Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Setting up a “NannyCam” or SurveillanceCam

With Skype, you can set up a “NannyCam” to make sure that your kids at home are fast asleep by 8:00 p.m. Here are some quick and easy ways to set up a surveillance camera at home:
  • Create a special Skype Name for your NannyCam: Be sure to set to set your Skype Sign In settings to Sign Me in When Skype Starts and Start Skype When the Computer Starts. This way, if your computer reboots, your NannyCam starts up automatically. If you are already logged in to Skype, you can change these settings by choosing File➪Sign Out from the Skype menu. A login page appears where you can set these options.
  • After you sign in with your NannyCam Skype Name, add your regular Skype Name to your Contacts list: The Contacts list for the NannyCam consists of only one person, namely, you. Of course, you may want to include your spouse’s Skype Name alongside yours. Whatever the case, the list is very short.
  • In your NannyCam’s privacy options, be sure to set the Allow Calls From option to Only People from My Contacts: Setting this option ensures that only you and your spouse can connect to the NannyCam.
  • Enable video and set it to start automatically: In your Skype Video Options window, select Enable Video and then select the check box next to Start My Video Automatically. In the Advanced Options, set the Call option to Automatically Answer Incoming Calls. Test your NannyCam by connecting to it over Skype from one of the other computers in your home, or even from work. Be sure to adjust your webcam to point to the specific area of the room you’re watching, and make sure that the lighting level is adequate. Remember, most webcams give some visual signal that they are transmitting, such as an LED that lights up. You can adjust the audio volume levels for the computer speakers next to the NannyCam so that you have a little PA system, or you can turn off sound altogether.
This kind of setup can give you some peace of mind when you are traveling and want to make sure that everything at home is safe and sound. Best of all, this is a simple and very affordable home security solution for homeowners. Get yourself an inexpensive webcam and dust off that out-of-date computer taking up space in your closet. You won’t have to worry about whether it has enough power; the webcam and Skype are the only applications you need it to run.

1 comment:

maneesh said...

You might want to try out GotoCamera's free webcam software. GotoCamera is EASY to set up and easy to use. All you need is a webcam (a USB webcam such as those made by Logitech, Creative, etc, or even the webcam integrated into your netbook / notebook) and a Windows PC, and you’re ready to start. Once your camera is set up, you can turn on recording schedules, configure motion detection, share your camera with family, and access it from any browser, including your iPhone, so that you can remotely monitor your camera's recordings. You can watch over your children any time you wish. This is perfect for people who can't afford a nanny to watch over their kids when they're away from home. At less than $4 a month, it makes complete sense to me. Give it a shot, try their 1 week free trial and let me know how it goes :)