can use it for any monitoring
application. Some of the features of
this unit are:
• Day or night vision. Camera has
infrared (IR) lights that illuminate a
dark room and the camera has IR
sensing. It can see up to 16 feet in
• Motion detection. Alerts you if
motion is detected in the viewing
• Digital zoom remotely and
manual lens focus.
• Sound detection. Camera also
contains a microphone that picks up
any audio in the viewing area.
• Two-way audio. Unit has a
speaker that lets you talk to someone
in the viewing range via your
smartphone or tablet.
• Temperature measurement. The
antenna-like appendage on the
camera in Figure 2 is a temperature
sensor that lets you remotely view
the temperature in the camera
• All camera features and settings
can be controlled remotely on a cell
• Mounting hardware is provided if
you need it.
Most other Internet
cameras have similar features,
but a lot are bare-bones units
with no frills. Check before you
To set up the
download the app.
For this camera, there
is both an Apple
iPhone app and one
for Android phones.
Store or Google Play to get the
free app. Open it and begin
the installation process. Step-by-step directions are given to
link the camera to your local
Wi-Fi network. Once the setup
is complete, click on the
appropriate icon and begin
monitoring. You will probably
have to adjust the focus
manually to get a clear view,
While no babies were involved
with my camera, my wife and I have
used it to check on the house while
we were away for the weekend. We
were able to discover what was
mashing the flowers on the front
porch during the night. The
camera clearly picked up the
stray cat doing the damage.
Overall, the camera gives you
some sense of security and
control when you are not at
WHAT IS AVAILABLE?
The D-Link unit I used cost
under $200, but it is a high-end
unit. You can easily find lower
cost units. Here are a few other
Internet cameras I have
discovered. One widely
promoted camera is the
Dropcam ( www.dropcam.com).
It comes in two versions: one with a
130 degree field of view and an 8x
zoom for $199; and a 107 degree
field of view with 4x zoom for $149.
It too has both iPhone and Android
apps. Samsung also has a comparable
camera called the SmartCam. Both
the Dropcam and Samsung units are
1080p HD. Another source is X10 --
the company that makes a variety of
home automation gadgets. They have
some low cost video cams for around
the $100 range. Check them out at
www.x10.com. For lots of resources
on video cameras and surveillance,
go to www.ipmv.com
ANYTHING TO THE
Connecting almost anything to
the Internet is getting easier as
practically all semiconductor and
electronics companies are seeking
Go to www.nutsvolts.com/index.php?/magazine/article/november2014_OpenComm to comment on this article.
November 2014 69
THE LATEST IN NETWORKING AND WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES
Remote home monitoring can
be achieved with a low cost
camera and a remote viewing
device like a smartphone,
tablet, or laptop.
; FIGURE 2. The D-Link DCS-825L Internet
camera is sold as a baby monitor, but you
can use it for many other applications. It
includes IR dark viewing, as well as two-way voice communications.
; FIGURE 3. Texas Instruments’ SimpleLink
CC3100/CC3200 ICs are an Internet-on-a
Chip, making Io T easy.