Recently I had the chance to explore the two network cameras from Panasonic: BL-C1 and BL-C10.
Both cameras have built-in web servers and can be plugged to the network and operate standalone. They can also be configured to get static IP address or make use of a DHCP server.
Once the camera is set up, the user can explore its features by accessing its IP address via web protocol, example: http://192.168.1.253:80/ .
From there on you can see the camera image stream (pseudo-stream), control brightness/image quality, add users so they can access the camera, control timers, sensors, etc…
BL-C1 is a simple model where it provides nothing more than image capturing facility and motion detection which works by comparing an image with a previous image and see if the difference is within the user defined threshold.
The BL-C10 is a bit more complex model allowing you to control the camera’s eye direction. You can move the view to all the four directions. There is no motion detection, though one can implement this feature from the software, there is human detection sensor (“by picking up the infrared light naturally emitted from people and animals”).
The cameras come with a software CD containing set of user manuals and a windows application to control the cameras. For developers, they can download C SDK written and provided by Panasonic. You may compile the code using Visual Studio or (did not try it) any other C compiler. The C code is highly portable and should also work on other operating systems such as Unix. In case you want to program the camera using a different programming language, then you may download the CGI programmer’s document and start forming your own HTTP requests in order to talk with the camera’s webserver.
Now using CGI, to control the camera’s direction, one for example can call this web address: http://camera_ip_address:80/nphControlCamera?Direction=HomePosition