back to article New use for old iPhones: Watch your house get robbed in REAL-TIME

Fanbois have been offered a new way of keeping their home safe – well, sort of – as long as they've managed to avoid chucking away all their old fondleslabs. A firm called People Power has released an app which turns old iPhones and iPads into home security devices which will allow Apple fans to keep an eye on their home. The …


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      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        nsa/wiretapping/interception joke

        When are the NSA going to offer unlimited free storage on their cloud?

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: nsa/wiretapping/interception joke

          Start a petition and for that. I'll sign, it'd be hilarious if they responded.

        2. Norm DePlume

          Re: nsa/wiretapping/interception joke

          You already have unlimited storage on NSA's cloud. Retrieving data, however, is quite another thing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: nsa/wiretapping/interception joke

            Like write only memort.

        3. Drs. Security

          Re: nsa/wiretapping/interception joke

          they are already, only we haven't got access to it yet *grin*

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Daytime use only?

    > it can record any crimes that do take place

    So long as the baddie in question is obliging enough to turn on the lights in the room and not just shine a torch around.

    (Plus, isn't a movement activated wifi camera a perv's dream come true?)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Daytime use only?

      I was going to comment, but by the time I edited it for content, there was nothing left...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or the perps wear balaclavas (sorry stereotyping!) or similar head gear....

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Or the Internet connection is down locally, and the perp just shoves his crowbar into the damn thing.

      "We're going to have a picture of you" - fat lot of good that'll do most of the time I guess, what the picture being either mostly black or terrifically overexposed.

      But it's good that news of this app gets out - that way the crooks will wear face-hiding headgear, and will smash all that old kit that's lying around to only nick the new stuff.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so it's IP Camera software then?

    Oh, no! It also saves files to a network drive.

    I can see why people think Apple is innovative if they consider this news-worthy...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so it's IP Camera software then?

      Is this app made by Apple?

      ~According to the article it isn't so really your rather tiresome 'innovation' rant is incorrect. Perhaps you need reading glasses?

      Isn't it possible that some Fandroids still have an iPhone that might be used for this purpose? You have a brain so use it!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so it's IP Camera software then?

        @AC 07:02: You clearly misunderstood what the previous poster wrote. At no point did he state that the software was produced by Apple, just that this sort of capability is nothing new, and so anyone that thinks it is innovative is probably so gullible that they must think Apple is innovative also...Methinks you may be the one needing reading glasses...

    2. Rob

      Re: so it's IP Camera software then?

      Sounds like it, you can pick up a decent WiFi IP camera with IR (night vision) from Amazon for £40 that has a ball joint mount and motorised movement with motion sensing that will do a far better job. If I was that interested in securing my home in that way I would probably opt for the better cheaper kit that I have control over where it stores it's recordings and how I access it.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: so it's IP Camera software then?

        Rob wrote: Sounds like it, you can pick up a decent WiFi IP camera with IR (night vision) from Amazon for £40 that has a ball joint mount and motorised movement with motion sensing that will do a far better job

        No, what you'll get for 40 quid is a Chinese knock off of a Chinese knock off. After taking 5 minutes to boot up, you'll get a few seconds of stuttering video claiming to be 720p, but actually the same number of pixels as hens teeth, before it crashes as you attempt to pan. The IR lights wont work, the sound in or out wont work. When the vendor eventually replies in pigeon English, he'll try and convince you a firmware update will fix it, but that will just brick the unit. You may be lucky and get the purchase price and return postage refunded though.

    3. Drs. Security

      Re: so it's IP Camera software then?

      well it isn't Google who would directly post these videos in your youtube timeline (if you like it or not).

      In all cases, pretty much be aware of where you leave your old iThings (e.g. bedroom etc.).

      And yes they do sound too :)

  5. frank ly

    It would be cheaper .....

    ..... to sell your old iThing and buy a second-hand Android device. This company needs to develop the application for Android to give a much bigger potential market.

    1. Lusty

      Re: It would be cheaper .....

      "This company needs to develop the application for Android to give a much bigger potential market."

      There have been more Android devices sold to date, true, but the app market is much bigger on Apple devices with considerably more money being made there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It would be cheaper .....

      It might be cheaper to sell the iPhone and buy an Android device for this, but that would be stupid. Why not use the money from selling the iPhone to buy, you know, a camera? Only a real fanboy would be so blind as to think an Android (or iPhone) would make a better surveillance camera than a surveillance camera.

