Hanover - An old Android smartphone can have a second life as a surveillance camera or a baby monitor. All the phone needs, aside from its camera, is wi-fi internet access and the right apps, notes German computer magazine c't.
The application Motion Detector Pro enables the smartphone to take a picture every time something moves in the camera's range. The image will then be sent to the camera's owner by email or saved onto the SD card.
The app MobileWebCam takes pictures at regular intervals, every five minutes for example, as set by the user.
There's also IP Webcam for video recordings. However, if the pictures are to be seen remotely, the smartphone needs a stable IP address, set up in the router's settings menu.
Meanwhile, the Baby Monitor app doesn't take pictures at all. But it keeps track of the noise level in a room and sends alarms via email or text message when a child screams, for instance.
All the surveillance apps are free and compatible with older Android models like 2.2 (Froyo) or even 1.6 (Donut). That means they can work on smartphones that have some mileage on them.
However, the constant turning on and off of the camera can mean a lot of wear on the battery. A smartphone used for surveillance should therefore be permanently attached to the power cord. - Sapa-dpa