Captivating ESP32 Camera Hack

You can never have enough DIY devices at home, so when you look at an ESP32 module that comes with the camera, you automatically start getting ideas. [Daniel Padilla] wanted a way to deploy DIY camera modules without the hassle of configuring them so he made one that looks like an access point and starts streaming as soon as you connect to it.[GitHub]

The code he provides allows the ESP32 to appear as an Open Access Point which you can connect to from a PC or smartphone. The awesome sauce here is that the ESP32 resolves all DNS requests to a redirect in a similar manner to what happens when someone connects to an open Wi-Fi access point in a mall, Instead of a captive portal page that asks the user to authenticate or accept terms and conditions, [Daniel Padilla]’s code instead redirects to the streaming page et voila! Instant camera stream, and it is that simple.

We love this project because it is an elegant way to solve a problem, and it also teaches newbies about captive portals and their implementation. We covered a cheap ESP32 Webcam in the past and this project also comes with code for you to get started. We would love to see what you come up with next.

16 thoughts on “Captivating ESP32 Camera Hack

  1. I’m not trying to be a jerk here (yeah, I know I am at times)
    But the ESP-32 plus camera deal is on sale at Banggood.
    I’m not sure if it will work with [Daniel Padilla]’s software, but it seems like a good buy (for US/CN orders).

    I have no monetary connection with this.

  2. This is a nice hack and I can see lots of use for it.

    I just wanted to point out, in case anyone was unaware, that the ESP32-CAM modules come with a basic demo firmware installed. You simply have to power it up, and if you connect a serial monitor to it (115200) it even prints instructions:

    (4691) camera_demo: Please connect to “ESP32_CAM”
    (4691) camera_demo: Open for single image/jpg image
    (4691) camera_demo: Open for multipart/x-mixed-replace stream of JPEGs

    The first line refers to the wifi AP it will appear as

    Obviously a great way to test the board and the camera, before you start flashing new firmware.

  3. I am using an AI-Thinker ESP32-CAM and can load the code, but when the code runs I get
    E (4534) httpd: httpd_server_init: error in bind (112)

    Any suggestions?


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