      The app kinda sorta makes sense for the people who aren't aware that iPhones have really good resale value, or they have a really ancient one like the original that would have almost no resale value as a phone (but may still have some as an iPod Touch) But yiou're right that the best strategy is to sell the iPhone, just wrong that the next step is to buy an Android for a job for which it is no better suited than an iPhone.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple sued in divorce case.

    Mr X was caught by his wife having an affair after his wife used the app from People Power. Mr X claims that the hidden nature of the app failed to inform him and in doing so breached his human rights for privacy. He stated, at no time were warning signs placed indicating a CCTV device and the recording should not have been used in evidence during his divorce case.

    Mrs X, will be released from prison after serving half of her six month sentence for the recording and posting it online.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All of my IP surveillance cams have a warning notice near them. The old bill advised me that I should put them there.

      1. jubtastic1

        CCTV warning notices

        Are only required in public* areas, you don't need to put up warnings inside your house.

        I can't see a big market for something like this though, the resale value of that kit is high enough that you'd be better off selling the old iphone and using the proceeds to buy a dedicated multicamera recording system with the ability to view recordings on a smartphone, and whatevers left over in the pub.

        * Public includes privately owned commercial thoroughfares, eg an industrial estate, shopping centre etc.

        1. frank ly

          Re: CCTV warning notices

          A family friend had small CCTV cameras monitoring his large gardens and home. He tells me that the police advised him to angle the cameras so that they did not show anything happening on the public road or on the neighbour's property. As far as I know, he hasn't placed any notices. I assume that you don't need notices on private property? What about at the front door, where unknown callers can be reasonably expected to be (postman, meter readers, insurance salesmen, etc)?

          1. Shoot Them Later

            Re: CCTV warning notices

            There's a lot of rubbish talked about where you can point your CCTV cameras, much of it coming from the police. The only legal obstacle to pointing a CCTV camera that is located on your private property wherever the hell you like is the human right to privacy of your neighbours in their homes. People in public places do not have such a right to privacy, so you can freely point your camera at whatever street or alleyway by your house that you like. You are not prevented from doing so by DPA or whatever other bit of legislation someone wants to spuriously drag up.

            More ambiguously, your cameras can also be placed in such a way that they can see your neighbours property, if the reasonable purpose of them is to detect crime (for example if crims are coming in via your neighbours garden, or if your camera that is pointed at your boundary also takes in some of the neighbouring garden). Your neighbours can of course complain that this is a breach of their right to privacy and could take legal measures, so if you want to avoid conflict talk to them first and get agreement on the placement and direction of any cameras. Talking can also be applied as a general strategy for avoiding neighbourly conflict and is highly recommended in all sorts of situations :)

            See these pages for more information (while bearing in mind that they are written by someone wanting to sell CCTV systems...):



            Things might change though:

            Regarding the actual topic... I am notoriously reluctant to part with old kit, so in this case the idea of putting it to some use sounds good - although I suspect I would quickly tire of it.

  7. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Why not just sell your iPhone .....

    ...... to one of the many companies that will pay you £150 for it and buy a few wireless IP cameras, just been looking at one on amazon, pan and tilt with mic and speakers and IR for around £50.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: Why not just sell your iPhone .....

      As in my earlier reply, you'll want to pay upwards of £80 for something that works properly, the cheaper ones are less useful than a fake deterrent camera.

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: Why not just sell your iPhone .....

        Ok then, a couple of wireless IP cameras (still more than one).

  8. stu 4

    How the hell is this news??

    CNET reported it to.

    The app market (iphone and android) are FULL of surveillance apps like this.

    The only twist seems to be they are suggesting that this be the prime and only reason for using the phone when it is older plus doing it over 3g rather than wifi... which is absurd - even the older iphone is worth 3x what a wifi camera with the same capability has.

    I run just such an app on an android phone I leave in my motorhome when I'm oot and aboot for security.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: How the hell is this news??

      Ah, you've found out about wire services, the content provider for most 'modern journalism'. For a few thousand bucks you can get anything on all the wire services and reporters will jump all over whatever is there. It's the cheapest way in the world to get the 'news' to cover your company/product.

      You didn't think modern journalists wrote their own articles did you? You just restructure the press releases, add hyperbole, and Bobs your uncle, story's done.

      If you're trying to get attention for your project, fund raiser or company you're far better off putting it on the wire than going to trade shows and networking events. The bang for the buck can't be beat.

  9. Timfy67

    Old tech...

