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How to use your Android device as a security camera

With a little elbow grease, you can turn any Android smartphone equipped with a camera into a cheap surveillance system.
March 4, 2013
Security Camera

There are many reasons you’d want to repurpose an Android smartphone as a surveillance camera. From checking on the baby upstairs to monitoring a property for intruders, there are times when you wished you had a surveillance system in place. Unfortunately, a dedicated system can be very expensive, or simply too much of a hassle to be worth the effort.

With a little elbow grease (not that much in fact), you can turn any Android smartphone equipped with a camera into a cheap surveillance system. The folks at How To Geek have put together a nice tutorial that will show you how to proceed.

The tutorial actually covers two use cases. First, you can set up a motion-detecting surveillance camera that snaps a pic and sends an alert when a change is detected in the field of view. For instance, you could use this to see who’s trespassing on your property or going through your stuff.

The second use involves a camera that continuously streams video to a computer. This use can be great if you want to check on your kids from time to time, or to keep an eye on the door while expecting an important parcel.

All you need to make it happen is one free app called IP Webcam (to stream video), one $4.50 app called SECuRET SpyCam (for the motion detecting part), a charging cable, a Wi-Fi network to connect the “camera” to the web, and of course the Android device. Full instructions are available at the source link.

There are plenty of other things to do with an old Android smartphone, besides keeping it as a backup or selling it for a bit of extra cash. My colleague Simon covered several ideas in his excellent What to do with your old Android phone post. Check it out.