If you have an old phone lying in a drawer, don’t sell it for a fraction of what you paid. If it can still power on, you can put it to good use. You can turn an old phone into a makeshift Google Home speaker, a baby monitor or more interestingly, a wireless security camera or system.
Step One: Get a Security Camera App Running on The Phone
To get started, you will need to select and install a security camera app on your phone. Most of them offer many similar features such as cloud and local streaming, recording and storing footage both locally and remotely, motion detection and alerts.
Once you complete the setup, you can monitor your living area while controlling your security camera on your current phone from anywhere. One of the best apps for setting up your phone as a security camera is Alfred. It is a cross-platform app, so it doesn’t matter if your old or current phone is an iPhone or Android. If both phones are Android, you could make use of IP Webcam and if both are iPhones, then Manything is a reliable free choice as well.
Step Two: Pick a Suitable Spot to Position Your Camera
After you have gotten the stream up and running, you will have to pick a position where your new security camera will be placed. A likely spot would be focused on the main entry point to your home, the place where you keep your valuable items, your backyard, or a place you feel is the most vulnerable. If you have more than one older phone, you can set up multiple cameras for wider video coverage.
Step Three: Mount and Power up Your Security Camera(s)
In order to mount or position your camera in a discreet place, you can use a small tripod or suction cup car mount. If you want to broaden the field of view, you can opt for a wide-angle lens for your device. These run between $5-$20 online.
Streaming video consumes a lot of power and your old phone will be switched on all the time. To prevent it from dying, place it close to a power source. In order to add some flexibility to where you position the camera, consider using a 10-foot Micro-USB.
Pros & Cons of Turning Your Old Smartphone into Camera
There are visible advantages of using your old smartphone camera as a security feature, but you must understand that the utility of this option is very situational. The biggest advantage of this camera is that it is inconspicuous and small.
But, if you need a camera with a better resolution that will work as the main security camera, it is often better to pick out a professional security camera. This may change in the future once current smartphones become obsolete, but the capabilities of old phone cameras are currently quite restricted.
If you need a good home security camera, it is better to go with something like the Wyze Cam that has a larger lens and included night vision. Additionally, it works with Amazon Alexa and is completely capable of connecting to your system.
If you have a big home and you feel the need to keep an eye on certain areas, or you just have a particular area to monitor, you can create a nice security system with an old phone(s). It’s a cheap, workable way to create a safety system for your home.