How to detect whether webcam is off or on/recording?

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puk_
Posts: 2
Joined: 04 Aug 2020, 20:33

How to detect whether webcam is off or on/recording?

04 Aug 2020, 20:41

Hi all,

I'm looking for a way to detect whether a computer's camera available (off) or recording/in use by an application (on), and so far I've had no luck finding one.

Ideally, it would be event driven (triggered by a change in state) but even something I have to poll would be useful. Importantly, I don't want to access the camera at all to turn it on/off or record anything. My ultimate goal is to link this to a light bulb in my home automation system to have a sort of "in use" light when someone's on a Zoom call in the other room, so if there are other routes to doing this that I'm missing, happy to hear those too.

If it matters, I'm a relatively experienced ahk coder, so complicated solutions/idea are still appreciated. I've searched both for ahk solutions and non-ahk solutions I could port, with no luck. Apologies if I missed something obvious, and thanks for any help!

-puk

[Edit: light clarifications.]
Last edited by puk_ on 05 Aug 2020, 13:00, edited 2 times in total.
BoBo
Posts: 3642
Joined: 13 May 2014, 17:15

Re: How to detect if camera is in use/available?

05 Aug 2020, 01:35

Hi,
if a ZOOM session "On Air"-status is the thing you wanna detect this might give you a direction ...

https://devforum.zoom.us/t/on-air-off-air-sign-automation-based-on-users-joining-meetings/18235
https://marketplace.zoom.us/docs/api-reference/webhook-reference/user-events/presence-status-updated

... but TBH, if that's the case your subject line is kinda vague ... :think:

PS. I've posted details about 'Cast' (a tool to send command-line driven voice messages to a Google Home connected system) a few minutes ago. Probably of use too?!
puk_
Posts: 2
Joined: 04 Aug 2020, 20:33

Re: How to detect if camera is in use/available?

05 Aug 2020, 13:15

BoBo wrote:
05 Aug 2020, 01:35
Hi,
if a ZOOM session "On Air"-status is the thing you wanna detect this might give you a direction ...

https devforum.zoom.us /t/on-air-off-air-sign-automation-based-on-users-joining-meetings/18235 Broken Link for safety
https marketplace.zoom.us /docs/api-reference/webhook-reference/user-events/presence-status-updated Broken Link for safety

... but TBH, if that's the case your subject line is kinda vague ... :think:

PS. I've posted details about 'Cast' (a tool to send command-line driven voice messages to a Google Home connected system) a few minutes ago. Probably of use too?!
Thanks! I've attempted to clarify the title, but I'm not sure how to summarize it better. Hopefully it makes more sense now.

That first link is indeed pretty close to what I'm trying to do. But I'm trying to detect the camera status rather than use a particular app's API because the user actually uses several different video conferencing systems regularly. And due to the idiosyncrasies of our setup, the door is visible from the camera, so the most important thing is to be careful entering the room if the camera is on. (If they're on a voice-only call, it's not really a problem.) That said, I'll definitely check out the Zoom API route and see how it goes.

I ultimately want to get the state into Home Assistant, where I can can easily do whatever (change a light color, have Alexa talk, etc.) But I'll probably stay away from voice announcements because I don't really want to track their video usage--just know what's going on before I open that door.

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