“Creative” ways to use a $30 Wyze camera
I’m always looking for little ways to use technology to improve my daily life or solve real life problems I’m facing (like waking up early). Here’s a few ways I’ve used a $30 Wyze camera (I think it was $20 when I got mine) to improve my life in small ways:
#1 - Pest catching
After moving into a new house, I was greeted with the presence of a mouse in my garage. I wasn’t happy about this because I had a pretty terrible experience with mice before at a previous place. When I realized there was an intruder I set up some traps that night. But after a few failed attempts at catching the little guy I remembered I had a cheap HD, motion-sensing, night-vision enabled camera at my disposal. I tried to catch mice in my garage before and having a camera this time around changed the game entirely by showing me exactly where he was traveling (for a lot of interesting trapping content check out Shawn Woods Mousetrap Monday on YouTube).
I was able to dig up the original video of when I spotted the mouse. It’s kind of hard to see in the zoomed in screenshot but it was obvious with motion. He’s almost dead center (😱) and a little to the right. If you squint enough, you can see his beady little eyes glowing in the night vision infrared light.
#2 - Pet monitoring
My family got an adorable puppy earlier this year and I was helping crate train her. After leaving the house for longer periods of time I wanted to be able to check up on her to see how she was doing, the camera was a god-send. Anytime my family was out of the house—at a restaurant or running errands— I was able to quickly check on her to see if she was in distress or peacefully sleeping.
#3 - Food thief detection
I’m not usually into child surveillance but one of my kids was struggling pretty hard with lying and this helped me gain confidence in my suspicions. After setting up the Wyze camera in my kitchen I was able to better answer questions that frequent many a young parent’s mind. Why aren’t they eating their dinner? Why are they having unusual bursts of energy throughout the day? Sweets! I received some interesting revelations from this experiment for sure.
#4 - Water heater fixing
I recently had an issue with my water heater not working but being able to use the Wyze camera has saved me many trips to the garage by placing it in front of the pilot light window. It’s also helped me troubleshoot the issue with more accuracy and confirm the status of my pending solution🤞🏻. I’ll write more on this in a longer post. If you’re interested stay tuned!
#5 Sourdough proofing
I’ve been making sourdough as a hobby for a few years now (its quite a delicious hobby). And one of the things that still gets me is over-proofing. If I wait too long for the dough to rise it turns into a goopy, sticky mess and while it usually still bakes and tastes decent, it doesn’t rise the same or look very appetizing. In the summer it’s pretty hot where I live so I can usually cook bread within the same day if I leave it outside for a few hours. In order to help me not screw it up I usually set reminders on my phone, but recently I setup my Wyze camera so I could check on it periodically. That way I can make sure it hasn’t risen too high in its final rise step so the bread turns out👌🏻. Often, with the recipe I usually make, if it gets to the 4L mark I’ve waited too long!
There you have it! A bunch of ways to use the cheap little Wyze camera to help out with random issues around the house. Let me know if you have any other creative uses for a cheap HD camera!
*Nerd Bonus: I was recently looking into viable solutions for a work issue that could benefit from a live camera to help monitor something and I found out that the Wyze camera unofficially supports a beta firmware that you can install to view your Wyze camera over RTSP… so maybe another project will come out of that as well.
Thanks for reading The Technically Challenged Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.