Mom's first grandchild-cam
December 1, 2008 8:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a webcam setup for my technophobic mom who lives half a country away from me. She will be using it primarily to see and communicate with her grandchildren. Strangely for a technophobe, she works from home so she has reliable internet access but she is uncomfortable with complex installations and configurations. I'm looking for make/model webcam recommendations and also any hints on other accessories she might need.
posted by answergrape to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Mac or Windows?
posted by designbot at 8:49 AM on December 1, 2008

Response by poster: Windows only. She basically uses the computer for word processing and work email right now.
posted by answergrape at 8:58 AM on December 1, 2008

Best answer: My sister is due any minute now, so I just bought 3 Logitech Pro webcams for her, grandma and auntie (me!). They were pretty deeply discounted at Amazon. Everything I've read says these are the best out there right now.
posted by Biblio at 9:33 AM on December 1, 2008

This is possibly overkill, but for a technophobe grandma ... some of the Eee PCs have webcams built in. I suspect you could get one for ~$300, and use Skype. (Hook it up to a larger monitor if you want.)

Or you could get an Ojo - I love mine, but I'm not sure the company is going to stick around, and they're more expensive. Still, dead simple.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:47 AM on December 1, 2008

Best answer: Buy any good quality webcam, run the driver installation (They all have to have that step done) and then use an online service such as Tokbox as this eliminates most of the hassles of the included proprietary software that different webcams supply. I use Tokbox for personal and business use.

Bonus 1: Tokbox allows "viewers" to just click on a link to view the live webcam (email or messenger) - no software to install or setup. You just initiate the session whenever you want.

Bonus 2: You can also do video conferencing with some of the web apps like Tokbox. (I regularly group 12 different people in 5 different locations this way)
posted by emjay at 10:05 AM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wanted to ad... the webcam/software/setup etc doesn't matter really. Any good quality camera, any manufacturer - They all require being plugged in (USB) and drivers installed. After that, she may never need to setup/configure anything ever again if she's that technophobic. Just email or im "Hey mom, click this link"

She doesn't even need to sign up or open an account and it's free.
posted by emjay at 10:08 AM on December 1, 2008

Response by poster: I took Biblio's suggestion and bought the Logitech webcam for my brother. It's working well.
posted by answergrape at 9:14 AM on January 27, 2009

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