Have you been looking for a way to make your own Homekit-compatible security camera that is easy to set up and affordable?
A Raspberry Pi Homekit setup for your camera might be the answer.
What You Will Need
- Raspberry Pi. I would recommend this one and get this case to go with it.
- Raspberry Pi camera module. This is the one I would recommend because it comes with the case.
- Power supply.
- 16GB micro SD card.
Step 1 – Installing The Raspberry Pi Camera Module
Installing the camera module to the Raspberry Pi is very simple. The camera module has a ribbon cable that connects to the camera. Simply plug the ribbon cable into the slot on Raspberry Pi that is the same size as the cable input.
Be sure to lock the cable in place by pressing the little black clip on the end of the input.
Step 2 – Open Your Computer And Install Etcher
Etcher is a free software program that allows you to write OS image files to the micro SD card. You can download it at https://www.balena.io/etcher/.
Download and install it on your computer.
Step 3 – Use Etcher To Write Homekit Camera Image To The SD Card
First, you will need to download the Homekit camera image file at https://photos5.appleinsider.com/ai-homekit-camera.dmg
Once the image is downloaded:
- Insert the micro SD card into your computer.
- Open Etcher.
- Click Select Image
- Select the image you just downloaded.
- Click Select Device to select the micro SD card.
- Click Flash! to write the image to the card.
*Note – make sure this is a micro SD card that does not have anything else on it that you want to keep. This process will erase everything on the card before it installs the image file.
Step 4 – Setup And Configure The Pi
Connect the Raspberry Pi to a monitor and keyboard. (optional) Plug in the power adapter. Insert the micro SD card into the Pi.
Open a terminal and type the following to set up the Pi
You will be prompted with several different configuration settings to set up. The following is what I would choose and would probably work for your setup as well:
Do you want to configure wifi? [Y/N] - Y What is the network name (SSID) - use the name of your wifi network What is the network password - use your wifi network password The default login password needs to be changed. Changing password for pi. (current) UNIX password: raspberry Enter new UNIX password: whatever you want it to be. Retype new UNIX password: retype your chosen password.
Once the password is set up, the Pi will generate a new randomly generated Homebridge PIN. You will want to make a note of this PIN number.
Reboot the Pi by pressing any key after it prompts you for a reboot.
Step 5 – Add The Accessory To Homekit
Now that your Raspberry Pi has rebooted, it should be connected to your wifi network and ready to be added to Homekit.
Open your Homekit app and click the plus sign in the top right-hand corner.
- Tap Add Accessory.
- Tap Manually Enter Code.
- Enter your Homebridge code.
- Repeat the first three steps but in step 3, enter the Pi camera’s code.
Your camera should not be working, and you should see it in your cameras section in Homekit.
Looking for video instructions? Here is a helpful video that goes through all these steps.
What Can I Use This For?
While this camera setup does not have a motion detector, it still has some options. You could use it for security by monitoring who is coming and going to your home. You could also set it up to monitor your pets while you are away from home. You could even use this to set up a baby monitor that streams video from home to your phone.
Another good reason to use this would be to set up multiple camera angles for a specific room in which you want more surveillance. You can have one primary camera with motion detection send you the notifications and then use these cameras to allow you to see different camera angles.
The ability to set this up for under $150 is desirable. This camera could also be hooked up to your security system, or you could hook it up to a TV that has Apple TV capabilities. This camera has many different uses, and with some creativity, you can come up with many benefits.
It is also a fun project if you do not have experience with Raspberry Pi. If you have experience with them, this is a great project to experiment with. Either way, have fun with it.