Skype - Setting up an OWL camera

How to set up an OWl camera within Skype, as well as a description of the device and functions.

UPDATE 03/02/21: Microsoft has announced it will retire Skype for Business on 7/31/21. The campus transition from Skype to Teams has already begun.  Find the details at Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams transition

What is an OWL? 

It is a 360 degrees camera that automatically focuses on the current speaker. It contains a camera, microphone, and speaker. OWL has the ability to listen to up to two or three active speakers and is designed to show the entire room. 

Owl icon

Meeting OWL:

1. Verify the OWL is plugged in to the back of the computer and plugged into the power brick.
2. Verify that Windows is detecting the webcam. Click on the Windows button, search for "control panel," click Devices and Printers, ensure that Meeting OWL is showing up under "Devices."

Meeting owl

Skype Setup:

1. On the Skype home window, click on options tool icon in Skype. 

Options tool

2. Select Video Device option from the left menu.
3. Change the camera to "Meeting OWL Camera."

Video Device

4. When the OWL's camera is on, it's eyes will light up. Note: the notes will not move, the video is a panoramic camera on the top (no moving parts).

Owl Eyes

5. If audio is muted, you will see this red light on the OWL and the red mute icon will appear in Skype. Toggle mute on and off by pressing the mute button under the red light on base of OWL. 

Red Light

Mute Button


You won't need to use the speakers in the room if you are using the OWL.

6. If volume is too low, you can adjust the audio on the back of the OWL. 


If all else fails:

Get the Help Desk

Safety Tips:

  • Speak to the OWL, not to the screen
  • Be patient when talking, the OWL will acquire you after a few seconds
  • The OWL can listen to up to 3 people at once
  • Do not feed the OWL

If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or  You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.