Twitter security cam


It seems that people keep coming up with ingenious things to with Twitter. Reminding you to water your plants is relatively inventive, but for shear practicality, [Shantanu Goel] created a security camera using a webcam, a few freeware apps, and a Twitter account.

To make this work, install Motion on a system running Linux. As its name suggests, Motion is a free motion-detecting application that monitors movement in a webcam’s field of view. Once installed, it should be configured to take a snapshot of the event whenever something moves; with the locate option turned on, it draws a square frame around the area where motion occurred. The program includes http server functionality, so the photos can be viewed from a remote location. When all of that is properly configured, motion can be set to trigger cURL, Wget, or [Goel]‘s Perl script to post a message to Twitter about the event. From there the Twitter account can be configured to send text messages to a phone, creating a virtually instant notification of motion sensed by the webcam.

[via Hackszine]

Comments

  1. Geekner says:

    How about taking this one step further? Add a bluetooth dongle to the computer running the webcam. Set it to automatically connect to your cell phone. Whenever the bluetooth is not associated, allow it to run the security cam script. Simple way to differentiate from the user being home and away.

    I assume twitter allows you to set a profile private? I would rather not allow someone to see pictures of my home.

    Also, isn’t it possible to skip the twitter step altogether, and email pictures/text directly to your phone? Verizon allows you to email (phonenum)@vzw.com and it will be recieved by your phone.

  2. Chacha102 says:

    There is one problem. If Twitter goes down, and then someone breaks in… you kind of are out of luck :)

  3. stupergenius says:

    Not to mention the SMS services that allow you to send messages directly to your phone. Twitter in the middle here is cool but unnecessary.

  4. IceBrain says:

    If your going to let your computer all day on, you could just install a simple web server like LAMP, so it doesn’t depend on any external services.

  5. robcolburn says:

    There’s a good number of cam’s that act as their own server. So they can e-mail/ftp images and sometimes video of activity. That cuts your need of a comp. and gives you more placement opportunities.

    If you can e-mail, then you can pipe with Yahoo Pipes / Dapper.

    Tweeting seems arguably less annoying than a text message. A computer cannot judge whether activity seen in a camera is harmful or not, so the best they can do is adjust the sensitivity to activity they see. Maybe you have 4 cameras and don’t want to be receive an sms 10 times a day. Does anyone know a twitter-clone that is more reliable?

  6. Hello, Im from Brazil.

    Using Lynx :

    echo ’status=Motion Detected! Check Immediately’ | lynx –auth=USER:PASSWORD –dump -post_data http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml

  7. mill3001 says:

    ok i built some thing like this with out even doing much moding and just for the compatibility of it i am running xp dark on it i currently have only one cam running right now on mine but what i am running is a simple and free program called home security and it can do all the same stuff twitter can but it can also be accessed from all over the world and that is vid and pic it can send them to your phone but that uses credits that you need to buy but you can have it send them to you in an e mail. this computer i have i set up so it douse not need a monitor and it runs wifi so just about all wireless. to over come not havening a monitor it has another program that is free and that is log me in. you can get that at logmein.com the thing i like about this set up is that is is really portable and can use any web cam up to haw ever many usb ports you have and will send them to your e mail when ever you have a motion or if you set it to do an auto capture for pic or vid or both at the same time. it is not perfect but it gets the job done with no probs and i am working on expaning to more than 3 pcs and about 20 web cams any more questions about this one do a fallow up comment

  8. Tim Acheson says:

    Now Twitter’s own internal systems have been hacked, along with the accounts of Twitter users including celebrities:

    http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2009/jul/twitter_hacked_via_google_apps

    The initial point of entry wasn’t a gap in Twitter’s security. The hacker(s) gained access through a Google Apps account. The worry with a Google account is, it’s web-based and therefore only as secure as the rest of the Internet. If yuor Google account is compromised and you use Google Docs in a serious commercial setting, your Twitter account will be the least of your worries.

  9. Keep working, great job! :)

  10. dosx says:

    i have to say its not a bad idea at all
    minus twitter its not ur server so u cant really say what and what about its security plus popular sites are always open to attacks

    alternatively like someone mentioned above u cud remove twitter and have the messages sent directly to ur cell
    but i have to say very innovative

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