Are you in a blur?
Sometimes Mr. Tappy’s camera can struggle with focus,
…luckily, there’s a simple workaround.
Mr Tappy’s camera is an auto-focus Logitech C525. Surprisingly, this model handles light better than some of the higher end models.
Yes, I did my research – cameras and light have a love/hate relationship. Cameras love things which are lit, but not things with light coming from them, like screens, the very thing Mr. Tappy is there for.
First check – Screen brightness.
One way to gain control of the focus is to ’trick’ the camera into thinking the screen is not ‘lit’, by dimming the screen down, to a brightness similar to a piece of paper. Incidentally, having a dark background around the screen doesn’t help, or glare from the screen from any overhead lights.
If adjusting screen brightness doesn’t help, there’s a software solution to over-ride the autofocus so you can control it yourself.
You’ll need to set this each time you adjust the position of Mr. Tappy (If you change the distance from device to the camera).
Download and install the Logitech webcam software. It’s 36mb and there’s one for Windows and Mac:
Head to the advanced tab, then switch off the autofocus. Now you should be able to set this to focus on the screen. Setting it in here will also set it in whatever other webcam viewer you’re using, like:
Quicktime (Available for Windows and pre-instated on every Mac by default)
OBS Studio (Which allows multiple camera inputs, and I’m told also allows you to over-ride the autofocus).
I hope that brings things into focus. Other factors to help getting the light right are; reducing the contrast between the screen brightness and the area around the device, reducing glare from the screen (from nearby windows or overhead lights).
You’re probably not the first person with that question.
My FAQs have all the Tech-Specs, and Top-Tips for mobile UX research.
Parts & Service
He’s built to last, but sometimes parts go missing in action on the UX battlefield.
Chances are I’ve got the bits you need and can get one out to you.
Mr. Tappy has his own viewer.
It’s meant to be plug and play but sometimes has it’s own game.
That’s why the viewer has it’s own help section…