Just about every new laptop purchased today is bundled with a built-in web cam. It’s a great accessory for video conferencing, but there are also plenty of other useful things to do with them. This tutorial will demonstrate how to turn just about any web camera into a security camera which will capture any movement it sees using motion technology. No extra components or tools required!
- Windows XP or Vista Computer
- A USB or built-in Camera
- Java Runtime Environment 6 +
- Windows Media Player 9 +
Quick Install Process:
1) Download yawcam.zip and unzip it
2) Click on
yawcam.exe and install it
3) Start Menu -> Start up Yawcam
Note: If you have a USB camera, plug it in before starting up yawcam. If yawcam says “No Device Selected”, go to Settings -> Device -> Change to -> [select your camera]. If you are able to view your camera in the Yawcam Preview window, proceed to the next step.
Setup Motion Detection:
1) Go to Window -> Motion Detection (a new window should appear)
2) Blue lines should appear when you move your hand past the camera.
3) Click on the Actions tab and un-check Play Sound.
4) Select Settings… for Save file and Activate Image array.
5) Finally hit the enable button to begin monitoring!
Note: If you see a lot of static or in the motion detection window, go to the Motion Detection window -> Settings Tab -> Detection Level -> Select Auto detect. Step away from the camera and make sure nothing in it’s line of view is moving while it is adjusting.
At this point any movement past the camera should be captured and will be displayed under the Motion Events list. A date & time stamp along with the percentage of movement detected will be provided with each captured frame. If you would like to save higher quality images into a folder, enable the Save file option found under the Action tab in the Motion Detection window. Optionally, you can ask Yawcam to automatically upload each captured image to an FTP server or email it to yourself.
Yawcam unfortunately can not capture video clips at this time. There are however some paid applications which support that feature. This isn’t exactly the BEST security camera technology, but it is definitely a good start. It is also neat to actually make use of your web cam if your laptop has one built in. The best part of all of this may just the fact that Yawcam is completely free and that it only takes a few minutes to setup. Yawcam does support plenty of advance features, however we will not go through setting those up. Just for example, you can quite easily broadcast and stream your camera to any computer with an internet connection or even play scary sounds when your machine detects motion. Anyways if you know of any better apps or have questions, please reply in the comments or visit our forums.