What's going on with my iPad and Skype?
July 24, 2012 5:14 PM   Subscribe

A couple of times when I've used Skype on my iPad, my picture has changed for no apparent reason, with the camera appearing to pan up. Why?

I use my new iPad to Skype with my parents abroad. Twice now, they claim that my picture has changed, such that it looked as though the camera was panning slowly upward from my face to point at the ceiling, and then moving back down again, over a period of about 30 seconds. They were adamant that it wasn't an issue with pixellation, worsened image quality, or level of zoom - they say that the image was quite clear, and that it looked as though the camera had simply moved up and down. I was not touching the iPad at the time, the stand that it was on was quite firm, and I didn't see any movement from the iPad or anything wrong with my image on my end. Has anyone had this happen to them? What could possibly be the explanation?
posted by jlibera to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Since the iPad camera has absolutely no way to point any way but straight ahead, the only thing I can think of would be the motion compensation going crazy in the in the video codec Skype uses, possibly due to a bad connection between your end and theirs. An extreme example of people using this effect on purpose is in datamoshing videos. But in your case, if your ceiling is a plain white surface, it just moves your picture down and fills in the rest of the screen with white.
posted by zsazsa at 5:49 PM on July 24, 2012

NSFW on the link above.
posted by tamitang at 5:56 PM on July 24, 2012

Skype has video settings that may be the culprit. It is not necessary for your camera to be physically movable for the image to move. The Skype software can selectively zoom and pan to various parts of the entire image to give the illusion of a physical pan.

Check the following......

There is an option called "FOLLOW MY FACE" which does what it says. Maybe that is the issue.

Unless you are monitoring the Skype app's output, you would not know if it was doing this, but you can the monitor the results in the OPTIONS>>VIDEO SETTINGS preview window change as you fiddle with settings.

I am not sure how this all works on the iPad and I rarely use Skypvid anyway, but a quick test showed it to be similar to the description of your issue. And as a general note, over the years I have always found these auto-image selection type of things in vidcams to be nice when they work, but flaky without warning.

Of course, YMMV.
posted by lampshade at 11:37 PM on July 24, 2012

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