I recently purchased a UOKOO Webcam from Amazon. At only $40.00 I didn’t have very high expectations but I was pleasantly surprised at what I got
This was a bit of an impulse buy. I had a small project I was wanted to do and I needed an IP based camera to do it. There is not shortage of these available on the Internet, and if you wanted to, you probably spend a full week researching them. I was not in the mood for all the research on this project and it was my wife who actually found this guy.
I won’t re-iterate all the features as the Amazon product page does a good job at that. I’m just going to run down the functionality that I experimented with.
Installation And Setup
We had no issues with the order, the package arrived on schedule in some very unassuming packaging.
The camera comes with a small instruction booklet and a micro USB power cord. Its worth noting the cord is a decent length, probably 4 or 5 feet.
I was a little worried I’d need an extension cord to place it where I wanted, but the cord was long enough to reach without one.
Getting the camera configured for my Wifi was a little sketchy. To be fair, I’ve had issues with many devices connecting to my WiFi since I don’t broadcast my SSID. You have to first download the mobile app (discussed below). Once that installed, you have to press a configuration button on the side of the unit, which allows it to be programmed for a minute or two. If you don’t succeed in that amount of time you’ll have to start over.
Once its in its programming mode, you scan a QR code with your phone and your phone will start beeping at the camera. This series of beeps is supposed to configure the camera. It took me about half a dozen attempts to get it to take, but once it did take, the device was on my WiFi network.
Once it’s online you can hit a browser interface
iSmartView Pro PC Application
They don’t make it overly obvious where to get the software from, but its available at http://cd.ipcamdata.com/en/xseries.html. This PC application can be used at no cost.
It allows you to view a number of these devices all in one window. This software also allows you to configure a recording from the camera. You have the ability to set the time(s) of day that you want record. It will record to the local hardware of the machine running the software.
iSmartViewPro Android App
Searching the Play Store for iSmartViewPro. Its very similar to the PC app, but geared for mobile devices. This application is also free to use with the camera.
The app will let you put 4 cameras on to your screen, each taking up a quarter of the screen.
Outside of the browser interface, this app is the primary method of configuring the device. You can take recordings and pictures, but I didn’t exercise this functionality very much
Accessing From The Internet
The device allows you to stream the output via a web browser if you have Flash installed. Its all done over TCP port 80 (as best I could tell). So I configured a port forward on my router to send 80 to the camera. The following day, from work, I was able to load up my public IP and watch the camera from work.
The camera sports some nightvision which doesn’t work all that well. When you engagne the nightvision 3 red lights on the face of the camera light up. They are pretty bright, so you’re not going to be concealing this from anyone at night.
I had hoped to hook this up in a window, looking outward. This works great during the day, however at night, once the night vision LEDs kick in they product a reflection off the glass of the window so you can’t see a thing
The device has the ability to send emails, a notification to your mobile app, or save off to an FTP server when motion is detected. I did experiment with this for a little while, but it didn’t work very well. Every single time the alert tripped the resulting images it sent me didn’t have anyone in them. It seems as if the delay is so high, the person or thing walking by has already cleared the field of vision before the picture is taken
Two Way Audio
Using the mobile app you can speak into your phone and you will indeed hear sound from the camera. I say sound, because its barely understandable. The volume is extremely low, and I didn’t see an option to increase that. In addition to the low volume, the voices don’t sound anything like the actual voice of the person speaking into it.
I have yet to get around to testing how well it picks up audio. Where I have it place in my house this would be annoying, so I’ve left that functionalit disabled.
Overall I’m pleased with the purchase. This is not a device I’d build a surveillance system around, but for the price it is a fun little device. This is actually the first IP based camera I’ve purchased and being able to check out whats going on at my house when I’m not there is a mildly addicting. It’s got me thinking about getting a kit of higher end units to let me view more angles of my property.