Thursday, 23 December 2010

So What Do You Use The SECuRET Camera Applications For?

It’s getting close to a year since I released the first of the SECuRET applications; SECuRET SpyCam. In that time I have had quite a few emails from users describing what they use the various SECuRET applications for – ranging from the conventional to the utterly bizarre!

The SECuRET applications are all based on technology that was originally developed for webcams with the intention of being applied to security solutions. As it was all written in Java, it seemed like a good opportunity to port the code to Android in an attempt to get the product ‘out there’. The code for SECuRET fell neatly into 3 products; SpyCam (motion triggered camera application), LiveStream (a wifi-streaming camera appication) and one that could only be done on a phone, RemoteControl (camera application controlled by SMS). Essentially, all 3 SECuRET applications are cameras that allow you to observe, record and monitor events without having to be in direct physical control of the camera.

Now, although the original concept was as ‘security-type’ applications, it was very clear to me at an early stage of development that as it was going to be running on a phone, there could be many more uses ... some that could genuinely help people and some that are just downright mischievous!

So, what are some of the uses I have come across so far? Myself, the most bizarre thing I have used SECuRET LiveStream for is to spy on our guinea pigs when we first got them. One of them was getting bullied (poor old Cecil, centre in the photo above), but every time we tried to get close to them to watch and find out who was responsible, they would scatter back into their huts. So we set up the phone running SECuRET LiveStream and pointed it at the hutch and left the room. We then used the laptop to view the stream from the phone and could see clearly which guinea pig was bullying Cecil – it was Huxley (right in the photo above)!!  There's no way it could have been long-haired Desmond (left in the photo above) - he's far too cool to be a bully ;)

Some of the others I have heard of are:
  • Spying on the squirrels in the attic;
  • Monitoring sheds on a farm;
  • Monitoring a car – and it actually caught someone trying to break in!
  • Security camera for a house – and again, it caught someone coming in the front window!
  • Spying on brothers/sisters;
  • Keeping an eye on misbehaving children;
  • Baby monitor;
  • Help detect deers when out hunting – not sure I designed it with that in mind!
  • And my absolute favourite ... ghost hunting!!!
There are plenty more, but those are just a few of my favourites and the most commons usages. I am very proud that it has actually managed to aid crime prevention in a couple of cases, but I am not so sure I am proud of some of its other uses – I am all up for being mischievous, but there is a limit ;)

So what do you use the SECuRET camera applications for? Please feel free to write about it in the comments section ...


  1. I just bought the LiveStream application and it works perfectly on my Tmobile G2. I was looking for a way to set up my phone to take videos of my workspace while I'm crafting, and control it remotely. My problem is that my G2 doesn't have a front facing camera and in my workspace setup I won't be able to get behind my camera to physically see what's on the screen. And, I don't have a good tripod situation, so if I touch the phone to control the camera I'll bump it out of position. I figured I could use LiveStream and set a laptop next to me to see what's in the "viewfinder", and then start and stop video with the laptop so I don't have to touch the camera once it's in position. After only playing with the app for a few minutes, it seems to do what it's supposed to do, flawlessly...and it looks like it will fit my workspace video needs. Cool :-)

    I do have some requests (please keep in mind I know nothing about any limitations surrounding these requests, so sorry in advance if this sounds stupid):

    1. The option to set the Rec Length for "Manual", and then buttons for Start Capture and Stop Capture. (then I should just be able to record as long as my phone will let me, right?)
    2. An option to record at least 10 minutes, and preferably up to 30 minutes. (although I guess the manual setting should take care of that, right?)

    Thank you for coming up with this :-)

  2. As a followup, I am only getting 20 fps on the capture and that's too choppy. Is there a way to get 30 fps? I have it set to use my camera's resolution, and it's set for HD quality. The videos seem fine when I view them on my phone. Thank you :-)

  3. I bought Livestream for the express purpose of using it as a wireless streaming ip xcamera for my airsoft battling robot.It runs great on my Samsung Captivate! See for more details on this exciting competition. But anyways, I was wondering if there is a url I can load in my own custom software to get just the viewing window, without the gui elements?

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