Like everyone lately, [Matt] has been spending more time doing video conferencing lately. The problem is you naturally want to look at the screen, but that means you aren’t looking at the camera and, thus, you aren’t making eye contact. If you use a laptop, there is a relatively easy fix, although it isn’t particularly stylish. [Matt] built a black shroud out of foam board and put in two-way mirror. How does that help? Well, with the set up, you can put a very thin black web camera pointing up towards the mirror. Because the shroud is dark, you can see the screen through the mirror, but the camera sees you.
Where do you get a thin black web camera? You make one from an old laptop camera. They are tiny and easy to repurpose, a trick [Matt] has shared before. As a bonus, the post shows an easy way to take an LED strip and make a diffused light for lighting up your webcam call.
It looks like the downside is it will make the keyboard difficult to use, so you might want to pair this with a Bluetooth keyboard. It is also a little bulky, but if you are on the go, it looks like you could remove the mirror, fold the shroud, and the whole thing would lay flat for transport.
Even if you don’t want to improve your video chat, there are a few gems here. The light is simple enough and would be a good way to use a little bit of extra LED lighting. We can think of lots of reasons we want a thin web camera. But what struck us the most was the possibility of using this as a teleprompter. If you had text on your screen scrolling (or used your mouse to scroll, you could read the text while looking straight at the camera. Just the thing the next time you run for office.