How to make a tracking camera or baby monitor out of an Android smartphone
Firstly, I will note as an educational program that an IP camera allows you to connect remotely from another computer to a smartphone camera and even record everything on video. Surprisingly, such cameras are in the markets from about 50 (more or less high-quality model). But we always want to save money, and therefore we can even make a normal IP surveillance camera from an old unnecessary Android smartphone. You just need to install a special application and you will have a simple security camera in your hands. In the same way, you can make a baby monitor out of your phone.
So without further ado, let’s get down to the instructions. You will need IP Webcam, a free application that can be downloaded from the Google Play store. For work, you only need Wi-Fi Internet.
IP Webcam works best if you are connected not to the mobile Internet, but to a Wi-Fi network. This is because most mobile operators place restrictions on some IP, including the IP Webcam service. Therefore, make sure you are connected to an available Wi-Fi internet. After installing the application and connecting, all computers, smartphones and phones within the same network will access the video through a web browser.
Setting up IP Webcam:
- 1. After you have installed the application, launch it. You will see a program window with a large selection of settings on the screen. Do not configure anything here yet, but scroll down the settings page to start the “Start server”.
2. So, now your smartphone will show video to the main camera. On the phone screen, you will see a line with text that will look something like this: “http: //192.168.X.X: 8080”.
3. You will need to enter this IP address in a browser on your computer, another smartphone or tablet, but within the same network. You will see the IP Webcam interface in the browser. You will immediately have access to the video and sound that is transmitted from your smartphone server. You can also experiment a little in the settings. turn off or turn on sound, video, etc. to get the best quality.
Technically, the IP Webcam service must be accessible from another network. via the Internet. However, this requires a deeper knowledge of the network configuration. that is, the average user can independently configure the connection, but here everything often depends on the Internet provider, as well as the router in your home. The good news is that there is a very simple solution. use Chrome Remote Desktop (or another popular remote access application. TeamViewer). Using the Google service, you can log into your home computer and view the webcam video through your web browser. In fact, this method is quite convenient and the video runs quite smoothly. The disadvantage of this method is the need for constant work of the home computer.
- If you are going to often view video using IP Webcam through a smartphone camera, then we recommend purchasing a wide-angle lens for it. This will give you a wide viewing angle in tight spaces.
- if you know how to access the settings of the router, then it is better to find a way to register a permanent IP address for your smartphone, which will act as a camera. Thus, you can visit your home at any time from anywhere.
- can’t connect? Apparently your firewall or router interfered with your plans. The problem can be anything, but it is often treated by adding to the “white” list of the IP address of the smartphone with IP Webcam.
- you may want to add motion detection capabilities to your security camera smartphone to automatically start recording. This option is also possible, just look at the IP Webcam settings.
Possible difficulties and costs when using
This video surveillance option has drawbacks, which are especially noticeable when compared with a real IP camera.
- often the broadcast signal will have poor quality image and sound, due to the fact that phones are not designed for such use;
- the signal may be unstable, interrupting or freezing at times;
- a phone used in the form of a camera can simply freeze or turn off by itself;
- the device will be quickly discharged due to the fact that video surveillance and signal transmission consume a lot of battery power;
- motion sensors are unstable because the lenses of most smartphones are not designed for video surveillance.
To minimize the costs of using such a device, it is recommended to connect the smartphone (on which video surveillance is carried out) to a constant charge or power bank. It is also desirable to have a high internet speed and an unloaded network so that the broadcast does not lag. And it’s better to connect to Wi-Fi rather than mobile internet.
How to make a CCTV camera out of a phone
You can make a full-fledged IP camera from an old smartphone with your own hands and at home.
- Smartphone. You can take an old or unnecessary phone, which should be in working order and with the main camera. A device running the Android or iOs operating system is suitable. Windows gadgets are not recommended, as there is no software used for video surveillance.
- Video surveillance application. There are several popular web surveillance applications. Through them, there is an online broadcast, from one smartphone to another. Apps can record movements in front of the camera, sending appropriate notifications to the user and storing this in history. Some programs allow you to save the captured on the cloud storage.
- Stable Internet connection, which will allow you to broadcast what is happening in front of the camera to another device.
