Photo Courtesy of HoverCam

The HoverCam Solo 5 is a tabletop document scanner, HD webcam and presentation device. Marketed to schools, the device allows teachers to stream a live, real-time view of textbooks for remote and in-class students. Updated video-recording software and the ability to share large documents make it a good fit for the AEC industry as well.

Hovercam, made by Pathway Innovations and Technologies Inc., San Diego, is powered by and communicates through a single USB chord. When plugged into a PC, Mac or most white boards, the internal software launches.

ENR tested the device as a tool to share large documents and site drawings remotely. The camera is mounted on a weighted, extendable, vertical stand with multiple joints. The head can oscillate, allowing the camera to be used for close-in scanning or as a webcam. The camera's software grants even more control, giving users the ability to rotate, adjust, zoom in on and annotate images.

HoverCam's video resolution goes well beyond full HD, to 2,592 x 1,944 pixels, for scanning and shooting video at up to 15 frames a second; a recent software update allows it to shoot 1,280 x 720 pixels at 30 fps. The camera's optical resolution includes a macro view that gains focus within a quarter-inch of a project document so that tiny details show up. An auto-focus function worked well during tests when sharing documents; however, when shooting objects or moving the camera, it functioned best in the auto-focus lock mode. The tool costs $299.00 at