More HomeDaemon-MCP Capabilities
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-11-20 16:27 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 127 references Ignore this thread
More HomeDaemon-MCP Capabilities
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For a bit of background see this article, or check out the page at http://homedaemon.net

The software now has had added to it a quite-complete Amcrest IP camera interface.  It is capable of triggering events on any of:

  • Motion
  • Audio (either "any" or "above threshold")
  • SD card removed (if you have one in the unit)
  • Dry contact (these cameras have a user-selectable normally closed or open input on the back; quite useful for things like a door or window switch, for example.
  • Attempted hacking (e.g. repeated authentication failures)

These capabilities should be functional against any "modern" Amcrest IP camera with reasonably-recent firmware.

In addition at any time (not just on the triggering of these events, but any event HomeDaemon recognizes) each camera can be instructed to take a snapshot with optional motion to a pre-set point occurring first.  The snapshot can be taken as a "regular" (subject to roll-off) or "protected" (in a folder not subject to roll-off) image.  The software has configurable limits for the maximum number of snapshots to keep and the minimum file space that must be available on whatever device is used for same, and it will manage space as required to remain within those limits.

The snapshot and "grab" functions are all implemented over "https" (and require it) since the provision of a username and password to the camera is required and while the cameras supports "digest" authentication (better than "Basic", which Amcrest recently removed -- thank God!) MD5 digests are not particularly secure.  It is strongly recommended that the storage volume for retrieved snapshots not be on the system boot device (e.g. a plugged-in USB stick is appropriate) to prevent the possibility of trouble with that device causing problems for the running system.  Once stored having a timed job or listener transfer images as you wish to an offsite location is a matter of trivial implementation since there is a full FreeBSD operating system running under the HomeDaemon-MCP code and the files stored are standard .JPGs with names based on the camera name, date and time.

Finally, all of this, like the rest of HomeDaemon MCP's operational capabilities, takes place under a high-performance multi-threaded implementation so as to be able to transact against multiple cameras at once.

Since the system includes certificate-based authentication already building in rights management (either on a subscription or purchase basis) would be quite easy to suit whatever business model you may have in mind.

Come check out the description and more info -- this code is for sale, all-rights and in source (written entirely in "C"), should you be looking to either establish to expand a home control firm with a security-related focus.  Click on the contact links on the right sidebar to get ahold of me -- and thanks!

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User Info More HomeDaemon-MCP Capabilities in forum [Market-Ticker]
Pezhead
Posts: 184
Incept: 2009-09-22

NC
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Excellent! smiley

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Tickerguy
Posts: 150661
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Thanks....

It's pretty cool and a hell of an improvement over the "basic" Amcrest functionality. A lot of people buy these cams but attempting to use their internal motion detection for any sort of security function is impossible; as a gating thing for taking images and such it's ok, but since it works off image differences you CANNOT use it as a "motion trip."

The flash of light from a car going by and reflecting the sun into a window will set it off, for example, and so will the IR illumination coming on (which the camera does on its own by default when the light level is low enough.) That's the limitation of using "change in the image" as "motion." The "sound" trip is REALLY sensitive as well, even when set to delta mode and at the lowest sensitivity, but that might have some value as a forced-entry detector of sorts -- if you don't have any pets, anyway, otherwise one bark and..... yep.

But as a way to have the unit snap images and stash 'em, or as an augmentation (e.g. the SYSTEM detects motion with a PIR and then grabs snapshots from all the cameras), now THAT's useful. In addition the dry contacts on the back are very nice and typically a pain in the ass to implement on a Zwave system, yet one is "free" on the back of each camera, and they work well. Notification of people trying to break into the cameras is nice as well, although I don't know exactly what you can do about it if you detect it that's useful.. other than tighten up your firewall rules!

What I like a lot is that it is now utterly trivial to have the "current" (as of last motion or event detected) image on the house's display page, so a quick glance let's you see if everything looks ok at first blush. The internal web server code already handled images perfectly well (and knows how to do IFMODIFIED) so it's also very data-conservative as well.

With 30 seconds of shell script on the controller (or some other machine you own somewhere else, such as at a low-cost colocation site like Digital River) you can also have it send images and maintain a private archive. That's nice too.

