Using an old phone or tablet as a webcam

I’ve just discovered that it’s really easy to use an old phone or tablet as a webcam that can be viewed and recorded from my current phone. there are various apps out there that’ll do this. I’m trying Alfred on Android, took about 30 seconds to set up

Is there a way I can integrate this into Smartthings?

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If you are okay with using IFTTT to integrate between SmartThings and the camera, Camio is an option


Testing Camio myself at the moment, don’t see a way to integrate directly into ST yet.

Might I suggest changing your category away from the UK & Ireland Specific News & Discussion as you might get more help from the US customer base with services that may still apply to your situation. I brought this up before but many of us just breeze right over topics in that category because we figure we can’t help.

Check out Android IP Camera Device. This is for pictures only in SmartThings, not streaming video.

Here is another option:

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As @pizzinini says, I use ManyThings with IFTTT and ST. Works well and the free account can store up to 4 hours of video capture.

I have mine capturing 15 mins of footage when a motion detector gets triggered so I can store 16 videos - I then setup IFTTT app on mobile to notify me when triggered so I can quickly assess if it’s a genuine intruder



The only issue with Manything is that it is iOS.
That certainly may help others who come across the thread, but @Alec_Howson was looking for Android based on what his post said (using Alfred on Android).

It is definitely a viable option if you have a spare iOS device though!

There is a beta version for Android, but frankly, I’m satisfied with Alfred. There’s no integration currently (i.e., no IFTTT, etc.) but it suits my needs, since there’s no automated action I would want SmartThings to do based on a motion alert from the camera anyway.

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Interesting to see it on Android (especially since IFTTT specifically mentions iPhone, iPad, and iPod).
A lot of people would love to use that on some of the cheap android tablets floating around I’m sure. Set it up on a dock or a cheap wallmount and it’s a super cheap semi-security notification system.

I am testing Manyting since a couple of days back. I am using the Android beta and I am having some stability issues but it is promising. I will borrow a iphone from a friend today to see if stability improves.

I do actually have an old iphone 3GS. I wonder if it still works, I will look for it later

& I’ll check out the beta manythings

The main thing i want to be able to do is automatic video / snap shots on detection of movement when SHM is armed

@Alec_Howson I’m running it on a 3GS.

I really do need to find a decent wall mount for it though :smile:

You can almost do the same thing with the standalone Alfred app I mentioned earlier. It can’t react to SHM state, but it does automatically notify you and take a short video clip when motion is detected… and it offers to eneable/disable motion detection when it senses you have left or are in home wifi range.

thanks Bob

it’s up and running now. just got my first false alarm, i’ll try turning down the sensitivity

would be perfect if it’d set to motion detection automatically on departure

You could achieve some level of integration with IP Webcam Pro + SharpTools + Tasker.

IP Webcam Pro turns your Android device into a webcam and has integration points with Tasker. SharpTools is a set of Tasker plugins for SmartThings which enables you to control your things, change modes, and run routines. And Tasker is an automation platform for Android that acts as the glue between IP Webcam Pro and SharpTools.

I’m sure there’s a number of ways to use this, but I could see it used for:

  • Creating virtual motion devices
  • Toggling the LED on the phone (camera)
  • Recording video or taking a snapshot based on other smart devices
    • eg. Take a photo when a door opens or motion is detected
  • Using physical (or virtual) switches to start and stop recording
  • Using Alexa or other voice integration to control recording

Here’s some of the Tasker integration options from IP Webcam Pro:

PS. For the record, I’ve never used IP Webcam Pro, but this discussion piqued my interest, so I bought a copy of the app to play with. :smile:


You don’t even need to use an old phone. Useful tablets are available starting at like $40, with much more current OS than your three year old phone.

I just got one for $50. It is functioning as my Smartthings control panel. You pick it up and the screen goes on, and the home screen has Sharptools widgets to manually control the priority things. In the background it is detecting bluetooth presences, and it is in always-listening mode so even when it’s dormant I am saying “ok Google, unlock the front door” and it’s working.

So last night I added video monitoring to it via its front camera. It also senses vibrations… I’m going to make a simple wood stand for it, and have it sit on a table in the corner of my living room.

This is progressing so rapidly that I am seriously considering replacing multiple banks of light switches with such tablet control panels. Given that a single smart switch is as expensive as a tablet, why not simply eliminate the switch leg entirely and control the bulb ‘directly’ via the tablet? Especially when said tablet can perform so many other useful duties.

Not doing all that right now of course, it requires a bit of research and experimentation. But it sure would be an interesting approach.


Alfred, Camio are good choices for using an old phone as a webcam. Actually, there are other tools which allow us to use iPhone as webcam easily too. So if you don’t have webcam at hands, you still can chat with your friends on Skype, Facebook, etc.

here is the method given
Use Android Mobile as a webcam via USB in Windows 10