Developer: Michael Badichi
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
JumiCam is an application that allows you to view webcam footage streaming from your home PC to your iPhone. It works with the Jumi Controller, which you have to install on your PC (not available for Mac yet).
I was skeptical over trying JumiCam because many times apps that work with your computer over Wi-Fi fail miserably or at least require a major song and dance to get it working properly. To my amazement JumiCam was a relatively pleasant surprise.
To test JumiCam’s functionality, I decided to use it in the most practical sense. After installing the JumiCam app on my iPhone and the Jumi Controller from jumitech.com, the app performed just as it promised. It instantly recognized my computer and the web cam transmission was actually decent. No worse and no better than Skype, but provided a relatively good video stream without horrible lag.
Affirming that JumiCam would function while iPhone and computer were on the same wireless network, I decided to walk to the neighbor’s house. After all, how practical would it be to have a remote camera in your pocket when visiting neighbors? Seriously, you could leave a sleeping toddler or a miscreant puppy tucked safely away at home while you jet next door for a quick conversation and cup of coffee. I assumed that once the iPhone was out of range of my wireless I would lose the transmission, but it remained – if only slightly more laggy than before. Granted, watching my dog sleep didn’t provide much action, but the video stream remained.
A little research on JumiCam turns up a few complaints about using JumiCam on a different network than the JumiController, but the key may be in selecting the right box during set up to enable locating the device. It also seems that Jumi Tech support is fairly on the ball about providing troubleshooting if you find it not working on different networks. If it had been too technologically intrusive or complicated, I doubt I would have given it the time of day, but as it is, JumiCam is surprisingly easy to set up and use.
Given that JumiCam functions just fine with an iPhone on the same network, there are many uses for it. A nanny cam is what first comes to mind, but I’m sure there are other less scrupulous options. Based on my limited experiment with walking to the neighbors (which resulted in my iPhone switching to 3G), it seems JumiCam is not as location limited as I first suspected. There is no sound transmission, so it doesn’t interfere with phone calls either. Can a five-dollar app really give you constant monitoring of your home while you’re away? Maybe. I’m not sure how reliable it is the more mobile you become and I suspect it may hinge on your wireless home network among other factors, but for simple uses in and around the home, I’d say it’s a winner.