Sensr Netcam Android App Configuration and Use

Update: The Sensr Netcam is no longer available.

Sensr Netcam is a simple App that turns your Android device into a wireless surveillance camera.  With it you can use an Android phone as a portable “Nanny-cam” or “Pet-cam” or to monitor your hotel room while you’re traveling.  Android devices are dropping in price, and we should see $100 Android tablets incorporating cameras in the very near future.  Sensr Netcam takes advantage of the economies of scale of the Android hardware market to provide you with a high-quality network camera incorporating the rock-solid WiFi implementation already used in millions of Android devices.

Sensr Netcam continuously sends JPEG images from your Android device to Sensr.net at rates of up to one frame per second. Once on Sensr.net, your images are processed, cataloged and stored where they can be viewed or shared with friends.

Sensr Netcam can operate on WiFi or 3G so its possible to use it in “on-the-go” scenarios that aren’t possible with wired network cameras. You can use Sensr Netcam in your car or while on foot to upload images of your whereabouts to Sensr.net in real time. Since Sensr Netcam automatically keeps image compression high and frame-rates low, you can use it with your 3G data plan too.

Configuration

You must log into your Sensr.net account.  Go to your cameras page at http://sensr.net/cameras/owned and create a new camera there.  From the camera creation process you will need the following three pieces of information:

  1. The upload hostname (i.e. “f7.sensr.net”)
  2. The upload username (i.e. “cam453”)
  3. The upload password (i.e. “ezxy89sf2d”)

Now, launch the Sensr Netcam app on your Android.  (Make sure your Android device is on a good network first!) Because your app has not been configured, you will see an error message in the “Status” line – this is normal.  Click the “Edit” button at the bottom of the preview screen to go to the Preferences panel.

  1. Use the drop-down “Server:” list to select the upload hostname that you were given.
  2. Enter the upload username (i.e. “cam453”) in the “User” field.
  3. Enter the upload password (i.e. “ezxy89sf2d”) in the “Password” field.
  4. Click the Done button.

Preferences Panel for the Android App

If all has gone well, your App is now configured for use with Sensr.net and it has begun uploading images.  Sensr Netcam transmits images as long as it is running.  To stop it, close the program by using the Android BACK (<-) button.

Sensr Netcam saves its Preferences settings on your Android.  You should not need to configure the Server, Username or Password again.  The next time you start Sensr Netcam it will begin transmitting immediately.

Status Messages

As Sensr Netcam processes your images, it displays a one-line status message at the bottom of the viewfinder.  The number in the status is the total number of images processed since the app was started.  The text after the number is the status of the last upload attempt.

Status Message at the bottom of the Viewfinder

The messages you may expect to see are one of the following:

  • Status NNN: Upload OK
    • your image was successfully uploaded and received by Sensr.net
  • Status NNN: Error – Bad User Name
    • you have entered an invalid camera name
  • Status NNN: Error – Bad Password
    • your camera name was found, but the password does not match
  • Status NNN: HTTP Error
    • unspecified error in HTTP
  • Status NNN: Network Timeout
    • your device could not reach the network
  • Status NNN: Unknown exception upload
    • your device had a problem connecting to the network

On-The-Go Operation

Sensr Netcam begins transmitting as soon as it is launched.

  1. Make sure your Android device is on a network (WiFi or 3G).
  2. Launch the “Sensr Netcam” App.
  3. Use the viewfinder image to position the camera where you want it.

While running, Sensr Netcam prevents your Android device from powering off.  You may notice the screen dimming after a while, however, as your Android device dims the backlights to save power.

Software Compatibility

Sensr Netcam is compiled for Android 2.2.

Hardware Compatibility

This is a list of device that Sensr Netcam is known to work well with.

  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7″
  • Motorola DroidX

Incompatible Hardware

  • Sensr.net will keep this list up to date with incompatibility notes.