Vitamin D turns your webcam into a security camera
Recently, I decided I wanted to use a webcam connected to my desktop computer as a security camera, to see what's happening around the apartment when I'm away. I then started looking for programs that would let me do that, and stumbled upon Vitamin D, which can turn one or more webcams into a full-fledged video surveillance system. It's available in a free Starter edition, a $49 Basic edition (reviewed here), and a $199 Pro edition.
Vitamin D can use cameras connected to your computer via USB, and can also connect to Web cameras connected to the network. Once it connects to the cameras, you can "arm" them to begin recording, and leave the area.
Constantly recording surveillance video would make for some very dull home movies (not to mention very full hard drives). That's why Vitamin D uses motion recognition to capture video only when something is moving in the scene. Once you've captured the day's video, it is very easy to review the video within Vitamin D and see if anything happens. By default, the application lets you look at all captured video segments that contain any motion. When you play a sequence that has motion, any moving objects are surrounded by a colored frame, making them easy to spot within the scene.
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