Basically I am looking for a webcam that can be remote controlled (pointed to different directions) by a web interface. Or alternatively having an extremely big field of vision. No great quality concerns, its just for fun (watching a dog at home).
Some internet searches later I found lots of IP cameras / PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras that have a webserver ans WLAN integrated, so don’t need a computer to control them. On the other hand you have to rely 100% on the firmware for all features etc.
There seems to be some Logitech / Creative stuff that can at least track you as you go, maybe that’s closes to what i want. Looking into this right now.
But does anyone have an idea where to start looking for shops in Taipei (not online shops) having a range of such stuff for checking what is available locally? Sure, Guaghua market has lots of webcams… but I didn’t see any “remote controlled” so far. I would guess some CCTV shops etc. maybe?
Vivotek make the kind of IP surveillance gear you’re after (their office is upstairs from mine, which is the only reason I know that). You could call them and ask where to buy their products. (02) 8245-5282.
Compro has a full range of gear that they launched at Secutech earlier this year, some of which look pretty good comprousa.com/en/ipcam.php
I’d try contacting them and see where their products are sold in Taiwan, as it’s a local company despite the website URL.
Thanks - that sounds extremely cheap for an IP camera. By now I am looking in the webcam direction some more, since (after figuring out the right search words) I saw there seem to be quite a few that have the desired functions.
Unfortunately I read too much about cheap IP camera firmware & hardware limitations and issues to be really comfortable buying one right now. Especially after talking to one person I know who turned out to work inside such a company
Thanks to all who offered suggestions so far… when I finally got around buying something I will post some info here that might help others that think about something like this.
Small update, in case anyone is searching in the future:
Seems like the two “popular” motorized webcams from Creative and Logitech are out of production. Plus the Logitech model (at least with the stock software) could only track the user, not be moved freely.
At Guanghua Market there are a few shops that have one or two models of WLAN IP Cameras each, but all around NT$8000, some as low as 6k to 7k, others as higk as 20k. Probably a good price for such a thing, but too much for such a simple just-for-fun thing that I would like them for. I guess I will indeed look online for similar cams as TheLostSwede suggested, after looking if theer are any real no-gos (like weak WLAN encryption etc.). Lets see if I can find such a toy for max. 4K
By the way, in Taiwan analogue CCTV cameras seem to be very much more popular. The whole solution is still 6K+, but adding more cameras seems pretty cheap (like even some below 1K). Well, not usable for what I would like to do, but maybe interesting for others. Lots of this stuff at Guanghua.
You could get a cheap analogue camera with PTZ and an analogue capture card for your PC, as they don’t cost much these days. Not sure how you would remote control the PTZ over the web though, but it would be easy enough to stream the video.
I also talked about that with the guys selling the analogue PTZ stuff, but didn’t come to any easily implemented solution. I finally went with ordering a very simple PT IPCAM with WLAN for ~NT$2500. There are many vendors selling the same ODMs model with slightly different firmwares, the most “famous” one being called foscam.
Those thingies are really only toys I feel (probably worth every single NT, but nor more ;-)), but since i am only looking for a toy that should be fine. Without WLAN, just RJ45 for wired LAN, it is ~NT$2000
The vendor I went for has some IP cameras set up for test, one can be found here: 126.96.36.199:85 (user admin, no password, works with all browsers - but some features like 2 way stereo are ActiveX only)