When they work. Therein lies the rub I have with today’s applications. When they work, they’re great. When they don’t, and that happens too often, my French co-workers say, “C’est la vie.” Here’s a perfect example of an app that when it works it’s wonderful. It’s free. For the Mac.
Beam Me Up, Scotty
How cool is that? Setup AirBeam on your Mac to receive the live feed of whatever your iPhone’s camera sees (works with iPad, too). The video is high quality and audio from the iPhone and iPad’s microphone comes along for the ride.
Use AirBeam as a remote surveillance system, as a nanny cam, or whatever else suits your fancy. AirBeam captures up to 720p (yes, despite 1080p, that’s considered High Resolution) at 30fps with 16bit 44kHz audio.
Open AirBeam on iPhone and Mac. When it works, AirBeam on the Mac finds AirBeam on the iPhone or iPad and you can start streaming video immediately.
AirBeam isn’t devoid of extras, either. It can be used as a motion and audio detector for security, and send email alerts, including a captured video or photo attachment. It even works with many Syphon-enabled apps and the Galileo robotic motion platform.
On most Wi-Fi networks setting up AirBeam to work between Mac and iPhone is a breeze. It just works. But it can also be configured to work over the internet using a cellphone connection (and that often depends upon the proper Wi-Fi router configuration for UPnP, NAT-PMP, and other geeky settings which require some effort and technical knowledge.
Mac App Store reviews of AirBeam are as mixed as my experience. When it works, it works great. When it does not, no amount of fixing, tweaking, configuring, sweating or praying seems to help. The next day AirBeam worked just fine. Go figure. Your mileage may vary, of course, but AirBeam is such a cool way to use technology, and costs so little, it might be worth a try.