We live in an insecure and troublesome world, fraught with spying eyes, computer hackers, and identity thieves.
Use your Mac to add a touch of security to your computer, your office, your home with a nifty, very Mac-like application called Periscope. It’s an easy way to use your Mac’s built-in iSight camera for security.
Through the years I’ve owned a lot of web cam software, some good, some totally confusing and difficult to use. For the most part, web cam software has always been interesting, but not particularly useful.
These days security, home security, Mac security, are big issues and web cam software is easier to use and more capable. Periscope shows a solid respect for ease of use, yet comes with more than basic features for Mac users.
Essentially, your Mac’s iSight camera becomes a home or office security monitor. Periscope captures whatever activity is in front of your Mac’s camera.
Images captured by Periscope can then be shared, either very easily, or completely automatic. They can be sent, in real time, via email, to your MobileMe web page, uploaded to a site via FTP, or uploaded to your Flickr account.
If you start to think about it, Periscope becomes one of those behind-the-scenes utilities that makes a lot of sense for Mac users, whether at home, on the road, or in an office setting.
Here’s why. Security. Sure, web cams are fun. It’s easy to capture photos and send them to a web site. But that’s fun that wears off after the novelty wears off. Let’s be serious for a moment.
Web cam software is more sophisticated today. Periscope will capture a photo from your Mac’s iSight camera whenever the camera “sees” movement, whenever your Mac’s microphone hears noise, or when the Apple Remote is pressed or the Timer goes off.
Think of the possibilities. If someone sits down in front of your Mac while you’re away from the office you get a photo with a time stamp sent to wherever you want it to go.
I worked in an office a few years ago and had one of those old fashioned M & M candy machines on my desk. Fellow employees would stop in to get a handful of M & M’s while we talked about business issues.
I set up the web cam to start snapping photos when it detected motion. Very quickly I had a visual record of employees stopping by for a handful of my candy when I wasn’t around. Then I got snapshots of the nighttime cleaning ladies, and a photos of a few contractors hired to do some weekend remodeling.
Periscope is as easy to set up as I’ve seen for what amounts to a sophisticated security application. Captured images can be sent to your MobileMe account, saved somewhere on your Mac, inserted into iPhoto, as well as Flickr, email, and FTP.
$39 seemed a bit pricey but what kind of price do you put on piece of mind? If you leave your Mac running at home while you’re away, Periscope can give you photos of what’s happening at home.
Is the babysitter rummaging through your belongings? Has a nosey neighbor entered the house while you were at work?
The possibilities for increasing the security of your home or office are worthwhile. Periscope simply makes what was once a complex operation, more manageable for the rest of us.
What is missing? I would like to be able to tap into Periscope via a live video feed. Live as in full motion video as it happens, rather than just a series of snapshots. They’re useful, yes. Live would be a good option.