Ad verba per numeros

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 08:03 PM
A couple of weeks ago I had to deliver a lecture by video conference. I know there are plenty of services to do that but since both parts were short of time I wanted something easy and that I had previously used. After some trial and error I discharged most of the available free services purported to do that and I chose Skype (yes, Skype). A problem I had was that I wanted my webcam to appear next to the slides and that requires Skype premium.

To solve that, a student (David Moreno) tried to convince me to use Google+ Hangouts and I went through this thorough explanation on how to use Hangouts to stream a keynote.

Nevertheless, I found rather uncomfortable to need two computers in order to share both the slides and the webcam and, besides, the quality of the image was IMHO better with Skype than with the Hangout.

On the other hand, using a Hangout On Air I would be able of streaming the conference through YouTube and anyone interested in it could attend the lecture without joining the Hangout. Moreover, the video would be immediately available after the broadcasting.

Hence, I prepared my list of "requirements":

  • I wanted to share my screen using Skype and Google+ Hangouts.
  • The screen should show both my slides and my webcam.
  • I didn't want to pay for Skype premium.
The solution was to prepare a webpage showing the "slides" (actually images produced from PowerPoint) and the webcam. To that end, the jQuery webcam plugin was invaluable, as it was the help of David.

You can check the result in this video (in Spanish) and you can find the current version of Screen Me! (HTML+CSS+JS) prepared by David in github.

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