Has anyone seens any efforts in recycling used devices for home security? I tried (re)searching, but most the top results are apps and or professional security devices.

I was browsing a thrift shop and noticed couple of android devices for sell. Price was around USD $30 - 40. Which got me started thinking of the possibility of using a android device for home security. I am not talking about the app, but the device itself.

  1. These devices already have wifi connectivity
  2. These devices are easily programmable, more functionality can be easily added.
  3. They have cameras that are pretty good
  4. Think that this might be good use to recycle old electronics.
  5. Even broken devices (glass broken etc.) can be used to a larger extent. So long as device turns on, camera and wifi works, the device can be used for the security.
  6. Many of these devices have focusable cameras. You can remotely control cameras.
  7. Motion sensing algorithm can be developed to operate when there is motion

A custom mod like cyanogen mod with all applications except camera removed can be used in the cases like this. All device needs to do is stream pictures to some server using wifi. I am sure there is open source application that will accept stream from such devices or we can relatively easily alter one of the similar application.

Power/charging problem will have to be solved, but at these prices, you can just replace the device while other one is charging or just replace the battery. Since device is not doing anything else, we might get good mileage for battery life also. Custom mod can switch off the screen which can reduce power consumption

  • What is your question exactly? Is there a specific piece of this you're having trouble with? "What have you all seen people do with spare devices?" is not really a discrete, answerable question. It's basically a poll. – eldarerathis Apr 25 '14 at 19:04
  • Main question is if this idea is feasible? Its possible that other people have tried it or thought about and decided that its not feasible. This is what I am looking for. – user871199 Apr 25 '14 at 19:42

Providing the O/S is up to date enough to run most of the apps at the "store" then it is simply a case of downloading one of the few apps already dedicated for security captures.

There are a few apps that allow pictures to be taken and uploaded via ftp and one I seen had a motion sensor option.

Another option would be a vnc type connection so you can manually control the functions of the recycled phones.

Again if the phone is able to run these programs, these apps already exist.

If you were writing the code you would need to target early versions of android o/s to find your niche among the other cool apps that do what you are picturing.

If you are asking if anyone has had the idea to use these "recycled" phones and redistribute them in one way or another, I have never seen any that market used smartphones as a security network. There are projects that can activate old phones for the needy, some that donate to soldiers, and a few that recycle the precious metals inside but I have yet to find any that fit your question as asked.

However for the prices mentioned you can get dedicated IP cameras for close to the same cost. If your company were to take donated phones with the intent of refurbishing and redistributed to the "under privileged" or lower income families for extra security you may have a better chance of attracting supporters / backers.

Interesting concept, absolutely feasible, I hope you are successful.

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