Monday, May 16, 2011

Home Security "MacGyver-style" with Twilio and Arduino

Acorv wins our first Twilio sponsored challenge, Getting Physical with Twilio, with a super cool Intruder Detection mashup with Arduino and Twilio SMS. In Acorv's own words:
"I've developed a simple alarm system. It uses a webcam for input and the Twilio REST API for notifications. Using VLC media player, the system captures webcam input at regular intervals. With basic image processing, it detects changes on the surveilled scene. When a change is detected, the system saves every captured frame for a period of time. Saved frames are encoded into a short video. The video is made available through a website. Using the Twilio REST API, an SMS is sent, notifying the incident and providing a link to the online video. When the SMS is received, the user can view the video and decide whether it's a false alarm or a real intrusion."
This is our first Twilio sponsored challenge and we were waiting for their announcement and notification to Acorv before announcing the results of the challenge. Acorv came second last week with his Facebook Scoreboard Application, so he's definitely on a roll.

Intruder Alert from acorv on Vimeo.


  1. This is a REALLY cool project. :)

    How large is the video? how long does it take to upload? couldn't you lose some valuable time if an intruder is in your house and because of your internet connection it take 5 minutes to upload the video? maybe uploading a photo, then alerting the user and starting the video upload process might be more effective?

  2. Thanks!
    That's a good idea. My first approach was to send just the first image and then allow the user to browse through the rest, but video looked cooler :).
    Another solution would be to host the website in your home, so there would be no upload time. The alert would be almost immediate, but you would still need a good connection for the download to the phone.

  3. Oh, and a small correction to the title: i didn't use Arduino for this project.