www.makeuseof.com How to Turn Your Old Android Phone into a Home Monitoring System

If you have an old Android phone lying around, there are a bunch of pretty useful projects you can do with it. Android devices come with sophisticated hardware and software that can do a lot of amazing things if you find the right app.

One of such projects is setting up a makeshift home monitoring system. You don't need any special hardware or prior experience with home security systems. All you'll need is your old Android and two apps from the Play Store. Want to see how? Let's get started.

A Makeshift Home Monitoring System

There are a lot of sophisticated home monitoring systems you can purchase for your home. From the simple ones that help you keep track of your pets to those that can detect burglary or stream live events, there are a lot of options in the market.

However, if you're up for a simple DIY home monitoring system that costs you nothing to set up, this could be a perfect project to try out. It doesn't promise a five-star performance, but if you get everything right, it should be a very interesting setup to have at home. It’s one of the interesting uses you can put an old android device to.

What Do You Need?

Setting Up Google's Live Transcribe and Notification App

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The Google "Live Transcribe and Notification" app is where most of the heavy lifting will take place. The nifty little app can detect and identify a wide range of sounds. From animal sounds like barking, burglary related sounds like glass breaking, to fire alarms and baby cries, the app has you covered.


To set up the app:

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If you've followed the steps accurately, the app should label each sound with a considerable amount of precision. With this, you're clear to proceed.

www.makeuseof.com How to Turn Your Old Android Phone into a Home Monitoring System

To get notifications on your phone whenever it detects a sound of interest, you'll need to turn on and select the sounds you want it to notify you of. Do this within the Live Transcribe and Sound Notification app like so:

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Setting Up MacroDroid

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Up next is setting up the MacroDroid app. MacroDroid is an Android automation app that you can use to automate a wide range of Android tasks. It uses a trigger-action operational model whereby it executes an action in response to a predefined condition, or trigger. For instance, you can program the app to text your child's number a "return home" SMS at 6 PM every day.

In this project, we'll be using the app to extend the functionality of the Live Transcribe and Notification app. The Live Transcribe app doesn't come with a remote notification feature. Instead, you'll use MacroDroid to send remote notifications when your phone detects a sound of interest.

To get started:

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If you've reached this point, you've successfully set up the trigger for remote notifications. The next part is setting up the action to take when the condition applies. To do this:

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After carrying out the steps above, on the next screen:

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With automation apps like MacroDroid, granting all required permissions is a big deal. Failing to do so might make using the app very stressful if not impossible.

To ensure the app has all the necessary permissions:

The path to accessing some Android settings may be different depending on the device manufacturer and Android OS. This post uses details from Android 6 and 7. It's generally better to use older versions of Android for the project.

Once you're done with the setup, place the phone in the general area where you want to detect sounds. It should preferably be close enough to areas that sounds are likely to emanate from. If you want to watch for baby sounds, keeping it in your baby's room should do.

If you have a Google-powered wearable device, you can add it to the Live Transcribe and Sound Notification app and get notifications on it.

What Can You Get From the Setup?

Depending on the battery life of your phone, you can get as much as 8 hours of nonstop home monitoring. You can re-purpose it as a baby monitor to watch out for baby cries, or a fire alarm monitor to watch out for fire alarm activations. You can even use it as an activity monitor to watch out for sounds like barking, door knocks, and running water.

Apart from SMS notifications, you can get notified via automated phone calls, emails, tweets, and many others. You can experiment with MacroDroid or another automation app to explore dozens of other functionalities that can improve your setup.

How to Make a DIY Shoebox Projector for Your Phone Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorMaxwell Timothy(27 Articles Published)

Hi, I'm Max. I'm very psyched about the Metaverse, Android OS and Big Tech. Loves Game of Thrones, Pizza and tech podcasts

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