- Mount or stand for your phone. This is an optional item, but a special mount for small devices will allow you to install it anywhere, without choosing a suitable position and searching for objects, to install the device in one position.
Instructions for using the phone as an IP camera:
You can connect to the included camera of the gadget at any time. The main thing is that it is turned on, connected to the Internet and authorized in the same account.
This software is exclusive to Android device owners. It stands out against the background of competitors by its wide settings and capabilities. Also in IP Webcam, you can bind accounts from other services and programs, synchronizing data between them.
Here you can not only personalize the standard settings, but also understand in depth. For example, there is a function to select the video bitrate. This is very convenient, since videos can only be saved to the device’s internal memory, not to the cloud. Thus, the volume of clips for saving is limited only by the memory of the smartphone, which, if you have a video card, is much better than cloud storage.
The most popular video surveillance software for Android, and one of the most popular on iOs. It features an intuitive interface, which makes using the application convenient and pleasant. The functions include saving short videos at the moment of motion detection in front of the lens, but long videos cannot be saved. You can also open access to the broadcast for other accounts.
The standard version of the application allows you to remotely rotate the image and activate the flash. There is a monitor mode with which you can view the data of the connected wireless network, the percentage of battery power, the history of the signal interruption, and so on from a distance. In the paid version, you can change the image quality and choose the best one (up to HD), more memory in the cloud storage, and a night mode, which makes dark objects lighter and light ones darker. It is possible to view the broadcast through the application or on the website.
Data privacy issue
Some users of such devices are worried about the safety of personal data. In particular, whether third parties have access to what is broadcast through the camera. Software developers do not have access to what is happening in front of the lens, because all data is not transmitted to the server, but passes through a peer-to-peer network. Also, the preservation of confidentiality guarantees the use of the same account.
But there are exceptions. For example, some applications can use open data, such as the location of the device, the user’s language, and so on. It is important to use popular and proven programs in order not to fall for fraudulent software.
For what purposes can you use a smartphone camera for video surveillance
Transforming an Android or iOs mobile phone into a CCTV camera can come in handy in a variety of situations. In all of them, a special surveillance device is also perfect, but an old and unnecessary device will save you from unnecessary expenses.
Reasons why you may need to change your cell phone to a camcorder:
- Babysit. You can make a semblance of a baby monitor out of the device, watching the child both from home and from far away. Sound transmission greatly assists in looking after babies, who can only express needs by crying loudly.
- Supervision of food preparation. By placing the gadget in front of the food being prepared, you can follow the cooking while in another room or not far from the house. But you need a good camera that is capable of filming in enough detail so that you can see the stages of food readiness.
- Protection of the territory outside or inside the house. Installing such a device inside or outside the house will allow you to observe what is happening, protecting your home from intruders. The outdoor location should be isolated from rainfall while still within the wireless coverage area.
- Covert surveillance. The phone takes up little space and can easily be hidden behind other things so that with it you can carry out covert surveillance of a place or people.
These are the most obvious ways to use such a device.
There is a paid version in which you can connect several broadcasts from different cameras to one account so that they are broadcast on one device at the same time. Plus the ability to backup video to cloud storage is added.
The main components of the mobile system
There are two options for organizing video surveillance systems. In the first case, cable lines are laid, and in the second, a wireless connection is used. A special cable not only transmits the image, but also provides power to the camcorders.
If you plan to perform video surveillance via a phone or smartphone, you will additionally need a registrar that records incoming information and a router to access the Internet. It is best to purchase a set of equipment completely ready for installation and assemble it yourself. Usually it includes several color video cameras, a recorder and connecting wires. To view images, you need a smartphone, iPhone, iPad or other similar device.
If the smartphone itself is used as a video camera, then in the wireless version you only need a receiving device, that is, another phone, tablet or computer.
Why turn your smartphone into a camera
CCTV cameras are installed as part of the security system. Apartments, private houses, offices and other objects are under their protection. All information received is collected on various computer devices. However, the use of such systems is not affordable for everyone, and video surveillance is sometimes simply vital.
