Bring the Outside Inside with Blue Iris and Security Cameras for limited Mobility Disabilities.

One of the idea’s I came up with when we moved was to bring the outside inside for Juliet. Not being able to easily look outside the window and around the home can honestly be quite discouraging and depressing.
The Software / Hardware we are using in our home:

  • Dedicated Computer 2600k, 8 GB Ram with a 2TB Hard Drive and Windows 10.
  • Blue Iris Version 4
    (Version 5 is out but out of our current price range)
  • XiaoFang Camera Version 1 (4 Camera’s in Total)
  • 2 Routers one inside the home and one inside our Garage.

So what made this quite cheap for us was the Dedicated Computer already existed as well as the 2 routers. The Camera’s themselves were quite cheap when we got them a couple years ago about $20 each and then about $5 for each SSD card. The Main Router is in the home, but I also put one in the Garage and have a buried cable that goes all the way to it.

Keep in mind the Camera’s were using crash so often you either have to reboot them remotely or a lot of times go up to them and unplug / plug them in. I don’t really recommend them at all for this purpose but it’s what we have.

The real cost came to the Blue Iris nearing almost 100 Canadian though does go on sale from time to time. That being said the Blue Iris was worth every penny as it’s a really advanced but easy to use Camera PVR system. It can also be used in the browser at home, remotely, and even has a Phone App that costs a few bucks as well.

Picture of Camera’s from Outside Inside.

As you can see our setup is quite silly and in fact downright annoying. I would never suggest buying indoor only camera’s for the purpose of looking outside and sticking them in a window. That being said if your in an Apartment or Condo and you can’t attach things on the outside, then it might be your only choice. For us it’s just the fact we don’t have money for decent camera’s.

Picture of Camera’s from Outside Inside

Keep in mind decent 1080P Camera’s will run for around $80-120 Canadian each. But they should work well outdoors and I would highly recommend wired vs wireless using Power over Ethernet (POE). You will also need a powered switch that will cost you a few bucks as well. I have never actually had the pleasure of playing with such equipment yet in my life, but it’s a lot of fun from what I have seen and a must have for decent Security Camera Setup.

Blue Iris Version 4 Web Interface

Here you can see it still works quite decent, allowing Juliet to be able to enjoy the Yard from the comfort of her room especially on a bad day where she can’t get out of bed. She can use it to check on a noise, weather, enjoyment, and just check on me when I’m working in the Yard. It’s not perfect freedom but it does offer more then nothing. If you put more into Camera’s you can also move them around and the Blue Iris Software supports it as well.

Blue Iris Version 4 Screen From Dedicated Server

Blue Iris also offers a really decent software that we run on the dedicated server. Honestly though since they came out with the Web Interface, we have touched this maybe 2-3 times vs 1000’s on the Web Interface. You also can have a really good permissions system that you can set.

That being said I have never tried other camera’s and other interfaces. That being said I have done some research into UniFi NVR and Ubiquiti Networks and overall and I can say I’m quite impressed. They offer really high quality networking goods at such a reasonable consumer rate.

Honestly if you have someone with a Mobility issue and trouble getting to the door, then I would highly recommend getting some sort of basic door camera and maybe a digital lock that can be locked / unlocked remotly. This way is a friend, family, PSW, mailman, etc visits they can unlock the door and even give comments remotely.

I hope you enjoyed our setup. I plan on showing more technology mixed in the home in the future as we accumulate other devices. I was a IT person before I became a full time Caregiver and do miss the enjoyment of fiddling around with technology.