After a few failed attempts I’ve finally got my gangster security camera working. Well you could use it for anything I suppose. A few people have already told me it would be great for watching their cat while they were at work, I’ll pass on that use for now.
I’m using a cheap infrared motion sensor attached to an arduino to capture human motion. I’ve placed it inside a cup to limit the area it detects since I’m at work and there are a lot of people moving around. The arduino simply reads if motion is detected or if the motion has stopped. This data is then passed through the serial port and read by processing.
In my processing sketch I’m using a port.readChar(); method to return an integer. 1 for motion detected and 0 for motion stopped. I can then run a simple if statement. If motion detected I trigger a takePicture(); function I wrote.
This is where it gets more interesting. The function uses the computers webcam to take a photo and save it to the desktop. That image is also uploaded to twitpic at the same time, auto-tweeting the person who activated the camera. Most of the time is was just weird pictures of me since I was in front of the camera, but if you aim it towards the sensor you’ll capture the person or cat if that’s your thing who set it off.
Other than misspelling my twitter password and losing a couple hours trying to figure out why it wasn’t working, this wasn’t to bad of a project. There are some awesome libraries out there that make things easy.
For those of you in advertising who are wondering why this us useful, it’s a simple example of how the physical and digital world is going to increasingly collide. The ability for physical devices to interact with the internet and vicev ersa is going to become increasingly important and brands will look to interactive art directors to come up with innovative ways to help them connect with consumers.