Cameras and Live Events

So, the yoga folks are having an event nearby, called the “Mid Atlantic Yoga Asana Championship.” Yes, it DOES seem counter-yoga to have a competition, in fact, that was the first question I asked, after a good, long eye-brow-raise. They’ve assured me that its more of an exposition. Either way, I was curious.

Turns out they have no A/V support, and since I certainly can’t help with the actual yoga, I sure can try to help with that. So, after touching base with the ringleader, I found out that I’m not going to have any internet. That creates… issues. That means we’re totally not going to be able to stream this shin-dig. 

So I had to take a step back and say “What are we doing, and how can we do it?” Lets check some goals:

  1. Stream the event for people not in the room.
  2. Record the event for historical purposes.
Ok, so lets start with the first goal, streaming the event around the building. When we first got Ganon, I set up an old iPhone as a webcam that streamed to the world. Now, that could come in handy here. 
First things first though, I’m not going to have Internet, so I’ll need to bring my own router / access point. I have an older router with DD-WRT on it, which will help, thanks to the additional functionality added. Crack into your router and get your iPhone’s wireless MAC addresses, and give them static addresses. In my examples, I’m going with and 21.
The app that allowed this is from iViglio, its their SmartCam+ App. Now, of course, with this app being free, there are ads and other junk on their app’s embedded web server. That makes it difficult to USE the image, if you wanted to aggregate a bunch. Luckily for us, you can right-click on the “video,” and click “Copy Image URL,” because, as you’ve just discovered, you’re not actually looking at a picture, but a Motion-JPEG. So we can whip together a very quick website to display these.
I’m using an iPhone 4 and and iPhone 4S, so my image sizes are different, so I added the width and height fields to make sure they looked just the same (although the iPhone 4’s picture is noticeably grainier). In my testing, I’ve just put this file on my mac as the web host. That’s likely what i’m going to do the day of the event too. Make sure, back in your router, you give your web-host a static IP address. Next, we’re going to make this show up on everyone’s phones…
Download the iPhone Configuration Utility. This will allow us to send anyone that wants one a configuration… So that we’re not goofing with everyones phones the day of the event. 
Create a new configuration profile, and have it join your wifi, and put a Web Clip on the device that points towards your mac’s static IP. Pick an icon if you want. Share the profile, signed, if you’re worried about the passcode to your wireless getting out. I usually email it to myself so I can shoot it around if I need to. Android people can do it the hard way, I guess. I’m certain there is a way to do profiles for Android, I just don’t have any knowledge of how its done. 
The very last step will be to decide if you need to use WDS to extend your wireless network into other sections of the building you’re setting this up in. I’m not certain yet that I’ll need to do this part, but will likely have it set up, just in case its necessary. Always better to be safe than sorry. Anyhow, it works pretty well. I’m not sure what the load on the phones / server will be. I would hope that these devices, especially if plugged into AC power, would have more than enough means to carry on with this task for hours. I may try testing, depending on how many devices I can get my hands on. I bet I could get 15 devices if I took this mess TO yoga. 
The only additional concern I have is whether or not people will think this is ultra ghetto. Its going to be tripods with iPhones on them… I don’t know what else i can do with such short notice, and anyway, its technically feasible!