Virtual Servers for Physical Devices is a webcam site — but it is also much more. provides software services for physical devices connected to the Internet like cameras. (see my DCS-920 article) makes it easy for users to create virtual “camera servers” that run in the cloud.  A camera server is a collection of software that continuously monitors and processes camera images.  These services are hosted in the cloud and accessed over the web, providing “web services” for a user’s camera device.

The services that a camera server provides include the following:

  • connection points for uploading images through FTP or HTTP,
  • a Web server for browsing recorded images,
  • image processing (motion detection, motion regions, enhancement),
  • real-time live streaming and viewing,
  • event notification of camera status change through email and SMS,
  • long-term archival and storage,
  • portals for sharing through Facebook,
  • a programming API for developing your own applications.

One of the things that does really well is make it easy to Add and  Delete camera servers.  Behind these two operations are the set-up and tear-down of the virtual services allocated for a particular physical device.

Setting up a new camera is simple enough that using a temporary camera server to track some short-lived occasion is not that hard.  And since can use the camera built-in to most laptops, it’s pretty easy to add a new camera server for your laptop camera for a short-term suveillance operation like:

  • watching your hotel room while you’re out, or
  • looking for that pesky rodent in the backyard at night.

I allocated one to track the sunlight on a sick azalea bush for a day and discovered that it got no direct sun over the period of 24 hours.

Give a try.  You’ll find your own things to do with it once you have a disposable virtual camera server at hand.

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