MonitorCam is a motion detection program from Lightning Cube Software that can be used to easily set up an inexpensive home security system. By simply connecting a web camera to your computer and running MonitorCam, you can start monitoring your home, work area or computer. Whether to catch any thief trying to run away with your computer or simply to monitor when activity occurs in a part of your home, MonitorCam is the solution for you.
MonitorCam uses a webcamera connected to the USB port of your computer and performs motion detection on the captured video stream. You can configure MonitorCam to set its detection sensitivity level, to tell it what amount of motion should be considered to be an intrusion event and to generate alarms. MonitorCam has the ability to generate audible alarm sounds when significant motion is detected, to capture images on disc, and to send e-mail alerts with image attachments. In this way, even if in the worst case your computer gets stolen, you will have captured the entire event and have it sent to your email account.
When MonitorCam starts, it will automatically search for any USB web camera(s) attached to the computer and will connect with the first camera found. If no camera is found or the connection to the camera is lost, MonitorCam will continue checking every few seconds until a new connection is established. This automatic re-connection is quite a useful feature, especially if you leave MonitorCam running on its own for extended periods of time.
To start motion detection, press the button shown on the left hand side.
A delay exists between the time the motion detection button is pressed until motion detection actually starts. The intention of this delay is so that the user can leave the room or exit the field of view of the camera without triggering any alarms by his/her departure. The length of this delay can be configured by the user (pressing the 'Setup' button). MonitorCam displays a countdown (number of seconds left) overlaid on the image as a visual aid to the user.
Once motion detection actually starts, any motion detected within the field of view is displayed on screen enclosed in red boxes. Once a significant amount of motion is detected for a pre-defined amount of time, a motion alert is triggered. It is important to note the difference between detecting motion and detecting 'significant motion'. Even in an empty scene, some small amounts of motion may be detected occasionally. These can be caused by such things as light reflections, changes in illumination, errors caused by the normally low quality video of web cameras and compression artefacts. By checking for large amounts of motion in each video frame and that the motion persists over a certain period of time, MonitorCam is able to eliminate insignificant motion
Depending on what alerts have been configured, once significant motion has been detected MonitorCam can:
1. generate a sound alarm,
2. save images to disc, and
3. send email alerts with image attachments.