"Wireless Camera" vs. Manything iOS Apps
  • Hello all,

    Due to some recent vandalism in the neighborhood, I needed a way to put a camera inside my car, which would be useable with SecuritySpy. Looking through the device list in SS (where you add a new network camera), I noticed an entry for the "Wireless Camera" iOS App (US$1.99).

    The only device I had available for this job was a disused iPhone 3GS. My car is parked on the street immediately in front of my house, and the 3GS gets a perfect wifi signal in the car (it no longer has cell service). SecuritySpy is able to connect to the app on the phone perfectly at 7fps via the iPhone's wifi IP address and configurable port number. I have the phone plugged into an always-on lighter plug, and in tests, consumes negligible power from the car (so can just be left on). I've disguised the phone as much as possible inside the car while still providing a decent view.

    When I leave in my car, SS no longer has contact with the camera since the phone leaves my home wifi network; however, when arriving home, the phone picks up my "remembered" home wifi network just fine and the recording by SS continues with no intervention.

    The only issue I have is the very poor light sensitivity of the 3GS camera. In daylight it's perfect, but at night the video is about black. If the car door opens, the dome light coming on sufficiently lights the scene, and creates enough scene change to fire off an MD recording and a motion notification, so that's good.

    Great proof of concept using a device I already had sitting unused. I'll see if I can find a cheap screen-cracked iPhone 4S or 5 on Craigslist that I'd only use for wifi to get a better camera - carrier and phone condition wouldn't matter in this case.

    For the record, I also tried the Manything iOS App, and while it worked well (plus offered audio), the cloud nature of the recording seemed unnecessary since I already have SecuritySpy running perfectly on the same local network. In tests, it appeared that Manything was going to chew through 200-300GB of data a month on my Cable internet just to broadcast that camera to the Manything cloud account. Furthermore, Manything doesn't work wih SS (that I can tell).

    The Wireless Camera App I've tested above stays on my local network when the vehicle is home - a good solution, even with no audio.
  • I should add that the Wireless Camera App has the additional ability to record an image every X seconds to the local storage on the iPhone, with a configurable rotating erasure period (example: at 2000 frames, erase the oldest frame, repeat, etc, so I always have the latest 2000 frames on the phone.)

    You can connect to the phone on the same network via web browser and see the recorded frames (so, to see the time that the phone was away from my home network, for example).
  • Hi Turbo - this is great, thanks for posting! This sounds like a very useful system. Yes unfortunately the 3GS has very poor low-light performance, certainly a more recent iPhone would be better. As long as this doesn't encourage thieves to break into your car to steal the iPhone!

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