Remote Control of IP Cam Viewer and ChromeCast/FireTV

April 10th, 2014

In the coming releases, IP Cam Viewer will get an embedded HTTP server! This server will be used for remote control of record mode, tasker integration, chromecast, and more.

IP Cam Viewer already has in-app motion detection with notifications in Record Mode. Adding remote control will allow you to change settings like turning in-app MD on/off while away from home.

Many people have asked for tasker integration but I’ve held off in-order to find a lighter, simpler and more extensible solution (compared to their plugins). Adding commands to the embedded web server will allow for tasker integration via it’s HTTP automation features while enabling easy integration for all other tools.

Want to share your camera via a website but 1) don’t want to share it directly, or 2) don’t know it’s API, or 3) it’s has some custom binary protocol / video format? Now with the embedded web server, all 1900+ camera types supported by IP Cam Viewer can has it’s own simple web page. Of course it’s only available from the local network but you can choose to open it up (port forward) to the outside or just send the image elsewhere.

People have asked lately for ChromeCast support. Its seems like a limited device to me (although cheap). We can direct ChromeCast to the embedded server to view all supported cameras. Note: directing ChromeCast to cameras directly doesn’t work well because many cameras have odd protocols/formats not supported by ChromeCast.

Backing up a bit, if you really want to see the display on a TV, you can do it today with a $50 android hdmi dongle like the MK908. It runs all android apps directly (no casting, mirroring, etc). If mirroring is a must, other devices like the roku and even Fire TV have full screen mirroring.

In summary, the embedded http server is coming in the next 1-2 releases while features built on top of the server will trickle in over time.

Baby Mode and background audio

June 17th, 2013

In the past, people have consistently emailed to confirm that the application does not run in the background (due to bandwidth concerns). In fact, the app does not run in the background unless you are using home screen widgets or record mode (rate is adjustable).

Because of this concern, the closest to a baby mode was to run in Gallery View with Auto Dimming turned on (see App Settings). This way, you can hear audio and have a dimmed screen (for night time). The screen will turn on if touched or motion is detected.

However, there’s been an increasing email demand for another option to play audio even when app is not in the foreground and when screen is locked! This goes against the demand by other users to not run in background.

With Android v4.9.5, I’ve added a new Background Audio Mode option (in Gallery View, click Menu key). In this mode, and only in this mode, the app will continue to run in the background and play audio even when phone is locked (audio includes motion detection notification sounds if enabled).

In summary, the Android app will not run in the background except if you’re using widgets, record mode or background audio mode.

Rob

ps. the iOS version never runs in the background.

Anyone can have a home surveillance system!

April 24th, 2013

With the latest record on motion detection feature in IP Cam Viewer Pro, now anyone can have a home surveillance system for almost nothing. Motion detection reduces sdcard space usage dramatically. I’m getting weeks of recording time on an empty 8gb sdcard (app will automatically recycle old footage as needed).

Search, view, export past recordings and view live, all with no monthly fees. No middleman servers/services which can be a security/privacy issue, massive ISP bandwidth usage, exposure to monthly fee increases, slow network access and potential disaster if company goes belly up or get hacked.

Latest Android version now supports motion email notifications.  iOS version will get this functionality soon. I switch between a ‘record home’ and a ‘record away’ group where the ‘record away’ group records more cameras and enables motion notifications for some cameras.

Hardware:
- old, left over android phone or tablet. Price: free
- cheap ip camera on amazon or ebay. Price: ~$50 each

Software:
- IP Cam Viewer Pro. Price: $3.99 one time cost

Setup:
1) install IP Cam Viewer Pro on spare android device.
2) configure your cameras in IP Cam Viewer Pro (turn on record only when motion detected in Edit Camera -> More Options for each camera).
3) start recording, click matrix view button, hang on wall as a bonus display!

Finally, both Apple App Store and Android Play Store allows you to install IP Cam Viewer Pro on as many devices as you want (as long as you use the same account) so install it on your daily phone to get live viewing (use export/import or sharing to copy settings).

ps. for live viewing outside of your home network, you need to setup dynamic dns and port forwarding.

ps.ps. some users have asked to record to dropbox. See above on why I do not like to send private video to some cloud service. If you MUST sync to dropbox or google docs, use FolderSync Lite to sync the entire IP Cam Viewer Record folder.

ONVIF and Bitcoin

April 3rd, 2013

I quietly added ONVIF support to recent versions. With your support, hopefully it’ll get better over time.

Next, for those of you that download the Android app directly from my site, the next version will support upgrade via Bitcoin or Paypal. Bitcoin has really come a long way with tools and ease of use. See http://bitcoin.org for more information.

In the news…

November 10th, 2012

IP Cam Viewer is in a BBC technology article posted today!

It was also in Episode 1 of the BGR Show this summer, under home automation.

Did you know you can actually watch BBC in the android version?

Generic RTSP support and misc. formats

January 30th, 2012

Finally, IP Cam Viewer now has generic RTSP support. The means more devices supported, like mpeg4 devices and audio for some existing cameras.

New devices include Pixord P-1401, arlotto AR1500, AVTECH AVC791, Linksys WVC54GC and more to come…

New audio support include Compro cameras, PROCCTV cameras, sharx, y-cam, Lorex cameras, Air Live cameras, and more…

Over the next few releases, I will fix bugs in the new stack and try to speed it up. Also, it’ll be a mad dash to add more devices.

ski resort web cams for northern CA

December 17th, 2011

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I’ve collected together some ski resort webcams in the Lake Tahoe CA area for everyone to enjoy.

