OMG! Okay, this isn’t exactly a beauty or a blogging trick, but it still blows me away.
Have you heard of Skype? It’s a free chat platform, among other things. People use it to audio/text/video chat with each other across time and space, LOL!
As if that’s not cool enough already, there’s a powerful feature sort of buried in the preferences that changes it from a chat program into a home surveillance tool/pet monitor!
It requires Skype (of course) and two different free accounts. They’re easy to create, just requiring a different email address for each one.
You’ll need two computers/laptops, each one with a webcam, speakers and a microphone (some webcams include mics).
Before leaving home for your trip, open the Skype program and log in with one of the two Skype accounts you created.
Check the boxes in the Skype preferences beside “Automatically receive video from” and “Start my video automatically.”
Leave your computer powered on while you’re gone (it needs to be turned on so you can connect to it remotely). You may also have to disable the power management settings on your computer to prevent it from shutting down after a period of inactivity (saves power but means you can’t connect to it while you’re away).
Now, from the road, you just log into Skype with your Account B, place a call to your Account A, and KAPOW! — instant pet monitor. Skype at home answers the call automatically.
I just checked on Tabs from Las Vegas using this trick, and it worked like a charm! With the computer speakers turned on, he heard my voice and meowed his reply. I feel better knowing what he’s up to while I’m gone… You never know with that cat.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,