    For the past year I have been using three, no longer wanted, Sony Ericsson X10i android phones as IP cams, one of which is inside a Ferrero Rocher box and giving great service outside!

    I don't understand why, when Apple run to catch up with everyone else, it has to be published as the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread!

    1. Ydo Ibother

      Re: Old tech...

      Which App?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old News

    IP surveillance cameras have been around for years. My system has been in since near the start fo the century, not 2013!

    iFolly, PAH!

  11. ukgnome

    How long before someone hacks this shiny IP camera to shout expletives

    1. hplasm


      If you want it to shout expletives, you could always just phone it up...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've been building one of these, except mine is based on an RPi. Still having trouble with the motion detection algorithm - it tends to get triggered by them momentary dip in light level when a cloud passes the sun, but I think I can fix that.

    My design records (heavily compressed, but I'm good at that) video to a server on the internet, encrypted. Privacy assured: No-one can view the recordings without the key.

    1. M Gale

      Protip: The OpenCV libraries are awesome for this sort of thing.

  13. Tim Roberts 1

    Wang - reminds me of a limerick

    A young fellow dining in Kew

    found an elephants whang in his stew

    said the waiter "don't shout"

    "or wave it about"

    "cos the others'll all want one too"

    Ok Ok I have probably had a few too many but I couldn't resist........

  14. thesykes

    Prevention better than detection?

    What's the point of this?

    Sell your old shiny, go buy a cheap home CCTV setup and install it.

    For the same price you'll probably get 4 night and day cameras and a PVR, which will come with a smartphone app that allows you to view (and sometimes control) all the cameras.

    This has several obvious benefits.

    It works in the dark

    It allows coverage of all your property

    It acts as a deterrent to the casual thief

    It's the last bit that is the most important. If your house has a couple of cameras outside, and next door has an iPad on the coffee table, which one do you think a thief is going to be tempted to break into? Having footage of a masked burglar walking off with your TV and games console is of no use to anyone.

    Luckily I've never had a break in, but, a neighbour has, when they were asleep in bed. The fear that someone can break in, with kids asleep upstairs, was far worse than replacing the locks and filling in an insurance claim.

    You can't make your house burglar-proof, but, you can make yours just that little bit less tempting than those around you.

  15. Sandy Ritchie

    An android app would be different in that.....

    You wouldn't be watching your house get burgled you'd be responsibily checking up on your family pet?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much use without PTZ and infrared.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    please steal me

    I suspect the last images you would see recorded from your iDevice IP cam would be the face of the person chuckling while nicking it from your house.

  18. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Had this working for a while...

    Linux Box + Webcam + Motion + Mutt

    You can configure it to use more than one web / IP camera and set the sensitivity to suit. I use Mutt to email me the images, but you can also upload them to a web server and run commands on motion detection. It'd be pretty cool to get it to play a very loud message through the stereo at the same time.

    1. Drs. Security

      Re: Had this working for a while...

      raspberry Pi + camboard and speaker I'd say.

      You still have a night vision issue though but I suppose there are cam modules that can detect IR as well

  19. Stu

    Android IP Webcam

    Awesome freebie Android app, not quite the same as this iPhone thing, no motion detection, but has a few other cool features such as very high quality video streaming, custom image quality and frame rate, a variety of web based video stream options including Java, JavaScript, VLC, etc so you can use it with most browsers, as opposed to hard-coded to an iPhone app...

  20. Oli 1

    as above, old news...

    ive been using ispy which adds most of the above functionality to any old IP cam, except PTZ of course.

    Surprised how many useless IP Cam apps are in the App Store compared to android.

    The only one i could find for iphone that was usable was WebOfCam. Crap app but better than nowt!

    And you CAN get a £40-50 PTZ IP Cam, but it wont last a year in my experience.

    If you are serious about setting up home CCTV, just spend the money and the do it properly!

  21. Dan 55 Silver badge

    App Store best before date

    Does this app manage to get around the problem of Apple not approving new apps that aren't made with the latest devkit, the latest devkit not generating apps that work on iOS 4.2.1 or before, and the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch not being able to update beyond iOS 4.2.1?

    If not, I humbly suggest that pitching apps for the latest generation of iShiny minus 1 or 2 is hardly recycling old kit.

  22. Mr Finance

    Ohh that brings back memories. Probably the second mobile app I ever downloaded did this, albeit the snapped pics were sent by mms from my 2002 era Nokia 7650. Such progress the world has made in 11yrs.


    "hone in on"

    Jasper, go hone. You're obviously not up to working today.

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