Cameras - Uses?

I’m curious as to what sort of general purposes folks are using cameras for in conjunction with their Vera. I’ve long considered putting up at least a camera on the front door as a standalone item. Now that I have the Vera, though, I’m wondering about the ways to incorporate it into the Vera system.

I’ve read about people attempting to take photos of who’s entering a door with a Z Wave lock. My understanding of the delays that would be present make me believe that the camera would not take the picture in time based on the lock opening.

My house is wired for an alarm system but the controller is dead. All of the doors are wired, so I could possibly get a new controller, wire up the existing taps, and then have that trigger a take photo event. But, I’m not there yet…

I use a few indoor ones to keep an eye on my dogs when I am at work. Peace of mind mostly but as I have multiple dogs, the recordings can show me which of them eg got sick and threw up. So I can medicate or obtain vet care for the right dog. I have external ones for security as well.

I run my camera’s via Blue Iris. Interfaced to Vera via the BI plugin. The reason for that is that Blue Iris supports far more camera’s and has far more options. Since I already run a Windows box as a multimedia server, it was easy to add BI to that one.

My next project is to find a way to create a connected doorbell. I’m considering a cheapo smart phone in a glass faced metal box with power to it. Use one of the ‘connect to audio plug buttons’ as the ringer button. When pressed, have it start a Tasker profile that will snap a picture and start a Skype call to my cell phone so I can interact with the person even if I am not home. Depending on the light conditions, Tasker could tell Vera to switch on the porch light. If it is the UPS or FedEx guy, this would allow me to remotely open the garage door for them to put the package inside and then close it again. Using the security camera in the garage to monitor.

Does BI only run on a Windows platform? That would be a potential problem for me as I run only Linux servers.

Blue Iris is a PC program.

I use cameras to keep an eye on my home as well as a remote house hundreds of miles away. The cameras help verify what Vera and sensors are telling me: that the lights are on, the door is closed, the garage door is shut, etc.

Blue Iris only runs on the Windows platform. Worst case, run a virtual windows box on one of your Linux servers.
My main server is BSD but I have a WHS2011 box that runs Blue Iris just fine so no big deal for me to have 2 servers.

I plan to use my camera (Foscam FI9821W) to monitor our cats, and perhaps for security also.

I am getting a Vere Edge and several sensors. I would like to get an outdoor wireless camera to put below the soffit on the corner of my house. I want something that I can pan and zoom. Does anyone have a recommendation of a camera to buy?

This is probably way more than you want to spend on a solution, and it’s wifi instead of z-wave, but figured I’d throw it out there anyway.