Video cameras are gaining more and more applications every year. Besides the security issues, a lot of others, related to house and family care, entertainment, education etc are widely used nowadays.
How reliable are cameras and how can one detect if they are gone offline? Probably if you have an installed advanced security system with supervision cameras as its component, then you’ll somehow know if something’s wrong. However, simpler systems which are widely represented in our daily life and are used for babysitting, control over pet wellbeing, garden care and so on, can be accidentally gone offline for various reasons. Electricity or internet shortage, weather, accidents - and one suddenly, being in a distant place, finds out that he or she has no vision on kids, no possibility to see how favourite pets are coming along or that a video recording of how do flowers bloom or birds nesting in their carefully prepared treehouse are lost. Monitoring of cameras could be a solution for such problems. Even more - many modern IP cameras have an API, and a lot of functions could be triggered or controlled by simple predefined http requests. For these purposes a monitoring service, like HostTracker, might help.
The simplest application of a monitoring service is an availability test for a camera - just to check if the camera is in operation by accessing it by IP address and a specific port. Power and connection issues, as well as software problems, could be easily detected and reported just with a regular http or tcp port monitoring.
If a camera has a web dashboard, then a content check might be used in order to retrieve some important information (for example, operation duration, free disk space, number of detections of specific cases and so on).
And at last, a monitoring service can use http requests like PUT or POST in order to perform some specific actions - operation start/end, change recording mode, data destination etc on a specific predefined schedule, adding more features to the included into basic camera software (if some are missing) and providing a third party independent control and reporting.