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How To Use Any Smartphone as a Security Camera – iOS & Android

Nowadays building a security camera system for your home is very easy, as you probably have the equipment lying around in the house itself. If you are still wondering what it is we are talking about, then don’t sweat it further. We are talking about your old smartphone that has gone useless after you upgraded to a new model. But don’t throw that away just yet. There is an ideal way to use that old smartphone as a security camera for your home, and we would guide you through that process.

There’s whole boatload of solutions available there in the market, some might be cheap but mostly are expensive, but if you do have that any smartphone lying around in your backyard storage or a closet, then it is the time to turn it ON that old guy. Note that this project is for those who happen to have used and unneeded smartphone lying around. As well as for those who simply feel like adding one more things to their “stuff that my phone can do” lists, of course.

In this post, we’ll guide you through the process of turning an Android handset into a security camera with the help of a free and easy-to-use app. We have covered two different apps through which you can turn your smartphone into a security camera. So without further ado, let’s get things started!

Note: You would need a stable Wi-Fi connection or a 3G connection on your smartphone if you want to monitor the live feeds via these apps.

Web of Cam (iOS, Android)

This is a very popular app for camera monitoring, and since you will be probably using and old smartphone with old version of Operating System may it be Android or iOS, this app support almost every platform, from Symbian to BlackBerry, and iOS to Android. Setting up the app is very simple, just install the app from the above download link and fire it up. The first time you launch the app, you will be asked to enter your Google account details—this app works with your Google account. Note that the setup needs to be done on the two smartphones, one will act as your viewer, and other will be the camera. If you have the old smartphone, then make it use as a camera. Now that you have setup the types of the camera, the app on your old smartphone will ask for you to access the video feed on the browser.

Web of Cam

Web of Cam – Website Interface to Control Smartphone Camera

You can see the feed on your smartphone acting as a viewer, but it would only allow you to bright and zoom-in or zoom-out the live feed, as well as push and talk on the other end, nothing more than that. If you want to control more, then you have to go to the URL “app.webofcam.com”. There you will be asked to enter the IP Address appearing on the live feed screen of the device. There you would be able to turn on the flashlight, capture photo, as well as rotate the angles from horizontal to vertical. The browser feed also allows you to push and talk via the laptop or desktop’s microphone. The another interesting thing is that you can also turn on the flash light of the camera, which would be helpful during the low light conditions in your place where you have installed your smartphone as a security camera.

The smartphone screen can be blank out as it will drain the battery out of your device, considering it is an old smartphone you would have to plug the charger as well if you want to monitor your place more than few couple of hours. Note that it would be good you place the smartphone in the higher level to ensure that you cover a larger area for monitoring.

Smartphone Camera Snapshot

Snapshot of the area where Camera is placed.

There are few things that are worth noting that, you would need to enter the same Google credentials on the both smartphones, one acting as camera, and other as viewer. The App support for Viewer and Camera is available on all leading mobile platforms, except for the Symbian devices, as they can act as camera only. The Windows and BlackBerry apps are currently in the development.

You can set up as many as cameras you like and control them via the viewer smartphone. Your security cameras are now ready for some action. Keep a watch on your home, office, garage, garden, porch, etc. while traveling or at work.

Skype (iOS, Android and Windows)

While for the web of cam to work you would need internet connection (at least 3G for good quality) on both the devices, except for a fact that you can also monitor on the desktop or laptop, only when camera and viewer apps are connected on the two smartphones, other restrictions is that they should be on the same Wi-Fi Network, so monitoring from a different place would be no usage, well at least for first time, as initial setup is required. Moreover, if you are a parent who travels a lot and want to monitor the activities at home, it might get difficult as there will be no time for setup.

But there is an alternative solution, the Skype Video Calling. Yes, you can use the Microsoft app to monitor the activities, as it is best suited for this kind of task, and we will tell you why. One of the reasons being that you won’t have to connect the two devices, one as viewer and other as camera and the most important is that you can remotely access the feeds even without being there for setup, as all, it just needs, is that you should allow the call to be automatically answered from the settings. Third reason being that two devices would not need the same Google account logins.

It is super easy to setup this, all, you have to do, is just login your credentials on the app on your old smartphone and make sure that it is set for answer calls automatically. Now you can call your smartphone from the internet enabled desktop and monitor the feed from your place. Note that to ensure you don’t get disconnected with call running from your desktop; you also have to set the privacy option to get calls and IMs from contacts only.

Now that is an amazing way to monitor the activities at your place and feels secure and safe of all your family. You can go with either of the options/apps according to your needs.

By Vishal Toshiwal on Friday 20th of Feb 2015


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