Android Security Cameras?

For the last few years, I've been using Y-Cam security cameras to guard my home.

I've stuck a couple up around the house. I can monitor what's happening, get email alerts when movement is detected, and can stream the video to my phone.

Me coming through the door

The latest versions also upload photos and videos directly to my server so - in the event that they detect anything interesting, I have a backed up copy. They even do night vision.

Night Vision

If you buy the cameras directly, they cost from £135 to £135. That's quite a chunk of change. Could these dedicated security cameras be replaced with cheap Android phones?

Feature Y-Cam Android
Resolution 640*480 (0.3MP) Minimum 2MP - up to 13MP
Night Vision Infra-red Flash (can run continuously)
Connectivity WiFi / Ethernet WiFi / Cellular
Fixing Wall / ceiling mount None
Software Dedicated firmware Reliant on Android Apps
Remote Management Built in, password protected, accounts Reliant on Android Apps
Battery No Yes
Cost From £135 From £40

There's no doubt that the Y-Cam does have significant advantages - mounting and infra-red being the main two. It also has dedicated software to manage account, uploading, etc. There are some free Android Apps for security monitoring. You could take advantage of DropBox's free space and Android app to back up photos and videos.

The all-in-one package of the Y-Cam is compelling - and I've found their reliability and support to be excellent - but as Android takes over the world, surely security cameras will move to Android rather than relying on their proprietary and closed systems?

Even if the security industry doesn't produce dedicated hardware and a suit of software products, there's nothing to stop you just configuring some Android phones and duct-taping them to the walls.

For the cost of a high end Y-Cam, I could buy four cheap Android phones. The video and image quality would be better, there's battery backup, and if the WiFi goes down they could use 3G.

Android is going to disrupt the most unexpected niches.


4 Responses to “Android Security Cameras?”

  1. Craig H Image of Craig H

    People have been known to convert CCD sensors on SLRs to be receptive to infrared; apparently CCD's are naturally receptive to near-infrared so they have filters in place to block it, and the conversion is simply to remove the filter. I wonder if that would be a practical option on any phones? Maybe could replace the "flash" LED with an IR one as well...

    Reply
    • Terence Eden Image of Terence Eden

      Making the CCD sensitive to IR is usually as simple as removing the cover. The hard part is getting enough IR light to flood the room. The Y-Cams have a dozen LEDs built in. Perhaps just leaving the camera light on would be sufficient?

      Reply
  2. Becky Image of Becky

    wow, glad we saw this article! Will tell Stu not to streak again across your living room next Beer fest! ;)

    Reply

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