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Winding it down.

Robc
Posts: 24
Incept: 2009-09-10

Cincinnati
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Machine learning is mature enough you can probably find a couple college kids in that field to process the sensor data in way where you classify all activity at first until it learns your schedule and then is able to create alerts based on abnormal patterns, like your back door opening at 3am. Every alert you just classify as normal activity/bad alert or abnormal/good alert.

We are probably 5 years away from it being dirt cheap to also process all your video in realtime, so it doesn't alert you when someone dressed like the gardener shows up every Monday between 2-4 to do the lawn, but does alert you to the fact the gardener was poking around on the Friday you were out of town, etc etc. This is all easily possible now with anyone experienced with the application of machine learning, you don't even need to understand the math behind it to make it work. Get that working now and in 5 years when all the hardware is high quality and dirt cheap it will be amazing.

The have several good online machine learning courses that really launch you into it.
Tickerguy
Posts: 150661
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Well, it's not hard to do this sort of thing as it stands now, and the software as it stands can easily be "taught" to do so.

The alarm functionality here is entirely passive -- I need push nothing, set nothing, just go about my life. When I leave the house in a few minutes it sets itself, because it knows nobody is here.

My point is simply that the CAMERAS make poor "motion detectors" because they don't see "motion", they see CHANGE in the scene, and change happens not just due to motion but also due to environmental factors (e.g. lightning outside, the sun goes down, etc.)

The value in the interface to the cameras is that it not only gives you a "free" set of contact closures per camera (you already bought the camera) but in addition it gives you the ability to tell the camera to do something based on what ELSE the system knows is going on, extending the camera's "intelligence" to the level of all of the rest of the sensors and switches under HomeDaemon-MCP's control.

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Robc
Posts: 24
Incept: 2009-09-10

Cincinnati
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Occupancy detection is awesome, that would really help simplify things. This is more what I had in mind with the cameras. It is beyond just simple motion... more like it knows your what your actual UPS driver looks like, possibly including the face. Imagine if it could actually identify the action of peering into a window.

What they have now could easily alert you to at least people on your property with an extremely high degree of accuracy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfB1C4QQ....
Tickerguy
Posts: 150661
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Well, yeah, but I don't need to really. The inexpensive $30 PIR with a "pet mode" is sufficient to give me that with a very high degree of accuracy, and it's ******n near impossible to fool (e.g. with a costume or mask) too.

The current code makes occupancy detection very easy; you can declare any particular "trips on an occupant action" device such a sensor. If you then have specific acts that demonstrate departing when one of THOSE trips and no occupancy act occurs within a short time after that you passively arm. That's all it takes.

Cameras are great but actually discerning human presence is not their forte; someone peering in a window would trip a "facial detection" but that's NOT an alarm condition if the person is OUTSIDE! The same person 6" closer to the camera IS IN THE ROOM!

If and when the cameras get smart enough to discern the difference then using them as a trip point will make sense. Having the host analyze real-time video streams to do this is dumb on a required CPU/GPU power budget perspective when a $30 PIR gives me the same capability and is a HELL of a lot harder to fool.

Never mind that I want the latter anyway to do things like turn the lights on automatically when I come into the room, with them timing out in a reasonable period of time once I leave.

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Tripseven
Posts: 20
Incept: 2012-04-26

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Does this setup have the ability to block motion detection of your choosing in the cameras view? I have a Mobotix camera with fisheye lens that allows me to place any shape or size window in the cameras view that allows that area to disregard motion detection. Works great for my dog or wildlife.
Tickerguy
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The camera does, to some degree, yes. You can designate zone(s) that are "sensitive" to changes and adjust the sensitivity. That's persistent once set as well.

The problem is that it doesn't prevent nuisance trips on gross light changes and similar things in the range where it is set to be "sensitive".

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Tickerguy
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Incept: 2007-06-26
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One of the cool things this capability adds is the ability to have the "present" snapshot in the "map" of the house (top page), with a click-through to that image in full size.....

Like this.... (images themselves blurred for obvious reasons; some of units are "red" as I recently restarted the code for an update and those units haven't reported in as to their "Sanity" yet..... the red will disappear and battery level will show up in about a half-hour or so... ;-))

Inline

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