I'm experimenting using Android phones as "smart" cameras.
At the moment I'm uploading to my tech dropbox account (Which runs on all my servers) but I want a separate service so I can still use my dropbox account on my servers but set up school phones to send to another service that offers the same functionality.
(Actually it could just handle video and images)
Anyway - I need something like dropbox but not dropbox e.g take picture - select share - select dropbox like service - aa few mins later, image has whizzed from phone up to cloud and back down to server.
Just downloaded it to a server - not sure how to make it auto sync or even whether it does at all?Picasa
As a central, networked server it could be used with your Android smartphones or something like the Eye-Fi wireless card, with pictures being taken by a camera and going straight to the server, no fiddling around with memory cards and file systems needed. Idealy, it'd be possible to have a completly sealed camera, waterproof and resistant to generqal knocks - quite handy in a junior classroom with water and sand trays around. Kodak have a waterproof camera on the market at the moment that looks pretty good, the only problem being that close-up performance seems poor - a problem in a small classroom where pretty much every shot is going to wind up being a closeup.
I'd love to have the time to develope this system, and I think it would be a project that could grow into a useful tool for many schools. There'd be the potential to make this into a decent business selling servers, cameras and developing applications and features that process and use th images on the server.
Have you bought the cameras, you could look at using traditional cameras with eye fi cards.
Eye-Fi Connect X2 4GB Wireless SDHC memory card - back up and share photos & videos automatically | Eye-Fi UK
EDIT: DOH, should have read the last post more carefully.
Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 25th November 2011 at 12:36 PM.
The camera I was looking at was the Kodak Easyshare Sport C123:
KODAK EASYSHARE SPORT Underwater Digital Camera C123
This seems to be available for around £50 or under, which when coupled with an Eye-Fi card gives you a classroom camera that should, hopefully, be robust enough to last for around £100.
Oddly, no one seems to make cameras to fit handy docking stations any more. I think the ideal camera for a junior classroom would be something completly sealed that charged via an inductive charging system like an electric toothbrush uses. It need only be fixed-focus, no need for a zoom lense, which should make it both cheaper and less prone to damage. It'd be ready to go as soon as you picked it up off its charging dock and would pretty much just have a shutter button and that would be it.
Interestingly, the Raspberry Pi single-board computer seems to be capable of having a camera attached, so I could possibly look at building my own self-contained camera. I'd have to figure out how to attach a camera and an LCD display to a Raspberry Pi board and figure out a case with a shutter button. I figure I can use the inductive charger from an electric toothbrush if nothing else.
I think dhicks might be on to something, but until he gets his service off the ground...
If the problem at the moment was just about sharing your tech dropbox accounts with the phones, you could run a separate instance of dropbox in a different Windows account on the server. However that would not work very well because you only want to sync one way - you don't want everyone's photos ending up on all the phones. You could maybe do something about that with a separate folder for each phone.
Do you need to go via the cloud at all? What about just having something to automatically upload from an android phone to a windows folder when possible? Something like this perhaps? I suppose that wouldn't work if you want uploads to continue while the phone is off-site.
Picasa, but the online version, not the desktop one.
On this page Picasa 3: Free download from Google just under download is the picasa web albums.
I have my phone auto upload to a private folder every time I take a pic.
Some of my schools use Picasa Desktop as it has face recognition. It gets used in the Reception class to automatically tag and name students as they are uploaded.
I have an Android phone (as in original post) which you can set to send the pics to Picasa. I believe that Google have a utility to do this for all smartphones (i-phone, blackberry) but I have not used these other phones.
On my Android I do have the choice to upload to other storage companies like drop box, but Picasa is such a good photo/video solution, similar to flicker, I have not had a need to try other storage solutions.
Jollity (27th November 2011)
Sorry if I've missed the answer but will Picasa sync the uploaded pictures back down to the server without a manual refresh (a la dropbox)?
not sure, we leave them on the picasa server as everyone has their own account and can share from there once they've uploaded.
you could use the api if your feeling adventurous
I think the answer is no
So back to orig question - is there another service like dropbox that I can upload pictures/videos from smartphone to cloud and have them synced automagically back to a server?
PS Would rather use smartphone than a plain camera with wi-fi as so many other possibilities to use smartphone for other things as well
Last edited by SimpleSi; 26th November 2011 at 10:57 PM.
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