If there’s a word I would use to describe the latest trend in personal technology it’s integration. There once was a time when the Mac was known as the digital hub. Now it’s just another device that syncs up with our other computing devices.
Here’s how to turn your Mac in to a home alarm system and use your iPhone to check on what your Mac sees at home.
The Mac app is called Witness. It turns your Mac’s iSight camera into a motion detector, a sensor that watches your home or office or dorm room for motion.
Once motion is detected, Witness uses the camera to snap a photo or video and then sends it to your iPhone or iPad.
First, create a Witness account on the app’s web site. Witness will work with multiple Macs on the same account. Then, download and install Witness on your Macs and set it up as a motion detector.
On your Mac, Witness lives in the Menubar, but you can also change settings by using the Mac’s System Preferences preference pane.
Finally, download the free app for your iPhone or iPad. From the remote device you can arm or disarm the Witness alarm on your Mac back at home or in the office. You get a notification whenever the alarm has been activated and you can view photos and video of the intruder.
There’s even a setting to restrict motion detection to human faces which may be closer to the Mac’s camera. This is particularly handy if you have pets at home, or fellow workers near your cubicle at the office, or if you share a dorm room.
There’s also a setting to trigger an AppleScript when the motion detector alarm is activated so you can customize what your Mac does when motion is detected.
The only real negative here is that Witness can only detect what your Mac can see while using the iSight camera. So, if the room is dark Witness may not detect any motion.
It’s becoming easier to see the trend where we stay in contact with our devices all the time. What’s next? A refrigerator app that tells us when we need to buy more food?