High Flying Bird captured by Gotya motion detection app in high quality picture mode on Lumia 925 Windows Phone 8
While video surveillance/security/monitoring apps capture video at 30 frames per second (fps), Gotya photo surveillance can capture up to 15 fps when set to high-speed motion detection. This means that you will not miss anything and be able to capture a detailed record of a motion triggered event, while realizing the benefits of photo survellance namely low upstream bandwidth usage, ability to operate on slower speed mobile data networks (2.5/3G) or slower WiFi, if high-speed WiFi is not available or is too costly, and capturing only the frames that contain motion.
And as mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) track Moore’s Law and continuously get faster CPUs, more RAM, and faster network chips, Gotya leverages that into ever faster picture capture frame rates – 15 fps may not be the maximum.
To illustrate Gotya in high-speed (high frame rate / fps) motion detection mode, we used a Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 which is a 1 year and 8 months old device (began shipping in September 2012). This device has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU (Dual-core 1.5 GHz ) and 1024 MB RAM. One of Gotya’s core benefits is enabling consumers to use their old smartphones and tablets as motion detection cameras. A 20-month old device is representative of a real world use case, where smartphones are typically updated after 18-24 months (and often times even faster with upgrade programs like T-Mobile JUMP).
To set Gotya for high-speed motion detection, go into Camera->Advanced Settings and set Object motion all the way to fast (20) as shown below.
Then aim and calibrate the Gotya motion detection camera as usual – the setup for this example is shown below. The important thing to note about calibration and how it affects motion detection / frame capture speed is that the smaller the active window, the faster the motion detection gets. In this example, we’ve set the active window to about 80% of the camera viewfinder to cover the path to detect anyone walking on it and to ignore motion outside of the active window. If the active window was say 50%, motion detection speed would increase proportionally.
The GIF below shows 32 frames captured in 4 seconds by Gotya with the above settings. Included below the GIF are the first and last picture in the sequence from the Gotya Web Gallery, with timestamp in the top left corner. The first timestamp is 11:16:38 and the last timestamp is 11:16:42 = total of 4 seconds.
This means Gotya running in fast motion detection mode on a 20-month old device captured 8 frames/second.
In a future post when Gotya for Android is released (in the coming weeks), we’ll compare the frame rate capture of the 18-month old Lumia 820 to a Google-Asus Nexus 7 (2013) Android tablet which is 10 months old as of the date of this post, and has a quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and 2GB RAM. After that we’ll benchmark a a current device that started shipping in 2014. This will illustrate the effect of Moore’s law on Gotya’s maximum frame rate capture and we expect to be approaching or exceeding 15 fps as claimed at the top of this post.
(Featured Image courtesy of www.empirecinemas.co.uk )
Calibrating your Gotya camera is an important step to ensure that motion detection is executing in the area of the camera viewfinder that you want, as well as detecting the right minimum object size. Setting the “active window” size and location determines where Gotya detects motion within the camera viewfinder. Setting the minimum object size enables you to filter out smaller objects and reduces false alerts. For example, if you want to detect a human size object, you can set the object size accordingly and therefore the movement of smaller objects (such as small animals, or tree branches blowing in the wind) will be filtered out.
You can calibrate the camera two different ways:
1) directly on the device you’re using as the camera by tapping on the calibration icon from the Gotya camera menu.
2) from the device you’re using as the camera remote controller using remote calibration
In some use cases, the placement/positioning of the smartphone that you’re using as the Gotya camera makes it difficult or impossible to see the camera viewfinder and to access the touch screen with your fingers to adjust the calibration settings. This happens when the phone is mounted against a wall or other barrier, is placed high up out of reach , or is otherwise difficult or impossible to reach. This is when remote calibration comes in very handy. Note: regardless of whether you calibrate the camera directly on the device or remotely, the calibration user interface/ user experience (UI/UX) is identical so you only have to learn one way to do it.
To remotely calibrate your Gotya camera, follow these steps (note: the camera and the remote controller must be connected to the Gotya Cloud Service. You connect to the Gotya Cloud Service by tapping on Service Account from the main menu, then logging in with your email address and password from the login screen).
1) Mount the device you’re using as the camera and take your best guess at aiming/orienting it to capture the area that you want to detect motion in.
2) Take a remote snapshot from the device you’re using as the remote controller to see if you’ve got the camera aimed correctly. Repeat 1) and 2) until you have the camera aimed correctly.
3) From the remote controller, tap on calibration.
4) You will see the calibration main menu. From here you can set the active window and the minimum object size as explained in the on-screen instructions.
5) In this example I’ve set the active window to detect motion of a person walking up the path, and filtering out motion that occurs above the active window in the viewfinder.
6) Next I set the minimum object size to roughly the size of a person, thereby filtering out smaller moving objects.
Now that I have the camera aimed and calibrated as I want, I can go ahead and start the camera and start motion detection, picture capture, and alerting when somebody walks on the path.
In the wake of a teenage stowaway scaling the perimeter fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport undetected and then hiding in an airplane wheel well on a flight to Hawaii, a Bay Area congressman is calling for tougher perimeter security include motion detection technology which would immediately alert airport security personnel to take action.
Motion detection and alerting technology is essential to ensure that security personnel are proactively alerted when someone is moving in a secured area. This augments basic video surveillance where hours and hours of video may have been recorded that contains footage of the moving person, but without motion detection and alerting in addition to the the video recording, is of no use if no one is monitoring the video in real time or misses the activity because of having to view multiple video monitors, lapsed attention spans, or falling asleep.
A similiar incident occured at 1 World Trade Center recently for the exact same reason – video surveillance was in place but no one was alerted to the moving person.
Protect your perimeter and get your own motion detection and alerting technology with Gotya. If something moves Gotya detects, captures pictures, and alerts you immediately.
If you’re one of the millions of consumers using a Web or IP security camera (such as Foscam, Belkin, Insteon, Dropcam to name but a few) with an accompanying mobile app (Android or iOS) to monitor it, make sure you change the default login (username and password) immediately as a basic security measure to prevent hackers from accessing your camera and doing really stupid and creepy things like this. In Foscam’s defense, this incident probably involved a Foscam device simply because they’re so popular. It could have been any Webcam or baby monitor from any manufacturer. In addition, Foscam recently updated the camera’s firmware to prompt users to change the default login and they have also recently published a list of tips for consumers to secure their cameras on the Foscam blog.
As reported by ReadWrite, something called the Shodan search tool is one way Internet connected device hackers can identify targets so if there’s a “Google search for connected devices” out there, this is serious business and users should be on red alert to take action to secure their cameras.
And it’s not just Internet connected cameras that consumers need to be vigilant to ensure they’re secured – it’s Internet connected thermostats, door locks, lights, appliances, motion and contact sensors, sprinklers – literally any gadget with an IP address connected to the Internet. As the Internet of Things continues to expand well into the tens of billions of devices, gadgets, and sensors of all sorts, online gadget hacking is only going to increase. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly secure your connected devices.
For a low cost remote controlled security camera that uses your old smartphone and that doesn’t even have a default login and therefore can’t be susceptible to that type of attack, check out Gotya.