Smartphones converted into home cameras

New apps can now transform old smartphones into home monitering systems.

Apple Inc senior Vice President Phil Schiller reveals the new iPhone 5 on 12 September, 2012. Picture: Reuters.

TORONTO - New apps can transform old smartphones into remote security cameras for home monitoring systems.

Presence, which was launched in late April, converts a spare Internet-connected iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a free video camera with real-time video and audio streaming, and motion detection and notifications.

Gene Wang, chief executive of the Palo Alto, California-based company People Power said, "Essentially we give you an inexpensive security system that you can use to monitor your house, or help you watch your kids, cats, elderly relatives or act as a baby or nanny cam."

Wang said that Presence is a free do-it-yourself system that can be set up simply by downloading and configuring the app.

To use it consumers install and login to their account on two devices for example two iPhones.

Then they can start the camera within the app on one of the devices and it can be viewed from the app on the other.

Triggers can also be set to record when motion is detected and to send alerts.

Wang further explained, "With these high-end security systems, you have a lot of false positives and then the security company and police come out and it turns out it was your cat knocking over a broom or something like that."

He added that many people have replaced their old smartphones with new ones and a monitoring system would be a good way to make use of the old devices.