See my post linked above.  Just click on the links in the post using your mobile browser to import them into IP Cam Viewer.  You’ll need IP Cam Viewer for Android version 4.2.5+ or IP Cam Viewer for iOS version 1.5.3+ installed for the mobile browser to recognize the links.

Enjoy, Rob

ps. see the Tech Tip at the end of the above linked article for instructions on how to create your own camera packs which users can import simply by clicking on a link in a website.

ps.ps. I’ve added more cameras packs into the above link, including cruise cams, zoo cams, and world news live feeds.

IP Cam Viewer running on Playbook BBX 2.0

October 23rd, 2011

Well, you saw in a previous post how IP Cam Viewer Google TV, now here are pictures of IP Cam Viewer running on the Blackberry Playbook 2.0 (beta).

I had to disable home screen widgets, native code functionality, and other features that the Android Player does not support, but it does run pretty well.  It should also run on future BBX based Blackberry Smartphones too.

UPDATE: It’s now available in Blackberry App World for Playbook and future BB 10.0 devices.

 

From the dead! Pro and Lite coming back.

October 13th, 2011

Google is helping me bring them back!  Hold on tight, it’ll happen over the next 24 hours!

It seems the app description had issues so I while I’m updating the code, I’ll need to bring it back down so I can go over the text when they contact me to make sure everything is kosher.

Background: As you probably know, the Pro version was pulled from the Market on 10/12/2011.  Since my Lite version was pulled earlier, I obviously have not figured out what Google was unhappy with.

I was tired and defeated.  Try to fix it again and risk being banned.  Don’t do anything and watch 3 years of hard work slip away.

Since my earlier attempts to contact Google for help did not work, I decided it was time to reach out to the press, blogs, forums, websites, news sites, podcasts and anyone I could contact for help.  My goal was to make enough noise to get someone at Google to help.

Within an hour, OMG!Droid reached out to me and offered to write a post.  Just speaking with Chris helped.  He really cared and wanted to write a balanced story.  I breathed a little better.

What happened next really surprised me.  A kind sole, who doesn’t know me (but I’ve seen him at multiple conferences from a distance), read my email and forwarded it to someone at Google who started the ball rolling.

These 2 gentleman are large in the tech world and the fact that they took some time to help a stranger in need, made me tear up (embarrassing since I was at the PayPal X Conference).  Did I mention I’m a Rackspace customer. 8^)

So now, I’m waiting for Google to contact me and hopefully get this thing straighten out once and for all.

Update:

Well, the upper managment mean well and tried but the market support folks must work out of the old KGB offices. I only have the ONE extra email hinting at the app description and which gave my app back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for that but it would have been good to know *what* text was the issue so I can avoid it from happening *again*.

So, I’ve edited the app description to a minimum, removed all web links to my website for help or device support, and removed the list of brands supported (except for some major brands).

Look at the description here. It’s so bland, I don’t know what else it could be (email me if you find an issue: robert[dot]chou[at]gmail[dot]com).

Now, it’s cross your fingers, toes, and pray time…

Burglars Caught with IP Cam Viewer for Android and iOS

October 2nd, 2011

Users of IP Cam Viewer often email me about how they use my app to monitor their baby, home, rental, pet or business.  Sometimes, users report their cameras catching thieves in the act or their cameras helping them solve problems.

Here are snippets of 2 emails I got recently.


10/2/2011:

“Robert,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note about my “interesting” day this past Friday…

I was sitting at my desk at work and glanced down at my iPod touch where I usually watch my four cameras at home (I use my Droid X when I’m away from my desk) when I noticed some unfamiliar people inside of my house and a strange car in my driveway. I quickly phoned my son to make sure it wasn’t him (it wasn’t, he was still asleep) and then called 911 to report that there were people in my house that weren’t supposed to be.

I watched as the burglars finally realized that I had cameras and saw them move them aside and unplug them (they missed the one pointing outside to the driveway, though). Anyway, within about a minute of calling 911, I saw a police cruiser pull-up to my house, quickly followed by a second.

Long story short: both burglar’s apprehended and pretty much everything recovered (although we’re still putting things back and dealing with the disarray and kicked-in front door).

Anyway, all of the police were very excited, to say the least, that they were able to catch the guys in the act and fleeing my premises. They all wanted to know how I had things setup, etc. and I told them about IP Cam Viewer, etc. I’m going to be writing-up setup instructions for them so they can install cameras in their houses as well.

One thing I wasn’t able to provide them was a video or recording–sadly, I wasn’t using this feature of your app at the time, but I’d like to have some DVR functionality just in case this ever happens again. I played around this morning with the recording and playback feature of IP Cam Viewer on my Xoom this morning, but I had a little trouble swiping on the screen to change cameras in the playback feature–changing which camera is selected and/or whatever swipe direction does not seem to advance me to the next camera (and I can see that there are indeed images recorded for the other cameras in the record folder for the selected timeframe).

Anyway, I’m probably going to start using my HTC Droid Eris (first, old Android device) as my DVR, but I was thinking of using my Xoom. Don’t know if you have any advice on what might be the best platform for this…

Thanks again for a great app, for keeping it updated so often and adding new features–I’m sure you’ll have a few new customers due to my recent incident ;) .

Cheers,
Sean”


9/21/2011:

“I absolutely LOVE the app, my landlord has been complaining about my dog barking and I suspected it was the neighbor’s.  Thanks to you and the Axis camera triggers, I now have evidence to support my belief.”