Windows\Symbian: Use your Smartphones Camera as a Webcam with SmartCam

SmartcamI don’t have a webcam, and I don’t really intend on ever buying one. Occasionally there are times that others have requested that I get one, but I can’t justify the purchase.

Most phones these days have cameras built in, so wouldn’t it be great if we could use the phones we already have as our webcam.

SmartCam answers the call. SmartCam fools your computer into seeing your smartphones camera as a webcam. A Windows client and a mobile client both need to be installed for it to operate. SmartCam works with MSN messenger, Skype, as well as a straight forward capture to file.

While this all sounds very good, being a SourceForge hosted project that is still very young, SmartCam has some limitations. It only works over Bluetooth, which is exactly what I wanted, but it may limit some users. It is designed for Symbian S60, Series 2 & 3 devices, although it does run on a Java platform; so it may work on other devices.

SmartCam worked for me on a Nokia N70. I had no success with Windows Mobile, however it has not been designed to run on this platform as yet. It was designed for XP, and I had no problems running SmartCam in Vista.

It is a little fiddly to get up and running. The mobile versions need to be installed from the Windows installation folder. Once you read the Read Me file, and get the hang of how it works, you should be fine. SmartCam fulfilled my needs, and I recommend you give this one a go.

(Update: 26/9/07) To stop the popups for each new frame on your phone, go into your tools folder and select your application manager.
Go down to jSmartCam, select options, and Suite Settings.
Change Connectivity to Always allowed
Change Multimedia to Ask First Time.
For more information, check out the read-me file in the installation folder.

Available for free from

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9 comments so far »

  1. Sauron56 said, on October 4, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

    it get Encoding is invalid.Msg:Encoding is invalid SmartCam will exit now!

    on my K800i SE

  2. Michiel said, on February 8, 2008 @ 11:33 am

    This program is so buggy, it’s really killing my xp every time I run it.

    Nevertheless it’s a great concept!!

  3. MHR said, on October 7, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

    program is great, just sucks up lots of resources..

    worked on my S60 device (nokia n78) havent tried the java yet..

  4. Reece said, on March 5, 2009 @ 6:21 am

    Do I have to load this software on to my phone??
    I have loaded it on to my computer and my bluetooth
    is connected but when I select the SmartCam icon and the start capture via bluetooth it says at the bottom
    left that I am disconnected. What am I doing wrong?

  5. Chris Duckworth said, on March 5, 2009 @ 8:20 am

    You need to install part of the program on your device. It is a client/server application.

  6. Daniel said, on May 12, 2009 @ 7:02 am

    the idea is good, but there’s no documentation, or detailed instructions.

  7. Kalu Churchill said, on July 9, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    Smartcam is superb.
    it works well on Nokia N70. although i cant configure it to work with skype, but it is good on yahoo messenger.

  8. Manuel Chacon said, on August 27, 2010 @ 12:56 am

    Hi there,
    the program is a nice tool, works ok
    The only point is that you need to find how to fix the “expired certificate” problem

  9. Ricardo said, on November 3, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    The mobile app is installed in a W995 phone (Sony Ericsson) and the SmartCam (1.4) is running on Windows XP, but as others I get the exception: Encoding is invalid.Msg:Encoding is invalid SmartCam will exit now!

    Anyone has an idea what could be happening.

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