USB camera support for Android?

Hello aol. First of all let me thank you for the great software, I'm enjoing it since 2010 (on Win Mobile those days) during russian ice and snow racing events.

I do have an idea how to improve RC Pro version. These days the number of Android based car audio devices increasing, especially with the great help from our Chineese friends. I also purchased such device (2 DIN, as a replacemet for original Subaru car audio) for myself, it has all typical Android (6.0.1) smartphone functionality (even three USB OTG ports) except... build-in camera.

I've already tested RС Pro on this device and it works perfect together with Qstarz 10Hz BT GPS and ELM27 OBD Adapter - everything like on my Xiaomi, but with 7'' screen firmly installed inside the car dashboard.

Would you mind to check if this is possible to add USB camera support for RC Pro? I checked a number of USB cameras - it's possible to watch and record the video using special software (like this one:

If it's not too difficult to implement I guess it can be a good improvement for Race Chrono application.

Thank you,


  • Hi, I agree those are interesting, but most people buy action cameras instead, so that's where most of my development effort is too. I think it would be the natural route for you too...

    That said, if USB-cameras turn out to be very easy (or alternatively fun to do) addition, then I might do it anyways. Any suggestions on the cameras?
  • Thank you. Speaking about camera models - I have no particular model in mind but it should definetelу be UVC compliant Full HD (as most of modern USB cameras).

    Here is the one of many topics on StackOveflow (with code samples) about it:
  • Hi AOL,
    Since I am in the house for some time, I am trying to use a Logotitech QuickCam for notebooks Pro. I can use an OTG adapter and view the video with an app called cameraFi, but some searching says, "webcams using the standard Android Camera2 API and the camera HIDL interface. " Would that help you?
  • @DonC, which Android version do you have? Camera2 API is used as default on Android 8.0 and later, and you can switch to it from expert settings in older versions too. I haven't tested USB cameras, but it might already work, or at least it should not be lot of programming to make it work.
  • edited April 2020
    Mine is Android 9.0 I set it to Prefer api VE(BETA) But when you view the camera screen the option is set to Internal camera. Should you change that as well?
  • After trying the API v1, I tried both v2 settings: Prefer API v2, and forced. The Compatibility modes are all Automatic, and no rotation. There is n setting for external camera?
  • edited October 2020
    Hello i just stumbled across this thread, lately raspberry pi hq camera gained so much popularity. Its fairly easy to turn raspi zero OTG usb slot with raspi hq camera into USB UVC OTG device.

    Problem is racechrono is not able to recognize it. I imagine we could feed many usb streams into app and gain different cam sources.

    Are we going to jump on this hype hq camera train?

    look how easy is to turn rspi into usb cam:
  • @littlealieniv I'm not sure if I understand the whole setup correctly. Did you connect this camera directly to Android phone? Did you get it working with other any apps?
  • Setup Is
    raspberrypi zero
    Pi hq cam
    USB otg cable micro-micro

    And Android phone (currently lineage os 17 rooted)

    With otg cable connect pi zero to Android.

    Is supposed to be UVC stream like USB video cameras.
    With other apps I am able to read camera stream.

    I am not able to select camera in racechrono.

    Expected outcome:
    I can select USB cameras in racechrono.
  • That's pretty exotic setup. I'll add TO-DO to finally purchase one USB camera so I can test this.
  • Thanks, exactly, any USB camera is good.

  • Did some research today, and seems like the USB cameras are *not* visible through the Android's camera APIs. Apparently most phones are missing the required kernel components.

    It can be done through the raw USB APIs and I suspect this is how the USB camera apps do it, but you'll need lot of code to achieve that.

    I might test some other hardware some time, but this is what I found.
  • edited March 2023
    Hi aol,
    I tried to connect a Logitech USB webcam using the OTG adapter. I disabled the Internal camera in settings, and Set API V2 to 'Prefer.' Then I started a session (in the house) and changed to the camera screen. The video information box (upper-left) says 'Internal camera disabled, and tapping it shows the camera disabled icon. There was no image from the video camera.
    I can't add a camera, since it only lists the GoPro.
    I'm not sure what the Compatibility mode (1,2,3) will do.
    The camera does work with CameraFi2, but that's not RC.

    Is there anything else you can suggest? Would a webcam with a USB-C connection.
    OH- It's a Galaxy Tab A 8, Android 9.
  • @DonC There's probably won't work automatically. I'd really need to look at one in order to say if it's feasible to support it or not. And supporting one, won't necessarily help with other ones...
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