I recently installed a simple video surveillance system at a facility I work.
The main goal is to know who (and when) entered our server room. Currently the setup features a tiny Philips USB cam connected to a Linux server (running Debian Sarge). At a later Stage this webcam will be replaced by a proper network camera (or even several cameras).
The software I used is called Motion – a relatively easy to set up video surveillance system that does motion detection (…and much, much more). Motion detection is ideal for my purpose because the room is normally completely dark unless somebody enters it and switches on the light.
Now every time somebody comes in, a short video is produced and saved on our server. I made a web accessible filesystem alias to the video directory, so I could check whether there was new footage available. This process was not automated enough for me, so I slapped together a short (und ugly) PHP script that takes the contents of the video directory and delivers it as a RSS feed that I can now subscribe to with my news reader.
Some photos of the former chaos in our server room and it’s extinction can be viewed here.
special thanks to Herbert for having the idea 😉