Get an email when your security camera sees something new (Apps Script + Cloud Vision)

Updated on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Get an email when your security camera sees something new (Apps Script + Cloud Vision)

Nest (previously DropCam) can email you when it detects activity but that gets boring quickly. How about an email only when it sees something totally new?

The script below downloads a frame from a web cam and then calls the Google Cloud Vision API to label features. It keeps a record of everything that has previously been seen and only sends an email when a new feature is detected. You could easily tweak this to email on a specific feature (i.e. every time your dog is spotted), or to count the number of times a feature appears. I'm using a Nest cam but any security camera that has a publicly visible image download URL will work.

There is a bit of setup to get this working. Create a new Apps Script project in Google Drive and paste the code above in. You'll need to provide you own values for the three variables at the top.

OAuthCreds is the contents of the JSON format private key file for a Google Developer Console project. Go to the console, create a new project and enable the Cloud Vision API. You'll also need to enable billing (more on this below) - a trial account will work fine for this. Once the API is enabled create a service account under Credentials and download the JSON file. Just paste the contents of this into the script.

That's the hard part over. Now enter the URL of the image to monitor (see this post for instructions on finding this for a Nest / DropCam device) as MonitorImageUrl and your email address for SendEmailTo.

One last thing - follow the instructions here to reference the OAuth2 for Apps Script library.

Once this is all done run the script (the main() function) and authorize it. You should get an email with a picture attached and a list of the labels detected together with a confidence score from 0 to 1. If this doesn't happen check the logs (under the View menu).

You can now schedule the script to run repeatedly (Resources -> Current project's triggers). You get up to 1,000 units a month for free so once an hour should be safe. If you need more frequent updates check the Cloud Vision pricing guide for details.

After a few runs you should only get an email when something new is detected. If you're seeing too many wild guesses then add a filter on the score to exclude low confidence features.

Enjoy, and leave a comment if you have problems (or modify this in interesting ways).

(Previously)

Mandelbrot Spin Zoom

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mandelbrot Spin Zoom

Zooming into the Mandelbrot Set is always fun but I feel it's often a bit static and would be enlivened by a good spin so you can corkscrew your way down. Enjoy:

This was cloud rendered over two weeks using a Google Compute Engine high CPU instance (on a free trial, thanks Google).

I used the coordinates from a video posted by metafis on YouTube and a palette approach posted by Alex Russell on Stack Overflow.

The music is Flaming Memories generated by JukeDeck.

West of West Portal

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

West of West Portal

This timelapse contains edited highlights from January 2015 to January 2016. I have a Nest Cam (previously DropCam) pointed at the Pacific from the back of my house. To create the footage I grab a frame every 20 seconds and save it to Google Drive using Google Apps Script. I fire up a program about once a week that creates a daily timelapse movie from the frames.

The music on the video is from the excellent JukeDeck. This particular track was randomly but happily called California Battle.

As well as the conventional timelapses I'm creating a couple of different videos from all of the footage. More over the next few months.

(Previously)

Bayview Rise

Updated on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Bayview Rise

Book reviews for January 2016

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Starhawk (The Academy, #7) by Jack McDevitt

Starhawk (The Academy, #7) by Jack McDevitt

3/5

It's a prequel - how Hutch became Hutch - and because of that it's a bit limited in scope. Comfortable filler with a few good moments - worth reading for completeists.

 

News: Wisdom teeth removal is rarely necessary

Wisdom teeth removal is rarely necessary

Glad to hear it because my dentist is always wanting to rip out my wisdom teeth and I've always refused...

News: Case made for 'ninth planet'

Case made for 'ninth planet'

Can we call it Pluto?

Shapefile Update

Updated on Thursday, December 26, 2019

A few people have asked for 3D shape support in my ESRI Shapefile library. I've never got around to it, but CodePlex user ekleiman has forked a version in his ESRI Shapefile to Image Convertor that supports PointZ, PolygonZ and PolyLineZ shapes. If that's what you need please check it out.

San Bruno Mountain

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain State Park has outstanding views of San Francisco, the Pacific out to the Farallon Islands and much of the bay. We did the three mile summit loop (the wrong way round, San Bruno pros do it counter-clockwise).

Hike starts at 37.6888964,-122.437008 (Google Earth).

Book reviews for December 2015

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

3/5

I always want to like Kim Stanley Robinson more than i do, this time was no different. It's a generation ship colonization story with a pretty decent if depressing twist and I really enjoyed the fist half of the book. After that it gets pretty slow and repetitive and then ends in a pretty unsatisfying and trite way.