I recently found a new way to give those old Tracfones laying around your house a new lease on life, use them as a Nanny Cam! I had a couple of old phones laying around the house and for fun I thought about doing a project with them. I downloaded an app called IP Webcam from Google Play to one of them and Voila! I had a new webcam that I can stash around the house.
The app itself works really well. There are many settings that you can customize to your needs. There are many services that you can integrate with this app. A good example would be the Ivideon service. You can set up the IP Webcam app on an old smart phone and then open an account on Ivideon at www.ivideon.com.
I made an account and hooked up the IP Webcam app to the Ivideon account and now I can check my cameras from anywhere I have service.
The reason I like this setup is because it is super cheap (free) and it is relatively easy to setup with equipment you already have at home. The camera is nice to use because you can hook it up to a charger to keep it charged or if you want to use the battery as the power source you can do that too. You don’t need to be very tech savvy in order use these programs. It is easy to learn the different settings.
What I found that was not so good was the quality of the camera on this particular phone. It was a really cheap tracfone about 5 years ago so the quality of the picture I am getting is only 640×480 and the viewing angle is not that good. The camera is also really slow so streaming to the Ivideon service was not that good and you have to keep refreshing. There are really cheap IP cameras out there with a better quality camera that run anywhere from $30 and up that will probably work much better.
All in all, I found this project to be fun and easy. If you have some phones laying around the house and a few spare moments, give it a shot.