Turn a USB webcam into a motion detector camera!

Do you want to be able to see what has been happening in or around your house when you are out but you don’t want to spend lots of money on a CCTV system? Well, if you have a USB webcam and a computer, then I might have a solution for you!

How it works

This works through a program you can get on Windows or Mac called Sighthound Video. It is free to download but you can either upgrade to the basic or Pro license if you want to get more features out of the program. When you download the program whatever version you have there is easy camera setup (ONVIF) and this is very useful as it makes setting up cameras easy.

Sighthound Video has been trained to recognize people and objects in the same way that a human brain works. Receive a mobile alert or email when people are detected, not when animals or cars pass by. This means that when looking through the clips it separates clips of people and unknown objects so you don’t have to go through every clip looking at cats or leaves, only the important ones like people. It still keeps the unknown movements (if you tell it to) in case there is something that wasn’t a person you wanted to see.

It works through rules you can create that tell the software what you want to record and in what areas you want to record. This is useful if there are areas in view of your camera that you know do not need to be recorded.


There are lots of features in this software but lots of them you have to pay for. The free version works with one camera and only SD video. This works well if you just want to see what is going on and it doesn’t need to be crystal clear.

For $60 you can get lots more features, these include; two cameras, HD Video, Remote access, the ability to export to cloud services (like Dropbox and Google Drive) and the ability to run external commands.

The only benefit of spending an extra $190 is that you get unlimited camera support (or as many as one computer or server can support). I personally think that for general home use this is not necessary, but for a small business or large building, it would be good.


Overall, I think that this is a very good piece of software to monitor your house and check that nothing bad is happening. I think that the free license works well but I do think that the basic license should be cheaper than $60 or another license between the free license and the basic license with only HD video if the other features are not needed to you.

I would recommend this software to you as I think it is very useful with lots of good features for the price!


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