How to change your old smart phone into a CCTV camera

The pace of both hardware and software development in smart phones is so rapid that several times per year we see impressive upgrades being released, regardless whether we’re talking iOS iPhones or other models operating on Android or Windows systems.

Nowadays we treat smart phones as digital personal assistants – we use them to browse the web, watch videos, take notes, schedule appointments, answer emails and so on.

Smart phones have another powerful feature we have grown so used to – their camera.

With the rapidly accelerating development pace, however, many users find their phones are not good enough anymore compared to what’s currently out on the market and nearly straight away are seeking to upgrade their handsets.

What many of us don’t take into account is that even the older smart phones have high resolution, fully functional cameras; even when the phone becomes slightly obsolete due to newer models appearing, it still has powerful specifications that can be put to good use.

One of the things your old smart phone can do is to become a home security camera.

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But instead of having a bulky and unsightly appearance like those ones above, it would be much more inconspicuous.

Currently there are numerous Android and iOS apps available that can use your old smartphone’s camera and turn it into a home CCTV system, letting you visually monitor the your home using your current smartphone, whenever you want.

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Today I want to focus mainly on 2 free apps that can allow you to transform your old phone into a security camera:

ALFRED (http://www.my-alfred.com) and SALIENT EYE (http://www.salient-eye.com)

Your old smart phone camera already gives you the ability to watch a live streamed footage – so the apps will utilise this and allow you to monitor your home live over Wi-Fi.

They’ll also have a recording feature, which can be customised depending on your needs.

These apps offer additional features that allow you to enable motion detection and automated recording – the camera switches its mode from live streaming to recording.

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Example screen shot of Salient Eye settings

The application controlled smart phone camera can alert you if it detects a disturbance — an app would send a push notification to your smartphone, with a link to see what just occurred, or you will receive the alert by e-mail (or both).

NOTE: Please note that although these apps are free, this only applies to their basic version. The additional features have to purchased separately (for example, night vision). Certain subscription costs may also apply, depending on usage and selected options.

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Example screen shot of the Alfred app practical use

Other Smartphone Camera Apps
The above two are only given as examples. These are not the only options for those who wish to make use of their old smartphones. Other similar examples include:

AtHome Camera: offers remote monitoring over 3G/4G or WiFi, has motion detection, two-way talking, scheduled recording, and is multi-platform.

Smart Home Security WardenCam: this app offers much of the same functionality and is also free. It uses cloud storage, specifically Dropbox.