Using your iPhone to spy on people sounds really cool in theory! You have a webcam set up somewhere and with just a couple of taps you’ve got that webcam feeding into your iPhone. It’s just so… Jack Bauer. At least it would be if it worked anywhere and everywhere the way technology does on that TV show “24″.
JumiCam’s purpose is to put a live webcam feed on your iPhone and it does exactly that, but in a pretty limited way. I tried this app with my own webcam at home as well as two webcams on my friends’ computers and the results were ok but not earth-shattering. JumiCam works great when it’s connected to the same network as the webcam it’s spying through, but trying to spy on someone else’s network… ehhh… let’s just say Jack Bauer wouldn’t last 10 seconds in that scenario.
I wouldn’t mind if this app were to say “monitor your home webcams while you’re at home” because that part totally works! My computer’s webcam is hooked into the same wifi network that my iPhone runs on while I’m at home and everything’s great… I get a semi-choppy but live feed from the webcam, and if you think that’s useless then you have no imagination! Monitoring children, spying on guests, messing with old people… there are plenty of possibilities if there are others in the house.
All you have to do is go to JumiTech’s website, install their Jumi Controller, and run the JumiCam app on your iPhone. JumiCam will find your computer automatically and if your PC password matches your iPhone password it should work pretty seamlessly unless you’ve got some crazy network configuration or if there’s a firewall getting in the way. If your firewall is spoiling the fun, just turn it off to see if JumiCam works and, if so, then figure out how to add the app’s request to your firewall’s filtering system.
Oh yeah btw notice I said PC password. A Mac version is in the works, but for right now the Jumi Controller is only available in PC format.
While it works just great on the home network, JumiCam’s App Store description says “watch your home while you’re on the road”. Yeah… maybe the road in front of your house if the wifi signal reaches that far! I tried to access my own computer’s webcam while on 3G and it failed miserably. I tried to connect to two different networks at the homes of two different friends who installed the software and gave me IP addresses and passwords, but those attempts failed miserably as well. After trying every possible configuration and working every angle, I feel pretty safe in saying that JumiCam simply doesn’t work unless it’s on the same wifi network as the camera it’s trying to load. JumiTech, if I’m wrong please say so in the comments and tell us how to do it! But I don’t think I’m wrong… I tried everything and really annoyed the crap out of my friends who didn’t really like me that much to begin with, so now they probably consider me an enemy if anything.
On the plus side, JumiCam works with iPod music and you can also use it while on a phone call because no sound is transmitted. The picture quality is nothing to get excited about but it’s passable and the lag is pretty short, so if you need to spy on stuff where you live or work then go for it! $1.99 isn’t that much for bringing a webcam onto your iPhone just as long as you know the limitations, but if you’re hoping to do some long-distance video conferencing I’m afraid you’ll need to look elsewhere.