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Thread: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

  1. #1

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    Question Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Hi everyone,

    I need to write a program for a Windows 8.1 tablet (not RT) which lets me take a picture inside the program. My question is the camera considered a webcam that I can access just like a webcam hooked up to my desktop? Is it a twain driver device? I use a video capture control to take the pictures and was going to use it. I still have to buy a tablet for this job so that's why I was asking ahead of time. This will be in VB.NET.

    Thanks,
    Warren

  2. #2
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    This link talks about the Surface tablet and talking to that camera

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/For...tablet-from-vb

    Seems to me that various tablets might have different camera capabilities, though...

    Have you decided on a tablet device yet?

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  3. #3

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    I do not have a specific device but it needs to be Windows 8.1 and not RT because from what I read the RT is for installed apps from their windows store. I would think I can access cameras on the tablets the same as long as they have a driver installed.

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    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    You should survey some tablet manufacturers and see what the specs for the camera on each device is.

    I have a Surface Pro 2 - not RT - if you work up some code I can test it for you here.

    And yes - the RT device is a low-end consumer product - only runs apps from the store. My Surface is Windows 8.1 - full Windows O/S just like we are all used to...

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Thanks! I will send you something by tomorrow.

    Warren

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Hi, I made a very small demo in VS 2012 that connects to the camera for preview and lets you capture any frame to a picturebox next to it on the form. I can't post the code because it uses a registered video capture control I purchased. Can you try this on your Surface Pro 2? Below is the download link for it. You can even email me directly at < removed >. I definitely appreciate the help! I place to buy a tablet next Wednesday when I get paid.

    http://www.tybeesoftware.com/cameratest.zip

    Thanks,

    Warren
    Last edited by si_the_geek; Jan 1st, 2014 at 03:07 PM. Reason: removed email to protect you from spam - other members can contact you via the forums (PM etc)

  7. #7
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    I reported your post so an admin can remove your email - or you should edit this immediately yourself.

    Bot's will have this email in the interweb forever...

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Warren,

    I was just asked today to pursue a project similar to yours. Using a Surface Win8.1 to take a picture with the rear camera, display in app and store image in backend SQL. Wondering if you got your app working and if you can provide some of the research that helped you complete the project?

    Also, wondering were you distributing your app on the device or using something like RemoteApp? I was specifically asked to look at RemoteApp but I am not sure this approach will allow me to control a camera on the Surface Tablet seeing how the app gives the "appearance" of running on the local machine but maybe not a true presence allowing control of local hardware such as a camera.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide,
    Douglas

  9. #9
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    The camera test software was a demo app that came from that link he posted. And it worked on my Surface 2 Pro - which is 8.1

    Are you wanting this to work through the Microsoft store - on RT machines? Or just Surface Pro 2?

    Do you have one to play with yourself??

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Hi. I was researching at home and did not want to download the file on my laptop. Will download it here in a test environment in case someone inserted something nasty in the zip.

    This would be for an internal project/no Microsoft store. My bosses want to stream line a process and consolidate hardware. They were using cell phones to take pictures, email to laptop, then process in an app. They are thinking they want to replace the laptop with a Surface Pro and try to take the picture from within the app to reduce "user error" and limit actions.

    Some users need some hand holding and we are worried about them getting lost and/or not keeping up on the versions as the app changes. So wondered about the RemoteApp - puts icon on desktop, gives feel as though using app is local but not, run from single site/server. Just not seeing anything about if a remoteapp can control local hardware (like a camera, scanners, printers). So, may have to go thick client on the surface if I hit a wall.

    Just talked with the boss this morning and he agreed we need to buy a surface pro for testing. Darn : ) In mean time, still looking for all the pieces to see what is possible and what the drawbacks might be.
    Examples:
    Saw some sample code using an avi dll but people complain the dpi is not all that great.
    Saw some samples using a Divx but people say it doesn't work well in Win8.1 but gave higher resolutions.
    Examples range from C to C++ to old school VB to VB.net. Prefer VB but can go C/C++ but it has been 10 years since I coded a whole project in those languages.
    RemoteApp seems straight forward but there wasn't a lot of documentation on restrictions, security concerns, using local hardware - But I only skimmed a couple of hours last night in google.
    If thick client, Need to research if app can create/maintain a secure/encrypted connection to a SQL. I have primarily done internal apps within a firewall. This would be an external app with very confidential info.

    Probably more than you wanted to know but seemed important to project scope and potential understanding.

    Suggestions?

  11. #11
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Surface Pro 2 is not a Surface 2

    http://www.gizmag.com/surface-2-vs-surface-pro-2/29484/

    Careful - only the PRO 2 - which is like $900 - allows .EXE's from Visual studio to be run. It is also full windows - desktop and all - real windows machine. I have one - I love it. I might be creating app's for town halls to use with it shortly...

    The other machine is a WINDOWS RT device - something about only running app's downloaded from the app store.

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Good link - thx.

    Just noticed you're a SQL powerposter. I used to be an MS Access programmer and I have stored images in the database record but remember it as problematic. I think I want to do the same in this app based on this article I read today (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/...ql-server.aspx). I would want the quick retrieval and high security of it. Have you done it and have any recommendations? IE: Keep photos below a certain size, certain formats store better, etc? Like, would I be better using the AVI method with the lower dpi due to this requirement or does it not really matter in the grand picture?

    BTW - Since I didn't have a Surface Pro 2 yet, tried to run the app on my desktop and it fails without a descriptive error. Will try to debug more later today or tomorrow. Going to continue on with research.

  13. #13
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Yes - storing images in MS SQL is a good thing - works fine. There is also a version of MS SQL called CE (compact edition) - very limited - but I've used it on POCKET PC's years ago. Storing images - no problem. Plus the DB file can be easily pw encrypted.

    I've never done encryption with other versions of MS SQL - that's also possible - just something I've never done.

    Size of photo was student head shot images from year book - although I believe the IT staff would pass them through some tool that would bulk-process them down to resolutions that made sense for the use we had for them (ability to pop up a picture of the kid while working with them).

    That demo app won't run without a device that has a camera.

    Once you have a camera device (SURFACE PRO 2) you can see how close the tool allows you to work the camera. I'm sure the API is robust - but I've not done anything myself other then test it for WarrenW two weeks ago...

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  14. #14

    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Quote Originally Posted by szlamany View Post
    Yes - storing images in MS SQL is a good thing - works fine.
    If you are referring to the image column type in MS SQL, it is planned to go away in future versions. Otherwise, ignore me

  15. #15
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    VarBinary(max) is the data type to use...

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Great guys! Thank you. My boss just came back from the meeting and got approval to buy. Looks like I get a new toy to play with. Only bummer is when the app is done, the toy might go away : (

  17. #17

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    I have tried various examples from different sites that uses directx and other ways and each failed on previewing the camera. I have an HP Omni with windows 8.1 (not RT). Nothing works. Does anyone know or have a sample of something that should work?

    Thanks,
    Warren

  18. #18
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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Didn't you PM me a test app for the camera back around Jan 1st??

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  19. #19

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    Re: Accessing webcam in Windows 8 tablet?

    Yes. I got my tablet a while ago and been working on everything else in the program I am developing for my client. Today I went to use that control and app you tested for me and it failed for me. I did send the vendor a support email with the scenario and the error message. And I tried many other samples I found online and nothing worked. They recognize the cameras in the tablet since it has one in front and back but fails to connect.

    Warren

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