Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spy Cam

When we go away for the day and can't take the dogs, we usually set up a spy cam to check on them via our phones.  The hubs is about to leave for Vegas tomorrow for the week, so he can periodically check in when he's missing home.  It's not the clearest video (it's just a crummy laptop cam) and has about a three second delay, but it's a fun way to give us peace of mind and perhaps be prepared for what we may find when we open the door.  The one time I caught Coop chewing up one of my magazines.  Look at this little stinker!  Back in 2010.

Another time, Coop had pulled a pillow onto the floor to sleep on.  Thinks he's cute or something! (You do notice the bed in the bottom right corner, plus the couch)

We went to Philly yesterday for a going away party for our friends moving out to Seattle.  Griswold and Coop were just chillin around  lunchtime.
The app that you see above is called MyWebcam.  It's easy to use, available for every device, and isn't terribly expensive ($4.99 for the app, computer-based broadcaster software is free).  The set-up is a breeze.  You run the software, you see your webcam, you configure the settings (mine is password protected and private - duh), and you login with your phone. Doesn't matter if you're on WiFi or cellular.

Another app that is available (that I also purchased because I'm a weirdo) is called JumiCam.  It's the same price as MyWebcam ($4.99) but the broadcaster software (also free) is only pc-based, which is a bummer.  However, what it lacks with availability, it makes up for with features.  Here's a pic of the quality (I was testing it out on the floor while the dogs were wrestling):
The image rate is a little bit quicker than the MyWebcam, and the snapshots are larger. I wish I could do a timestamp, but from what I've researched, that's not available.  It's also a little annoying that their company name prints on the photo.  I could always crop it out, but for a paid app, that's kinda lame.  Probably the coolest feature is that you can enable audio AND talk!  Here's what Griswold did when I said his name:
Now that I think about it, it's probably mean that I teased him like that, but if you're a freak like me and want to tell your babies that you love them -- and then induce a barking symphony -- 

 it's pretty cray!  The downside to JumiCam is that, again, it's only currently available for pc relationships and it was a pain to set up to access remotely with cellular (obviously why I want to use it).  I had to go into my router settings and enable access to the port that it uses.  It wasn't terribly difficult, but for the average user or someone that expects the software to work immediately on 3G without any troubleshooting, this may cause some major annoyance. 
I haven't tried to run the camera softwares simultaneously (I may have to install some sort of additional software), and also haven't tried a better quality HD camera.  Those are on the list of things to do.  Once I try that, I'll update this post.  For the average nannycam-check-in user, I'd go with MyWebcam.  But if you are looking for some more unique features and are tech-savvy, JumiCam is worth a glance.  Both apps are available in the App store.

**Note** - I paid for both apps with my hard-earned money and was offered no compensation whatsoever for the above comparison (though, I'd gladly take some).  It's just my opinion and figured I would share based on my personal experience with the preceding software.

Here's what it looks like with an HD webcam attached.

It's definitely clearer and has a larger viewing range.  I still don't notice much of a frame rate difference though.

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