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How to Recycle an Old Android Phone as a Security or PET Camera

Recently, one of my cats happened to have an incident and had to wear a collar around the neck to avoid irritating a nasty injury. We were told that the collar might tear as we looked at him. I worked from home, and I had no problem with it, but there were times when I had to bury my face in the screen, so I couldn’t always keep my eye on the little boy.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. To keep track of him and still meet deadlines, I decided to use one of the many Android phones lying around. With the help of a simple-to-use app called DroidCam. This application makes it significantly easier to create a security or webcam that can be used for many applications (security, monitoring, etc.). I’ll show you how this is done.

Requirements

To do this you will need the following:

  • Android phone (running version 5.0 and above).
  • Power cord for phone (you don’t want your battery to be depleted).
  • DroidCam App.
  • Web browser on the same network as the phone.

When those things are ready, let’s run it.

How to use an old Android phone as a security or pet camera

Step 1: Installing DroidCam

Installing the application is simple with these steps:

  1. Open Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for DroidCam.
  3. Tap Install.

Once the app is installed, you are ready to go.

How to use DroidCam

Make sure your Android device is on the same wireless network as a desktop or laptop and you use it to view the camera and launch the app. After it started (Figure 1), Which presents you with the address you use to connect from your browser.

Figure 1

DroidCam App Interface.

The DroidCam interface is a bit old school but works like a charm.

Picture: Jacqueline

The output on the screen displays the IP address and port you want to use to access the camera. If you specify a web browser (SERVER is the IP address displayed by DroidCam), you will see the video output from the camera (Figure 2)

Figure 2

DroidCam is keeping track of the cat.

My cat is looking at it and he doesn’t know it.

Picture: Jack Wallen

The free version of the app only offers 240p or 480p resolutions. You must buy the Pro version of the app to get 720p and 1080p resolutions (DroidCamX $ 5.49 In the Google Play Store), which adds voice, HD mode and SmoothFPS for more consistent video. However, for basic security / baby / cat cam use, the free version works fine.

Be sure to plug that phone into the outlet so the streaming video battery can be eaten. The good news on that front is that the app will continue streaming even after your phone is locked and asleep.

That is the summary of using DroidCam as a web / security cam. I have used this setup for some applications where I need more eyes than what evolution gave me.

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