New USB camera is watching you

Tech Culture

Digi International has a new commercial-grade digital camera on the market that plugs into a USB port and lets you keep an eye on your stuff.

The company's Inside Out Networks Watchport/V2 is a follow on to its original design. New for this version is improved low-light sensitivity, JPEG compression that renders 30 frames per second at all resolutions, and new camera mounts. The camera is designed for use in kiosks, automated teller machines, ID badge checkpoints, cash registers and mobile computers.

Watchport/V2 USB camera
Credit: Digi International

Combine it with the company's motion detection software, and Digi said its USB camera can be used as a low cost remote monitoring system.

The company has set up a couple of examples including a live video feed from Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan and a couple set up outside some streets in Britain.

The camera also comes with backend software called Watchport Manager keeps track of the camera's status. The software supports data logging and can handle multiple cameras or other sensors made by Digi. In case of an emergency, the management software sends out alerts via e-mail, pager and/or computer screen. The software can even send a message to another computer to trigger an external application like calling the police.

The Watchport/V2 also includes software that lets developers interface with Microsoft's Direct X technology, which allows for direct access to low-level functions on PC peripherals.

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