Video baby monitor that works with handheld and computer
January 17, 2009 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Looking for video baby monitor that I can monitor with handheld and computer.

We are having a baby in July and I'm hoping to find a cool video monitor solution. I want a wireless webcam over the crib and a standard handheld monitor we can use throughout the house. These are easy to find, Target even has them. However, I'd like to have more of the standard wireless webcam features. Like get the feed up on any of the many computers in our house and run the feed thru iChat or something so I can watch our brood from work.

I see two possible approaches. 1) Buy a popular camera/handheld (usually 900Mhz) and somehow catch that signal on a computer. 2) Do a complete homemade one with a standard wireless webcam and find a compatible handheld that will pick it up. I don't know how to accomplish either one though! Does anyone have any ideas?

By the way, I realize a lot of people will say a video monitor is not necessary -- I'm not asking for opinions on that issue.
posted by wolfkult to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What's your handheld phone? What's your cell phone company?

But please put me in the unnecessary camp...
posted by k8t at 12:31 PM on January 17, 2009

I would buy one of the network-cameras that companies like Panasonic sell.
Then, I would buy an Nokia internet tablet (like a used one even) and monitor the web feed.
Then you can view it from any browser...
posted by ooklala at 12:36 PM on January 17, 2009

Two cams: the one with the handheld and the web/chat accessible one. There does not appear to be an all-in-one solution. Alternatively it may be cheaper to get a ipod touch to be a handheld monitor for a single wifi (802.11x) cam.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 PM on January 17, 2009

I'm very interested to see other suggestions on this question, as I would love to do the same thing, mainly for geeky fun reasons. My thoughts so far have been to buy one of the Panasonic network cameras as ooklala suggests, and then browse to it from any of the computers, my iPhone or a PSP (since we have one and barely use it). Perhaps you have a PSP or an iPhone too. I wonder if you could pick up a used PSP more cheaply than some kind of wireless handheld monitor?

My other thought is to stop by one of those "spy shops" that sells various security camera type solutions, they probably have some good advice.
posted by Joh at 2:38 PM on January 17, 2009

I think a really simple way would be to get a cheap older laptop (craigslist, ebay, etc) and simply run an USB webcam off it. You should be able to put the laptop somewhere out of the way and run a USB cable to wherever you need to mount the webcam. Then use Gmail Chat (which offers built-in video chat) to run the feed live, and just connect to it remotely.

Alternatively, you could use iChat, Skype, or whatever video chat client you prefer.

Downside is this doesn't give you handheld support unless you have a client that has a mobile version, which is unlikely.
posted by sprocket87 at 8:28 PM on January 18, 2009

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