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How to turn an old iPhone into a home surveillance system

There are sometimes situations when you need to quickly organize video surveillance, and no matter it is open or secret. It is desirable, of course, with sound. As a “noble” example, suppose that it is necessary to monitor the child while the parents urgently where-that left. The simplest option is to leave it on a computer with a webcam and running Skype configured to automatically accept calls from a parallel connection of a video. However, this method has several disadvantages. Have to leave computer and all your spyware intentions (if any) will be given a web-camera, which is often equipped with led, illuminated during operation.

A few more original solution — using a smartphone as a tracking device. It and hide in the right place much easier, and your job in this mode it does not issue. You can, after all, just “accidentally” forget it on the table. Okay, let’s leave the spy game and move on to implementation. We’re gonna need a smartphone with access to the Network and the Manything app is available for iOS and Android.


Run the application on the device that will perform the role of the camera, and create an account. Then go to the Camera and tied the phone to your account. The app needs to allow access to the camera and microphone.

Default Manything starts recording or streaming only when the camera sees any movement. In the settings you can switch the device in a mode of constant monitoring.

For reliable video surveillance is extremely important to choose the right position for the camera. Note that the smartphone needs to be connected to a charger. Because his camera is always active, which means that in offline mode the battery will not last long. Also note that the smartphone to broadcast live or save it to the cloud will need an Internet connection. So care must be taken that the mounting area of the device was reliable Wi-Fi.

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The second important point is the position of the smartphone. Obviously, it would be best to place the device horizontally. In this case, its angle of view in the horizontal plane will be much greater. But it can be improved. For this patch to get wide angle lens for smartphone. These accessories are pretty cheap and can be found on eBay or AliExpress. Lens just applied to the camera of a smartphone and is held by the clamp of the clothespin. This design significantly increases the angle of the camera due to the effect of “fish eye”.

Control of cameras

After you have connected and installed the smartphone in the right place, you just need to log into your account Manything from any other device. This can be a computer, tablet or other smartphone. When you switch to spectator mode, you will see and hear everything he sees and hears your improvised camera. You will also be able to remotely change settings video. For example, you can configure the area of the frame where the camera needs to ignore the movement. This can be useful if the field of view of smartphone hits, for example, a window or an aquarium with moving fish.

Like all the other solutions for home security, Manything is free. Of course, there is a free package Basic Free Plan. It allows you to connect one device with a camera to broadcast a video stream from it via the Internet, activate notifications on the movement and tune the areas that interest you. But if you want the video has been uploaded to the cloud, you will have to pay one of the packages. Most affordable tariff costs 299 rubles per month and allows you to save in the cloud 48 hours of video. The maximum package costs about 1490 rubles per month and allows you to keep 30 days of video and to connect to the system from five cameras.

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