Your Android phone may become able to act as USB camera
As it turns out, Google may be doing just that. It would be a total life saver too, considering how expensive some of the higher quality webcams are, and that most of those that come pre-installed on laptops are still leagues behind what our smartphones can do.
Android is adding a new "DeviceAsWebcam" service that "turns an android device into a— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 2, 2023
webcam." Specifically, Android devices that support the standard UVC (USB video class) gadget mode will be able to send video data that hosts can read from /dev/video* nodes. pic.twitter.com/oOgIqr1KkE
Oddly enough, most Android smartphones already have that video class, so it is kind of strange that we’re only seeing this come up now. Or is it?
After all, processing power will be a huge factor when it comes to using your phone as a webcam, especially for streaming higher resolutions like 4K. So maybe it’s thanks to the technology advancements of today that our phones can actually bear the weight of such a feature.
In order for the feature to work, though, it will likely require its own dedicated app. An alternative to that may be a service that runs in the background, like the one that starts up when your phone detects that it's connected to a PC through USB.
As of now, Google hasn’t described this as an update coming to Android 13, or to Android 14 for that matter. However, we hope that it ends up finding its way to most phones, as it will definitely help people take advantage of their fancy flagships in new and exciting ways.