Just because your smartphone is a few generations old doesn't mean it can't be used well. Even the most obsolete phone is still a palm-sized computer equipped with advanced sensor technology. So why not throw away the device or turn your old smartphone into a security camera instead of throwing it away or reselling it for less than what you originally paid for?
There are dozens of incredible Android and iOS apps out there that can turn your phone into a useful smart home device and surprisingly smart security camera (especially when you're ready to put it on a wall near an electrical outlet for power to assemble). Cost accessories that can add additional functionality to your device. Below is a quick recap of the best options available, starting with Alfred.
Note: This is an easy way to get a security camera, but your smart home security camera is not suitable for outdoor use. For more information, check out our list of the best outdoor surveillance cameras.
If you are looking for the best security camera app to turn an old phone into a security item, Alfred is your choice. This beautifully designed app is installed on two phones – one to use your phone's camera as a surveillance camera and one to control all settings and view footage.
Not only do you get streaming material on your phone, Alfred also offers a siren function, bidirectional speaking, motion detection and a low light filter. There is also a "trust circle" where friends can access the camera themselves if necessary. It even works for multiple smartphone-rotated cam devices for in-house surveillance. Versions with costs are available for extended storage functions.
The catch is that you need a pretty advanced smartphone to take advantage of all of these features. Therefore, using a particularly old phone may not be very efficient.
AtHome is another app with useful features including two-way conversation options, night vision and A.I. Learn to recognize moving people in contrast to branches swaying in the wind. There's also a 24/7 mode that lets you see everything the camera has seen in the past 24 hours, so you can quickly search for anything suspicious.
If your phone has the right sensors, it can even start filming automatically when it detects vibrations. Note that there are two versions of the app, one for the phone that acts as a camera and one for your own phone to control. So make sure you download the correct options.
Manything is a free iOS app that you can use to turn your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into a Wi-Fi connected security camera. You can then use a second iOS device as a mobile monitor or keep an eye on things from the Manything web app.
This app offers more than just a surveillance camera. It also has its own IFTTT channel so you can link it to a wide variety of web services and connected devices. For example, if you have Philips Hue lights in your house, you can set them to turn on automatically when Manything detects movement. So your phone doubles as a motion-activated smart switch and a handy tool for keeping your home safe Look like someone is home.
For $ 7, Dormi can take any Android phone or tablet with Gingerbread version 3.2 or higher and use its internet connection and advanced video and audio sensors.
You connect the device to the wall and it works like a normal baby monitor. You can use your primary phone to monitor audio or video in a drop-in style at any time. Another option is to configure the app to automatically notify you when your baby wakes up. It constantly detects ambient noise in a particular room, which activates the notifications. Once your little bundle of joy wakes up and starts crying, you will know.
Cloud baby monitor
The Cloud Baby Monitor app offers you high quality videos and unlimited range via Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE. It's incredibly versatile and functions as either a security camera or a baby monitor.
Cloud Baby Monitor can alert you to noises or movements. When used as a baby monitor, it can play a lullaby or just white noise to help your child sleep better. You can use the monitor to talk to your baby remotely. It's also compatible with Apple Watch – you can get motion or sound alerts right on your wrist. When it comes to baby monitor or home security features, the app is compatible with your Mac too. You can remotely view your baby or home from work (or anywhere else) using iOS.
Unless you're dropping your old phone in for a replacement and upgrade, it's hard to know what to do with it. Old phones can take up space in trash drawers or end up as paperweights that collect dust. So, you might as well take advantage of those old gadgets if you can. With a simple app download, you can reuse that old phone and turn it into a security camera and even a handy baby monitor (and a small and portable one for travel). The benefit of making your baby, whole family and home safer can be incredibly cheap and even free with this innovative phone reuse concept.