Stop! Don’t throw away your old iPhone! Use it as a Webcam, instead.

May 27, 2013
Vote on Hacker News

mzl.mgsuzrll.320x480-75I’m almost two years into my iPhone 4s. I bought it after spending a year in France with a jailbroken iPhone 3G and deciding that I wanted 1) a phone that could operate unjailbroken in France and 2) that my iPhone 3G had gotten outdated. It now sits en permanence on an iPhone dock in the kitchen ready to play a song from the 8G of music it holds – more recently, I’ve been thinking about hooking Spotify to it, but I’m quite frankly not sure that it will run on the outdated jailbroken OS.

I was happy to discover that my old telephone might be more useful than just as a MP3 Player. The guys over at People Power have launched a new iOS app, Presence, which turns any iOS device into a cloud-synced webcam. Watch your baby, your house, your neighbor or your boss. People Power has already raised $5.8M as “the universal remote control for the Internet of Things delivering intuitive mobile apps and cloud based software putting device monitoring and control in the palm of your hands.”

People Power, which currently has 1000s of daily users, says that 50 Million iPhones have already been replaced, and given how each new model seems to have a worse battery, I can see this number going through the roof. Giving these out of date (i.e: 24 months old) devices an ongoing purpose is an interesting market approach; although I’m concerned about the need to A) keep it always charged B) keep it always connected to Wifi and C) keep it pointed at something relevant, like my dog.