How Can I Yell At My Dog Using My IP Camera And Smartphone?

So here is my beginning IP camera experiment: I would like to be alerted and then see recorded or even live video feed of when my dog starts nosing around a trash can when I'm not home. I have a cheap Foscam IP PT camera aimed at the trash can and surrounding area...this camera even has 2 way audio that somewhat works (with some lag)...Here is the challenge...How can I be alerted on my 3G iPhone very soon after a motion has been detected in the Foscam FOV and then see live or recently recorded video? I would then like to be able to use the 2 way audio feature to yell at my dog "No!" I understand that there would probablly be tremendous A/V lag over 3G, but even being able to get out a loud "No" within 5 to 10 seconds would work. Still the missing piece of the puzzle to me is how does one watch recorded video events via a smartphone or tablet on 3G or 4G?...is there some type of monthly cloud service for storing IP video?....does the Foscam free DDNS service (or others like it) come with the ability to store video files? Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks, John


John, good question. This strikes me as generally feasible, though there's some specific functions / features one needs to check on:

  • "Be alerted and then see recorded or even live video feed of when my dog starts nosing around a trash can when I'm not home" - first step would be to configure a motion detection zone around the trash can
  • Risk in motion detection is that it might go off if the dog just walks by so it might take some tweaking to figure out where to apply it to minimize that; also not sure how well it will work in low light
  • Cameras often automatically record snapshots or short video clips when motion is detected (need to check Foscam settings)
  • Most cameras have an option to send alerts via email of motion detected (as we discussed earlier, we are not Foscam experts)
  • "how does one watch recorded video events via a smartphone or tablet on 3G or 4G?". There seems to be a bunch of Foscam apps that do this (here's a highly rated one though that app does not claim supporting recorded video). What you could do is get the BlueIris VMS you mentioned earlier and then get their app to review recorded video.
  • I do not think the Foscam free DDNS service comes with any storage. That would be more like the Dropcam camera service (which actually would work very well for this scenario but is $149 to $199 for a camera).

John W., funny you ask this. I do this very thing at the house using several Foscam FI8910W cameras and the foscam pro app on my iphone. Cameras have a built in motion (and sound alert) feature that generates 6 still frame images of the motion and sends them to a dedicated email address I have set up. Within seconds of the motion I receive the alert with images on my iphone. If its the dogs, I can log into the camera via the app and yell at the them:-) I'm using DynDns ($25year) for my dns service and set up port forwarding through my router. The Blue Iris software does a great job as low cost vms solution, but I don't use it at all... l;ve hooked up a set of PC speakers since the speaker in the camera is junk.

Joel, Thanks. Good to hear!

Thanks for the detailed reply John...I checked out the link to the Dropcam HD test and through that the VSaaS Basics Training....both look great and are going on my reading list....right under all of the reading I'm currently doing to get caught up on the IP Camera course. I think it's a blessing/curse that there are so many useful hyperlinks in the tutorials...I start on one tutorial and in 20 mins I have 8 different tabs open...lol

Thanks for the info Joel...I have the same model Foscam...I'll definitely check out the Blue Iris software... the most helpful favorable review for Blue Iris at Amazon.com is actually very in depth....Looks like this guy set it up to get a text on his iPhone in 6 to 10 seconds after a trigger. Just curious how your set up works with remote dog obedience? Can you see the dogs react to your voice after you yell at them? Is there much lag over 3G or 4G? Can you have a basic conversation with someone via the iPhone on 3G or 4G? Thanks, John W.

Actually works well. The dogs stop and look at the camera when I talk. Ive noticed a small delay over 4g, but its not an issue at all. I use the cameras to check in on the kids and talk to them when I'm gone. It is easy to have a conversation. The built in mic is great.

What kind of costs are generally involved with the type of technololgy you are speaking of? You don't need to figure in the monthly internet provider/service unless the equipment requires a dedicated ISP. Thanks

Mark, which 'technology'? You mean the Foscam camera referenced here? That's super inexpensive - $79 on Amazon. We bought one to do a quick test (expect it to be published in the next month).

Yes, that is the one John. Sounds very interesting. I am still using the izon, but have noticed less reliable motion detection reports since they updated the App last time. l look forward to more testing of Foscam you mentioned.