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Using Your Webcam for Surveillance
Pages: 1, 2, 3

Detecting Motions

One of the coolest features in webcamXP is its motion detection ability. You can configure webcamXP to detect motions and then raise an alert. For example, you might want to monitor activities in your house when you are out for work in the daytime. You can configure webcamXP to detect suspicious movements and take snapshots from the webcams, or record the footage as movies (a few more options are available; see the motion detection tab in Figure 8). You can also configure webcamXP to automatically send an alert email to you with the snapshot taken. Most interestingly, you can set the percentage change in motion so that minor changes in the areas being monitored won't trigger an alert (such as minor movements caused by winds, etc).



Figure 8. Configuring for motion detection
Figure 8. Configuring for motion detection

While motion detection is cool, make sure that you have sufficient disk space because this option eats up hard disk spaces rather quickly (especially if you enable movie taking) and is CPU intensive. Figure 9 shows the snapshots taken by the motion detection feature. I have set the motion detection to trigger an alert when the motion changes by 20 percent.

Figure 9. Snapshots taken by the motion detection feature
Figure 9. Snapshots taken by the motion detection feature

Remote Monitoring

webcamXP supports remote monitoring of webcams via web pages. By default, an internal web server will automatically be started to allow your webcams to be viewed remotely. In the Users Manager tab, you can configure the security of webcamXP. Obviously, you do not want just anyone to view your webcams, so be sure to check the "watch is password protected" and "protect each request" checkboxes (see Figure 10). You can authorize additional users by clicking on the Edit Users... button. You can also grant/deny accesses based on IP addresses.

Figure 10. Securing webcamXP
Figure 10. Securing webcamXP

You can configure the internal web server by clicking on the web/broadcast tab. Note the port number used by the web server (8080 in this case; see Figure 11).

Figure 11. Configuring the web broadcast
Figure 11. Configuring the web broadcast

Once secured, authorized users can view the webcams using the IP address that you configured earlier for IP forwarding. If you are viewing the pages within your local network, you can use the IP address of the computer together with the port number, such as http://10.0.1.2:8080 (see Figure 12).

Figure 12. Viewing the webcams using a web browser
Figure 12. Viewing the webcams using a web browser

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) http://weimenglee.blogspot.com is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions http://www.developerlearningsolutions.com, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.


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