In Part 3, I wrote about setting up dynamic DNS and port forwarding for my cameras and desktop controller as well as authentication for all exposed web servers. Once this is set up properly, camera output can be viewed in real time, any time I want to check in on what’s happening chez moi. If I were to get a motion detection email alert, I could immediately recheck camera output from all my cameras.
The Blue Iris web controller Windows software that I selected is viewable from any web browser. It detects mobile use and presents an iPxxx interface when I access it from my iPhone or iPad. I’ve added the URL to my bookmarks and to my Home screen on my iPxxx devices. Here is what I see from my iPad after I enter the proper credentials (since authentication was set up):
I can select an individual camera from the drop down menu or just tap a camera to see a larger view.
I added a bookmark for the Blue Iris web server and also added it to my iPad and iPhone Home Screens for easy and fast access.
If you’ve landed here on an iPad or iPhone (and I hope you like the experience) you may be wondering about the new and neat touch experience. Onswipe now powers this blog for iOS visitors. This is a different Onswipe experience than the WordPress plugin released a while back that can be activated for wordpress.com users and installed as a plugin on self hosted WordPress blogs. I’m using a much fuller publishing platform with more user customizable options.
If you are not using an iOS device, the image above shows how the site is displayed on an iPad.
I really like that Apple has changed the notification model. It kinda/sorta works in this first beta. Facebook and Twitter seem to be real slow in even native notifications, which may be part of the problem. I have seen mail on the unified list a few times.
I wish the iPad had built in weather and stocks apps like the smaller iPhone/iPod, as that would be really handy.
Hopefully there will be abundant updates from third party vendors that will enable visibility in the new unified app.
It had to happen, and I’m glad it did. Thomas Pleasance has produced a nifty add-on for Windows Media Center that allows AirPlay from an iPad to Windows Media Center. It is currently at beta 1 stage and is documented to work only with videos (and YouTube) on the IOS device.
You’ll need to install Dot NET 3.5 if it isn’t already present, Bonjour from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL999 and finally the app from his home page.
After running the install (it is a little quirky, see the comments posted on his page), I was indeed able to stream from my iPad to Windows Media Center. I fired up Videos on my iPad and selected Avatar (which I ripped from my owned BD Ray movie).
I touched the AirPlay icon to display AirPlay enabled devices
and sure enough, I could select Windows Media Center!
Both the iPad and the WMC machine were on 802.11n 5GHz wireless and it didn’t take long at all for the movie to start to stream on WMC.
Interestingly enough, I could drag the timeline with a mouse and playback started instantly from that point. I didn’t have any video or audio issues at all.
Even though the app is not currently supposed to work with Photos on the iPad, I tried a slide show, as I see that as a more important application for me than videos. I was able to manually move between 5 or 6 photos before WMC froze, but the potential is there.
I’m all for a universal ecosystem of smart, connected devices, and I love seeing apps like this one. I’m not seeing the app show up in the Extra Libraries (it IS registered) so I don’t know if the app can send content FROM MCE to an iPad (but I would really like to see that since that would have more real world use for me).
Kudos to Thomas Pleasance for these first steps!
A quick tip for those of you that haven’t figured this out yet. First, you can drag any individual app icon to the dock so that it shows on every screen, But did you know that you can also drag a group/folder to the dock?
I’ve dragged my Social Network photo my my dock. I’m busy re-arranging to speed up access to the apps I use the most. This was an ah-ha moment for me. Just sayin’…