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snakesonaplane

Remote Monitoring Solution via Webcam

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Hey guys,

I've been researching various ways to do remote monitoring via webcam, but I've yet to find something to fit my specific purpose. I'm not looking to stream video, but would instead like to get still images...at my command. This is for two reasons:

1. My university bandwidth policy sucks

2. I don't get internet on my phone, but I have unlimited picture messaging.

I guess what I'm asking is....how can I contact my computer from my phone and have it email me a still image, but only when I ask for it? Is there a way that I could set up an email account, connect it with my camera, and have it reply with a snapshot? I'd probably need a script or something, right? I've got absolutely no idea where to start with this, so I figure I'd ask here. Thanks.

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That's not too difficult. You can set up something like a gmail account, or any other account with POP or IMAP access. Have the script check the email for new messages, and when one arrives with the correct command and/or password, it will take a picture from the webcam and send it as a reply to the email. This program will have to be running in the background of the machine with the webcam.

I've done email programs with Ruby, and they're really easy. I've also done them with Perl, and they're doable. Any language can do email though, all it has to know how to do is use POP and SMTP, as well as parse email messages. I'm sure there are libraries for whatever languages you know. As for the webcam part, I don't know. I know there are libraries for many languages to interface with USB webcams, but I've never used them.

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Thanks, Ohm. The only problem is that I don't code, so I was hoping there was a program I could use.

I'm aware of some open source programs that will email you a snapshot when motion is detected, so perhaps I'll have one of my code junkie friends see if this can be tweaked.

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You don't even need to use e-mail. I find it easier just to set up a free remote hosting account, and have my programs send/receive data that way.

I've never made a Remote Monitoring Solution, but I have made programs that require what you need done.

And learn a freaking language! It makes life so much easier in the long run.

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True, it would be quite easy to implement a PHP script that allows your program to upload frames ever minute or so. Even for a non-programmer, this would be quite trivial. Stick a password-protect on that and the server part is done.

The client is almost as trivial. I still don't know how you'd interface with the webcam though :P

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You could use FTP commands to upload the pictures that way. I don't know how you'd download them client-side, though.

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Oh, wait. He says he wants to access this with his phone, which doesn't get Internet but does get picture messaging. So I guess that's gatewayed to email somehow.

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Wait, how do you get e-mail but no internet?

And I have no idea how to get it to picture mail you.

Maybe you could make a gmail app. I know gmail supports SMS text messages now.

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Oh, wait. He says he wants to access this with his phone, which doesn't get Internet but does get picture messaging. So I guess that's gatewayed to email somehow.

Correct. I can receive pictures and other media in the form of an email, but I don't have WAP service.

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Not sure if you want to mess with Linux, but you could try zoneminder

The documentation suggests a few things you might find useful; like notification via SMS.

btw: it ran out of the box, on my Ubuntu system with a cheap logictech usb camera.

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