AssistiveCam is a free and Open Source camera viewer aimed at the everyday needs of visually impaired people, but may be used for many other purposes. As such, it is the only one of its kind as of right now and, and can be an alternative to many who are struggling with proprietary and often very pricey systems.


The software is available for Download from the Snap Store for Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. Other systems will soon follow.


Because of its different operating paradigm, getting started with the software may not be very straight-forward for the majority of users, but will become very intuitive over time. AssistiveCam is operated entirely by commands, of which combinations may also be mapped to keyboard shortcuts. This system allows for quick and precise control over all relevant parameters and takes away the overhead from your camera control, allowing you to focus on your actual work a lot better.

Features of the software include color filters, text-to-speech information, a touch-screen-friendly GUI (if needed), an alignment utility and, of course, zoom. Please note that AssistiveCam is still under development. To customize any configuration, you will have to build the software yourself. However, using the defaults is likely fine for most people.

Picking a camera

AssistiveCam supports any camera that works with modern web browsers. There are bridges available for many older or more professional devices that do not have compatibility out of the box.

For my personal setup, I use an IPEVO V4 K Ultra High Definition document camera which I am very fond of, but haven't tried other solutions yet.

Default keyboard shortcuts

  • : to bring up a command prompt, like in the vim editor
  • f to cycle through built-in image filters
  • c to cycle through all available cameras
  • r to rotate the view by 90 degrees
  • i to hide the info tooltip
  • + to zoom in
  • - to zoom out
  • p to freeze the image
  • s to instantly save a snapshot of the current canvas (without effects)
  • m to flip the view horizontally
  • l to toggle an alignment help
  • g to toggle the gui
  • t to toggle text-to-speech output

You may use the arrow keys to change the zoom region or the position of the alignment help when it's activated. For a list of commands, please refer to the GitHub-Repository of the project for now.

Developer setup

AssistiveCam requires nodejs, npm and electron to be installed on your computer. I strive to use as few third-party libraries as absolutely needed for this project.

If you have access to a command line, run the following commands in order to get the latest available development version of the tool:

git clone https://github.com/assistivetool/assistivecam/
cd assistivecam
npm install
npm start