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How to turn an old Android phone into a security or pet camera

Getty/Carol Yepes

Lately, one in all my cats had a little bit of an incident and wound up having to put on a collar round his neck to forestall him from irritating a nasty wound. We have been instructed to observe him in case the collar got here off. Given I do business from home, I had no drawback with that, however there have been occasions when my face needed to be buried in a display screen, so I could not at all times regulate the little man.

Additionally: The most effective low cost webcams proper now

As they are saying, necessity is the mom of invention. To have the ability to preserve watch over him, and nonetheless meet deadlines, I made a decision to utilize one of many many Android telephones I had mendacity round — and with the assistance of a simple-to-use utility referred to as DroidCam. This app makes it remarkably straightforward to create a webcam that can be utilized for a lot of purposes (safety, monitoring, and many others.). Let me present you the way that is achieved.

Learn how to use an previous Android cellphone as a safety or pet digital camera

What you may want: An Android cellphone (operating model 5.0 and up), an influence wire for the cellphone (you do not need your battery to expire), the DroidCam app, and an online browser on the identical community because the cellphone.

Open the Play Retailer in your Android system.

Seek for Droidcam and, as soon as you’ve got discovered it, faucet Set up.

The Droidcam listing in the Google Play Store.

Droidcam is free to put in and use.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Ensure that your Android system is on the identical wi-fi community because the desktop or laptop computer you may use to view the digital camera and begin the appliance. As soon as it begins, it is going to current you with the tackle you utilize to attach out of your browser.

The DroidCam app interface.

The DroidCam interface is a bit old-school however works like a allure.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

The output on the display screen shows the IP tackle and the port you want to use to entry the digital camera. In the event you level an online browser to http://SERVER:4747/video (The place SERVER is the IP tackle displayed by DroidCam), you may see the video output from the digital camera.

DroidCam keeping watch over a cat.

My cat is being watched and he would not even comprehend it.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

The free model of the app solely presents 240p or 480p resolutions. To get 720p and 1080p resolutions you will need to buy the professional model of the app (DroidCamX $5.49 on the Google Play Retailer), which provides sound, HD mode, and SmoothFPS for extra secure video. Nevertheless, for very primary safety/child/cat cam utilization, the free model does simply high-quality.

Additionally: This is what to do along with your previous smartphone while you get a brand new one

Bear in mind to plug that cellphone into an outlet, as streaming video can eat away on the battery. The excellent news on that entrance is that the app will proceed streaming, even after your cellphone is locked and asleep. 

That is the gist of utilizing DroidCam as an online/safety cam. I’ve used this setup for a couple of purposes, the place I wanted extra eyes than evolution gave me.




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