Greetings Applevis-ionaries. (visionaries) I wanted to share a method I devised this morning while working with a low vision client for turning your MacBook into a CCTV using your iPhone.
You will need to have a camera stand which can hold your iPhone at about 10 inches above the item you are wanting to magnify. I used a folding, portable old-style scan stand unit with an internal light strip I’ve had for over a decade by now, and it worked beautifully.
An external monitor is not necessary, but could be nice to assist in ease of eyestrain. Also you are able to plug in your iPhone should it need to be charged while in use.
*Note* This will not work with the iPad as a receiving device, as the iPads and iPhones are not yet able to take external cameras for other than Facetime or Photos. But you can use the iPad for an external monitor if you wish.
Use the following steps:
1. Be sure your iPhone and your MacBook are both signed into the same Apple ID account, and Bluetooth is enabled. Place it on the stand of choice.
2. Go to your MacBook system preferences and check under the camera settings to be sure your iPhone is detected and able to be used as a camera. If not, make sure you have all your settings such as being signed into the same account, and Bluetooth is enabled. You can use a USB cable if you need.
3. You will need to have the Zoom conference desktop app installed on your MacBook, and if not, then go get it now.
a. If you do not have a Zoom account, create one, as you will need to have this for the next part.
4. Open the Zoom app if you haven’t already and go to the zoom settings.
5. Navigate to the video settings and choose the iPhone as your camera input.
6. You can close the settings.
7. Go to the “start a video meeting” button and start a new meeting. Place the zoom screen in full screen mode.
8. You should be able to see the image of whatever is under the iPhone’s camera on screen.
9. As it is only you in the session, it is an unlimited meeting with no time restrictions.
10. Activate the Apple Zoom magnifier or enable it if you do not have it active.
11. You can now use the mouse, or the keyboard to magnify the view of the zoom screen which is the view from the iPhone camera.
12. You are now able to move the document with your hand rather than use the panning of the magnified image on the MacBook screen, as it is smoother to move the document with your hand and get finer adjustments.
You can use this method easily at work if you are in need of a CCTV and either can’t afford one, or don’t have the time to wait for your blind services to provide one for you, and the only cost should be the camera stand.
I hope this solution can benefit each of you who need magnification for work or enrichment of life. May it also open your job prospects to come with the equipment rather than tell a potential employer they will need to wait for you to be productive.
Access technology instructor
Lighthouse of Central Florida