BSS – Brainfusion Surveillance System

BSS app iconLast weekend I sat down and built a surveillance system, including an iPhone webapp, for my apartment using my old iBook, an external iSight, the Webcam Software EvoCam and a set of scripts in AppleScript, PHP and some shell scripts.

The whole thing is pretty custom made but I’ll document it here anyway and with a basic understanding of the technology it should be fairly easy to reproduce with whatever hardware you have available. At the end of the post you’ll find a ZIP file with all the scripts I used in the setup.

The set up

  • The iBook has the iSight connected and pointed at the entrance door.
  • iBook is using MAMP to serve PHP scripts and produces some audible confirmation messages.
  • The iPhone webapp shows if the system is armed or not, can start or stop EvoCam, lists all the available surveillance videos and offers a link to the live video stream.
BSS CTRL center

BSS CTRL center

Read on for the whole article with a detailed explanation of all components.
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Morning News Update, November 5 2010

  • New Skype Beta for Mac
    Skype released a new Beta client for Mac OS X yesterday. The most important changes are:

    • Effortless search integrating the Mac AddressBook
    • Group Video calling has finally arrived on the Mac
    • New call control bar that let’s you monitor the most important infos about ongoing calls in a little overlay window
    • Completely revamped User Interface

    The UI part is what has the most impact from my point of view, so it’s probably best to watch the following little video that explains all of the updates:

  • Apple accepts App submissions to it’s upcoming Mac App Store
    Now it’s time to get your software App Store ready and submit them via iTunes Connect.
    The Mac App Store’s launch might be imminent.
  • Last.fm Kinect Application
    To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to Microsofts Kinect launch previously, but now a very funny blog post by Last.fm highlighted a few features of this interesting technology and introduced a Kinect application that can control your music.
  • Google Chrome gets a PDF viewer
    I really like using Google Chrome for all my browsing habits, since it’s fast and feels very light, compared to Firefox or  Safari. The only thing I really missed from Safari, was the ability to view PDF documents in the Browser without having to download them and start another application. Now the newest Google Chrome Beta version includes PDF viewing support. The feature will be implemented in the next stable update.
  • A funny little picture explaining what your phone says about you

    What your phone says about you

    What your phone says about you (click for larger version)

Morning News Update, October 21 2010

  • Apple announces Mac OS X Lion with some superb new features. OS X Lion will be available in Summer 2011.
  • In about 90 days Apple will open an App Store for OS X Apps, thereby bringing iOS closer to it’s desktop sibling.
  • FaceTime is now available for OS X so you can start video chats between iOS devices and OS X desktop computers.
  • Apple updates the iLife Software suite with some nice improvements.
  • There will be a new MacBook Air.
  • Boxee Box Starts Shipping November 10
    Amazon will start shipping the Boxee Box to customers on November 10, with other retailers throughout the world offering the device beginning on November 17 both online and in stores.
  • If you read yesterdays Morning News Update you know about the discussion between Apple iOS and Google Android about being “open”, my thoughts about it and what Joe Hewitt twittered. Now Joe Hewitt posted an article on his blog, clearing up a few of his statements.