olive

Many or most new Macs include a built-in iSight camera. Look for the small black square at the top centre of the monitor. I wrote about a couple of conventional ways to use it in Picture yourself in Photo Booth, Mac Tip #282/28-March-2007.

But it’s actually useful for other things too.

If you have a laptop, the iSight camera means you have a rather large and unwieldy camera to hand — turn it round and grab a quick shot of the sunset, the dogs on the lawn, whatever catches your attention.

Scan a barcode in Delicious Library using the built-in iSight camera.

Scan a barcode in Delicious Library using the built-in iSight camera.

Use it as a ‘scanner’. Hold up receipts, business cards, takeaway menus and ‘scan’ them in for future reference.

Selling books, videos or other small objects? Hold them up in front of the camera and take a photo to include with the auction.

Would you like to catalogue a lot of books, DVDs or CDs? Try Delicious Library 2. It costs US$40, if you find you like it.

Click the thumbnail images for a larger version.

Maria's and my WordPress book is listed, with details. The 'fuzzy' cover image isn't usual...

Maria's and my WordPress book is listed, with details. The 'fuzzy' cover image isn't usual...

Open Delicious Library 2 and choose Window > Video Camera Barcode Scanner. The camera window opens. Hold the book in front of the camera so the barcode is clearly visible and after a moment you’ll hear the sound of the camera shutter.

If you’re connected to the Internet the software checks the barcode it’s ‘read’ against the Amazon database, and with any luck after a few moments Delicious Library 2 now displays cover art and the details for the book.

Next week: Use iSight with Evernote — the software that remembers everything.

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4 Comments

  1. Sujata said:

    Hello,

    I would like to explore the possibility of scanning using iSight – I specifically want to scan business cards. Can you suggest which software to use and how?

    Thanks.

  2. pete said:

    Have heard of a mirror system for ensuring the iSight can film what is in front of you – seems to be this one http://www.ecamm.com/mac/huckleberry/index.html – maybe there are others. Seems simple enough but see no comments on how much it affects the quality of the picture

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