Educator Edtech Review: HoverCam Orbit Gigabit Wireless Super Camera

The HoverCam Orbit document camera
(Image credit: HoverCam)

The HoverCam Orbit is an easy-to-setup wireless document camera with the features teachers need to deliver clear, rich, and engaging lessons without being tethered to their computer.

This device uses its own built-in wireless connectivity with a range of 100 feet to deliver a fast, nearly lossless video connection with virtually no lag. With no drivers to install or network settings to enter, it’s a plug-and-play solution that will make both teachers and your school's IT department happy.

HoverCam Orbit: Getting Started

Out of the box, my first impression of the HoverCam Orbit was how well it was put together. The hinges moved smoothly yet had enough resistance to let you know it will stay put once positioned. The base is sized and weighted to allow the long camera arm to be adjusted without worry of it falling over.

Once the camera was charged, I was able to get it up and running quickly. The only thing I needed to do was decide if I wanted to connect the wireless transmitter to my computer or display via the included USB-A, USB-C, or HDM cables. I also installed the free multi-platform compatible Flex 11 software.

I appreciated that the 13-megapixel camera assembly has a quality microphone and manual controls to switch on the four LED lights to illuminate the generous 13”x 21” work area. A wheel allows you to rotate the camera 90 degrees, plus there are buttons for auto-focus as well as taking snapshots or recordings. I was presented with the option to use the onboard 16-gigabyte SSD hard drive or the micro SD card slot and my own card to store lesson files. I found these all very valuable features since this is a wireless document camera.

The free downloadable Flex software is designed well and did not make me feel overwhelmed with an over complicated interface. It works on Windows, Mac, and Chrome devices.

I had controls to take photos and record videos, which is great to share with students for review and/or catchup. It also had a nice annotation tool set to draw or write over the displayed image or a digital whiteboard. In addition, you can rotate and/or flip the image. Every teacher needs this feature, especially when writing directly on a document under the camera.

HoverCam Orbit: Best Features

  • 100 foot wireless range with 8-hour battery.
  • No network settings, wifi setup, or drivers needed.
  • Overall quality build with crisp 4K video and clear audio recording.
  • USB-A, USB-C, and HDMI connection options.
  • Free, platform agnostic; HoverCam Flex software.
  • Natively supports all video meeting platforms including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

HoverCam Orbit: Price

MSRP $629

Visit HoverCam for more information.

Key Takeaways

I found the HoverCam Orbit an excellent hardware solution. It is a true plug-and-play document camera with a long life battery that frees teachers to move about their spaces to deliver lessons. The added flexibility to connect with the transmitter using the included USB-A, USB-C or HDMI cables allowed me to use a variety of display types and sizes. The Flex software further increases its value by making it not just a document camera but an annotation tool with picture-in-picture and lesson-recording features.

Ultimately, the HoverCam Orbit is a versatile and solidly built solution that can find a place on any teacher's desk.

Frank Pileiro is the former Supervisor of Technology & Data for the Linwood Public Schools in Linwood, NJ.  He speaks at the local, state, and national levels about empathy, educational innovation, and instructional technology.