First of all, this concerns the observation of children in other premises. Often, cameras are installed at the entrance, allowing you to see the visitors in advance. Thus, these devices are used in many places, so most stakeholders seek to keep the surveillance process as cheap as possible without sacrificing efficiency and quality. This problem can be easily solved by turning an Android smartphone into an IP camera. Solving the problem of how to make a CCTV camera yourself from a phone, in general terms, it is carried out as follows:
- Special applications are loaded onto the mobile device. After starting, the basic settings are made. Sets the quality of video files, the level of resolution and other parameters that ensure performance.
- Place the smartphone in the most convenient location for observation.
- Next, the future camera is connected to the Internet. We recommend using a wireless Wi-Fi connection, as mobile communications do not always provide sufficient signal speed. Due to this, images in real time will be transmitted without loss of quality.
- If the smartphone is going to be used for a long time, it must be connected to a power source. To avoid unauthorized connections, you should set a unique password, as well as make changes to the default port.
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After performing all the above steps correctly, the phone will turn into a full-fledged video camera with the ability to remotely connect. Some applications allow the camera, in addition to broadcasting images, to record the information received and turn on only if there are any movements in the frame.
Setting up a smartphone using IP WEBCAM
Before receiving images on another mobile device or computer, the address displayed on the screen of the receiver is entered into the browser line. In this case, both devices must be in the same Wi-Fi network, otherwise this method will not work.
After the connection is established, the camera starts transmitting to the open browser page, all incoming information will be displayed. images and sounds.
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In addition, the browser allows you to do the following:
- Switch from front to rear camera so that video surveillance from the smartphone and viewing are carried out in a wider range.
- Images can be zoomed in or out, video quality can be adjusted downward or upward.
- Focus, flash enable and night vision functions.
- Taking photos and recording videos with setting all the necessary options. color effects, modes and others.
Broadcasting outside the local network can be done using a VPN connection. In addition to the main functions, the IP Webcam application, due to additional options, collects data from various sensors. Sounds, movement, temperature and battery voltmeter, gyroscope, accelerometer, illumination and others come under control.
In addition to the program, scripts are installed that perform actions such as mail messages about movement, saving photos while moving, taking photos at certain time intervals, etc. This program does not require high performance, all options are displayed in the menu in Russian.
How to make a CCTV camera from a phone
Modern smartphones and tablets on the Android platform can perform a huge number of different functions. The capabilities of these devices are complemented by many useful applications. Thanks to them, you can give a second life to old or even damaged gadgets, for example, when solving the problem of how to make a video surveillance camera from a phone. If the phone is equipped with a working camera and can work with the necessary applications, then it is possible to create a mini-system that allows you to observe an object from a distance. For this, there are special programs with which a smartphone can easily turn into an IP camera.
MANYTHING smartphone app
There is another program that turns any smartphone into an IP camera. This application Manything, which although not Russified, but nevertheless has its own positive qualities and characteristics. Its main difference is the ability to permanently synchronize the smartphone with the so-called cloud storage. In these, the IP camera continuously transmits the recorded images. In the event of a smartphone breakdown, all data will be completely saved.
Working with Manything is as easy as IP Webcam. Before starting work, you must register for free, after which all the functions of the program will become available. Optionally, you can subscribe to a paid subscription that provides simultaneous access to multiple cameras.
After registration, the initial screen appears with two wide buttons “Viewer” and “Camera”. After clicking on “Viewer”, a selection of broadcast cameras connected to the account will appear. By pressing the “Camera” button, the device running the program can be switched to the IP-camera mode.
Before starting the broadcast, the application is configured for specific video surveillance conditions:
Cloud service for video surveillance
This type of service is not suitable in terms of its parameters for many mobile devices. It is mainly used with laptops and desktops. First of all, this is due to the low screen resolutions of old mobile phones. Some cloud service applications themselves have low functionality. In the case of using multiple cameras, this becomes a serious problem. In addition, not all applications are compatible with the operating systems of smartphones and phones.
All these difficulties can be easily overcome with the help of Internet resources designed specifically for working with cameras of mobile devices. Among them, the iDOM24.RU application is very popular, which can be configured in a few steps:
- The digital camera is assigned its own IP address, after which port forwarding is performed on the router.
- Next, an account is registered on the service. After that, in the “add IP camera” section, find the desired device.
- In the “View” section, make sure that there are images.
- A special version of the program, downloaded from the official website, opens on the mobile phone.
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