How to Use iCam

by Elizabeth Smith

    If you've ever wanted to set up a surveillance camera in your home or office, iCam offers a user-friendly, inexpensive way to get started. The iCam system transforms the webcam on your computer or mobile device into a live, streaming video feed that you can watch from any iOS or Android device. With its quick setup process and high capacity, iCam can be used as a nanny cam, a home surveillance system or an extra workplace security measure.

    The iCam system requires the use of two pieces of software: the source file and the monitoring application. The source file, called iCamSource, must be installed on the device that will be used to record video footage. It is available in the Apple App Store for mobile devices and on the SKJM iCam website for Macs or computers running Windows. Once you download and install the source file, iCamSource will walk you through the setup process. The installation wizard will instruct you to choose both a video and an audio source so you can connect onboard or external devices; then, choose a username and password that are easy to remember.

    To see the video feed from your source device, you will need to install the iCam monitoring application. For an iOS device, download the app from the App Store. On an Android, use Google Play or Amazon Apps. Once it is installed on your phone or tablet, enter the username and password you created in iCamSource to connect to the video feed. The application can support up to 16 feeds. To add additional video streams, install iCamSource onto other webcam-equipped devices, making sure to use the same username and password; they will automatically be added to your iCam app.

    When you launch the iCam application, you'll automatically see a split-screen view of each connected camera. In the zoomed-out view, iCam only displays video. To see a full-screen version of the live feed, tap on its preview panel. In the zoomed-in version, you can see the live feed and hear the audio. The app also stores recorded motion events so you can click through quickly to check for anything out of the ordinary. The iCam application works over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G.

    Once iCamSource is connected to your webcam, it will stream video constantly to the iCam app. To make it easier to keep track of events in all of your locations without monitoring iCam around the clock, use the source program's scheduling and motion detection features. In the "Motion Detection" tab of the iCamSource Preferences panel you can set the program to send push notifications to your phone each time the program senses motion in front of the webcam or choose to record footage with each motion event. If you find that iCamSource sends alerts after small, inconsequential movements, adjust the sensitivity slider to the "Less Sensitive" end of the spectrum. The "Schedule" tab enables you to set the camera to record motion events or send push notifications only on specific days and times, which is handy for after-hours and weekend monitoring.

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.

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