Turn old smartphones into security cameras

11-04-2018

There is finally a reason for those old smartphones you have lying around. Use them as security cameras in your home with Manything @manythingapp. It's easy to install, cheap and practical to use. You can even connect Manything with IFTTT. Home security and automation has never been easier! #android #camera #home #homeautomation #ifttt #iphone #manything #security #smarthome #smartphone

Visit manything.com

You finally have a reason to keep your old smartphones in that drawer. You knew, one day, they would come in handy. I’m currently using 2 old iPhone 4’s as security cameras in our house. And it’s a practical and low-cost solution. All thanks to Manything.

For a while I was wondering what kind of home security I wanted. As I felt that the classic systems wouldn’t give me that peace of mind I was looking for. With a normal security installation you’ll add some motion detectors and door/window sensors to your home. Together with the central gateway that will sound a siren when something is detected.
But I kept wondering, so what if I get a notification of an alarm in our house? What will I do? Go inside and check what is going on?
Imagine that I am on holiday. And my neighbor or someone from my family needs to go in and check. Would they do it? I would never forgive myself if something happened to them.

Our house is located in a very quiet neighborhood and a lot of older people are living in the area. A siren going off will just scare the wildlife in the garden, and won’t do much more. My priority for a security system shifted from having a loud siren, to having eyes inside the house at all times.

Of course, most alarm systems can be extended with cameras. But it will add to your initial investment. Quality cameras are expensive. If you want video in high definition (so you can actually recognize someone on screen), you’ll need to dig deep in your pocket.

In my search, I stumbled upon the website of Manything. It’s an app you install on a smartphone, and you can either choose to use it as a camera or viewer. It’s as simple as that. They have a free account for 1 camera, but from there it works with a monthly subscription. 2 cameras for €3,99/month, and 5 cameras for €6,99/month (when you pay through the mobile app). Those subscriptions will record and keep your videos in the cloud for 2 days. Enough time to check and download them in case you need them.

I have been using the app for a while now, and besides iPhones overheating from time to time, it works pretty well. In matter of price/quality ratio I would give them a 4-star rating. The big advantage to me is that the service also connects to IFTTT. So you can even automate everything you want. Start recording when you leave the house, turn on your lights when motion is detected, and more.