Identifying The Hallway Whistler

Becky Stern suffers from that same condition that many of us apartment dwellers are affected by: a curiosity about who is making noise outside the door.

Living within a large New York City apartment, Becky wanted to be able to see out of her peep hole without having to leave her desk. After all, the constant comings and goings of any shared property, though expected, can often be distracting.

(And seriously, whoever keeps slamming their door in my apartment block at 4am WILL suffer my wrath!)

So she decided to use a motion detector to trigger a Pi camera at her door. The camera would then stream live video back to a monitor within her apartment: a wireless peep hole, allowing her the freedom to be productive without having her eye to the door.

Peep Hole Cam

Becky used a Pi Zero for the project and took to the internet to educate herself on how to code a live streaming camera with motion detection. Tony D’s Cloud Cam tutorial gave her everything she needed to get the project working… and a handful of magnets, plus an old makeup bag, finished off the job.

Along with live streaming, the camera could be set up to take and upload photos and video to a cloud server; a handy tool to aid in home security. Taking the project further afield, she could allow remote access to the camera, allowing her to view the hallway while away from home. Did the delivery man leave your expected package? Which of the neighbours’ kids is the one trailing mud across the carpet?

And seriously… who keeps whistling every time they come home?!

13 comments

W. H. Heydt avatar

So…did she catch the whistler, or perhaps his mother?

Becky Stern avatar

Thanks for posting my project!! I did indeed identify the hallway whistler. =]

ukscone avatar

Argh that is awful :)

Fester Bestertester avatar

Whistler’s Mother? Very punny :)

Richard avatar

Great to see the ingenuity of the RasPi users:)

Richard

Andy Baker avatar

Great to see Leon, and Natalie Portman’s big break! Hope the Aglaonema is floureshing still!

Pokemon Flo avatar

That project is a bit freaky. But its well done. :-)

Ofir avatar

Not much technical information about the project.
How did she detect motion, how did she sent the video feed wirelessly to the monitor?

James avatar

Follow the link to the tutorial she used. You’ll find everything you need.

underbridge avatar

I’m UK, not US, and I was wondering: is this legal?
Obviously, it’s OK to video someone in the street, with or without their permission.
Equally, it’s illegal to video them in their apartment without their permission.
Here people are in a shared space, to which (I assume) the general public have no right of access, and for which they pay rent… I reckon they’ve got a reasonable expectation of not being secretly filmed through someone’s security spyhole! (although presumably you can *watch* all you want through it:)
Just sayin’. I like the project, but I think it’s a bit naughty in a quasi-private area, and if Becky were a bloke it would look a little creepy too.

Anonymous avatar

Well, if you record them then it can be illegal but just using it to stream probably isn’t illegal.

Ron Sharp avatar

The project could be adapted for quite a lot of non-apartment uses:
* Keeping a watch on a hummingbird feeder. Unless you spot them at the feeder, it’s hard to know when they’re around.
* With an IR camera and IR LEDs, keep a watch of your garbage bins to see which critters are knocking them over.

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