benbro / virtual-webcam

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virtual-webcam chrome extension

This is a proof of concept of adding a virtual MediaDevice in a browser extension.

NOTE: You can use it as a regular library, check out cam.html.

Virtual webcam

To use (Chromium):

  • download or clone the repo
  • go to chrome://extensions
  • enable Developer Mode
  • Load unpacked
  • Browse to the folder with the extension (where the manifest.json is)
  • Note:Pages will need to be reloaded after an extension is installed to be able to use it

To use (Firefox):

  • download or clone the repo
  • go to about:debugging#/runtime/this-firefox
  • Click "Load Temporary Add-on..."
  • Browse to the folder with the extension and select the manifest.json
  • Note:Pages will need to be reloaded after an extension is installed to be able to use it

Now any (most) pages using getUserMedia should be able to see a "Chrome Virtual Webcam" device

Should work on Chromium based browsers that support extensions.

Caveats:

  • Some pages use shims or do some checks that might break with the extension
  • For now, the Virtual Webcam takes the default webcam and applies a WebGL filter to it
    • That means that the default webcam can be the last used webcam in the system, if there are several
  • Change filters in js/media-devices.js

Tested with

  • Hangouts
  • Meet
  • Zoom
  • Doesn't seem to work on Duo

Security concerns, what if a bad actor wants to capture and broadcast the stream:

  • The browser will tell the user that they're using a developer extension (a bit weak as security measures go)
  • The webcam light will still turn on. Doesn't solve if the actor is active during a valid video call, though.
  • I guess it's possible -and probably easy- to stream from an extension to another server. Nothing is preventing any extension creator from doing it right now, without a virtual webcam. Just MitM and record.

Ideas:

  • Shader editor
  • Youtube video to replace feed
  • Add ML like FaceMesh or other feature detection systems:
    • add privacy bar over eyes
  • Try to stream from a canvas in a page (shader editor, drawing, etc.) as a MediaSource.

License

This project is licensed under the CC-BY-4.0 License

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