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Android Front Camera Replacement

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Little_Ad 1059, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. Little_Ad 1059

    Thread Starter

    Hello everyone -- I'm wondering if anyone has any experience replacing a built-in front-facing camera on any android device with a UVC/USB webcam. What I want to do is build a custom app that works on a regular android phone where I can use the camera1 or camera2 apis to get access to camera data from a USB webcam I have. I of course know that on this site there are many guides for replacing cameras on various android devices using manufactured replacements (sometimes non-OEM), but I am trying to figure out if there is any android device and some sort of adapter where I could plug into the front-facing cameras MIPI/CSI port but have it be able to plug into some kind of webcam/uvc/usb signal. It would be pretty sweet if you could plug in "arbtrary" webcams that support UVC and have an Android phone read this as a normal camera signal that could be processed with the Android Camera APIs!

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Short answer: no.

    Long answer: the camera would have to fit physically, be 100% compatible electronically, and would have to be 100% compatible with the phone's firmware (which was built for the particular camera that the manufacturer installed). Mobile devices aren't PCs: if you change the camera the OS won't recognise that the hardware has changed, identify the camera model, search for a driver and install it. What it will do is try to interact with it as if it was the original camera, and almost certainly crash whatever app tries to use it.

    You would probably have more luck trying to find out whether the phone can drive an external webcam via the USB port (I don't know, I've never heard of anyone try, but I've also never looked to see whether anyone has).

    Edit: the thread merge since I posted this has changed the post I was replying to, making it read less like the question is actually about replacing the front camera. Hence I think large parts of this answer don't apply to the current question, but can't be bothered to try to rework. I still don't have an answer, and do not think that you'll be able to trick the installed camera app into using a USB camera in place of the front-facing camera, which I think is what's actually being asked.
    #2 Hadron, Jul 20, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
    ocnbrze, Dannydet and mikedt like this.

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