Having a live video source for visuals can be as valuable as having a microphone in audio. But now you can add iOS devices to the realm of possible input devices.

On the Mac, you’ve got several means to do this.

Wired: With a recent version of iOS / macOS, just connect your Lightning cable, and you can use the iPhone like any other input. (You’ll need a Mac app that supports AVFoundation.)

Wireless: AirBeam is a combination of mobile iPad/iPhone and desktop Mac app. The iOS app is US$3.99, and then apps for Apple TV and Mac are free. The trick that makes this cool is that the macOS version has Syphon. Using that tool for inter-app video, you can pipe video to supported apps like VDMX, Resolume, and others.

Windows lacks both of those options. Now, someone could roll a solution that combines support for Spout with some sort of streaming from iOS. (Did I miss that? Or someone want to try that with me, say with openFrameworks?) Spout is quite cool; see this Resolume blog entry for a taste.

In the meantime, though, there are options. The best one I could find is from the makers of the excellent iDisplay:

Mobiola Web Camera

It maxes out at 640×480 but does work wirelessly.

I think a better option long-term would be to build a Windows client with Spout support to use with the existing AirBeam mobile app.

For more on this, our friends at Vidvox have put together nice tutorials for their Mac app.


Using an iOS device as a live camera input in VDMX from VIDVOX on Vimeo.


Connecting an iOS Camera to VDMX Wirelessly Using AirBeam from VIDVOX on Vimeo.

Using an iOS Device as a Live Camera Source in VDMX [Vidvox]

Remember, you can always get Motion coverage on CDM by heading to http://cdm.link/category/motion/ or clicking/tapping ‘Motion.’

  • Anangel Argonaut

    Awesome! Tried using my iPhone (wired) with Jitter’s jit.grab in Max but all I see is my mac’s webcam… Do I need additional drivers to make it work?

    • Arvid Tomayko-Peters

      same question! OS X 10.11.6, iOS 10.1.1

  • Freezetyler

    Hello CDM community! This is my first comment sorry haha.

    I have been trying to wirelessly stream the screen from my iPhone 5S to Resolume Avenue 4 on my Windows 10 machine for a couple of days but without much luck.

    Peter – I have tried Mobiola Web Camera but when using it as an input in Resolume the max resolution is approx. 300 x 200. The app on my phone says it is streaming in 640 x 480 but the Directshow Capture device is locked to the low resolution in Resolume.

    Has anyone else had success streaming the screen from iOS to Resolume or perhaps another Windows based VJ software?

    Thank you Peter for blazing the trail and keeping CDM rocking for so many years now!

  • TLRemoteCamera is a great option as well. Techlife are also the makers of network Syphon tools that work amazingly well!


  • Robert James

    I’ve done this a few times with IPWebCam for Android and a Processing script using the Syphon/Spout libraries. Just read the .jpeg output from http://192.168.1.x/output.jpg into a PGraphics and pass the frame through to Syphon/Spout – maybe 10 LoC, no $$$ necessary.