Skype, the popular VoIP & messaging client can now be used as an intelligent and simple home monitoring tool. Thanks to SKYCAM, a nice IndieGoGo project launched recently, people can buy an IP-based monitoring webcam which solely relies on Skype to function and which can be easily installed in any important location.
Installation and usage of SKYCAM unit is as simple as it can be, users only having to create a unique Skype account for each camera purchased and link it to the local network. Afterwards, monitoring the premises can be done from a distance, using a conventional computer or any type of smartphone.
How SKYCAM Works?
At its essence, SKYCAM is a stand-alone wireless surveillance system that uses Skype to watch over important locations, such as your home, office, warehouse, and even over those who may need assistance (infants, elders, etc.)
Unlike other systems from the same category, SKYCAM makes use of Skype to translate addresses and to access different video streams. That means it is very simple to use, has a high flexibility degree and purchasing costs are the only fee users may pay. In a traditional system, besides the actual equipment, buyers would have to pay an extra monthly/yearly charges for a DNS server, a charge which in time may add up and become a pile of money.
Another advantage of this system is that remote access is done solely through Skype. In a few words, once the camera is installed and connected to a working internet network, be it through a conventional LAN interface or through Wi-Fi, owners can watch what’s going on by simply calling the SKYCAM camera, through Skype. This is done just like calling another friend from your list and thanks to a range of intelligent functions implemented in the system, SKYCAM will answer calls from authorized friends automatically. For those wondering, if the unit is called from another account, one that is not added in its friends list, it will not be answered and most likely, end up rejected.
SKYCAM also comes with a nice recording feature, which can be activated when you first set-up the camera. Once enabled, the stream will automatically be saved on a small microSD card, which can either have 8 GB or 16 GB of memory. Moreover, SKYCAM can be tweaked to film with night vision and two-way voice communication, allowing conversations between the watcher, and the watched. As for the quality of video, it will be H.264 high quality compression, upto 30 fps.
Using Skype as the medium to monitor and control the security cam is the USP of Skype, but that might as well end up as its Achilles heel. Relying on a third party service for its primary function isn’t wise. Moreover SKYCAM notes this in their ‘Risks and Challenges’ section –
Also, we will go through the certification process with Skype to build a stronger relationship with the popular online video platform.
This means they are yet to get a go-ahead from Skype. There is no reason to believe they can’t get that, but that’s still a big pending hurdle to be crossed over for folks behind SKYCAM.
Availability and price
There are several models of SKYCAM, but the basic unit can be purchased at just $99. An early edition of the system can be purchased for just $95, but all orders will be honored in September, this year. Depending on the configuration desired, those interested can choose to purchase different wall mounts, stands and external memory cards. For more about this interested project, visit IndieGoGo.