Motion sensing webcam
Any USB webcam can be turned into motion sensing camera by using one of the many motion detection applications.
Most of these applications are easy to configure and will run in the background analyzing webcam picture and checking it for possible motion. High-end applications allow plenty of fine-tuning. You can specify area that needs to be checked, date/time parameters and what to do with detected motion (saving picture on disk and sending email alert is a common configuration)
I want to point out couple of disadvantages of software-based motion detection
- Your computer must be always running
- If your computer gets stolen – you will not see saved motion images
So if you decided to use software-based motion sensing web camera – make sure to configure FTP upload for detected motion pictures and consider using power saving features of your PC to save on electricity.
I believe that this is still a step up from older versions that use CCTV analogue video cameras and recorded directly onto a video recorder. These systems were expensive and had the same vulnerabilities, primarily because, the cable which connects them can be cut, the video footage destroyed, or stolen.
Using online motion sensing webcam service will provide with online storage for your images and videos and you get to keep all the images even if PC is stolen or damaged. Video recordings are highly compressed, storage is much more efficient. Images can be sent to a server, and recorded 24/7.
And if you buy a wireless IP camera – then you no longer need a computer and network cables to setup your own motion sensing camera. Expensive IP cameras also produce a far superior image – so you do get what you pay for.