Automatic Security Cam for your Macbook

Automatic Security Cam for your Macbook

292845901 B8Fbc639Cd

This came out a few months ago, but I just found this on Flickr while researching the upcoming weekend project. It’s a way of automating your isight to take a picture 60 seconds after you, or anyone, open it up. Flickr member omegastation set this up before sending off his macbook for fixing. In a worst case scenario, if someone stole your macbook, you could have your macbook send you pictures of them.

292861895 58Ffbd8Af3 O

I set this up and I made this little automator program that takes and sends the pictures, but I don’t have a lot of experience programming from a terminal and I got hung up on step 5. If someone could make a little screencast of how to set this up, that would be awesome. This seems like it would be a simple first programming project! – Link

Update: Check the comments for super explicit instructions… with these instructions, anyone can program this now! Thanks Omegastation!

6 thoughts on “Automatic Security Cam for your Macbook

  1. omegastation says:

    Thanks for picking this up. I’ll try to help you and everyone else out with step #5.

    1. Open

    2. You should now be in your user directory. Type:

    pico .wakeup

    Like so:


    3. Your window should look like this:


    4. Enter in these two lines:

    open /Applications/

    Where is the name of your saved Automator action.

    5. Press Control + X. Pico will ask you if you want to save your changes. Press ‘Y’. It will ask you what to name the file. Just press return.


    6. Now, you need to make the file executable. Type this in your terminal window:

    chmod 755 .wakeup

    Then press enter. This makes the file executable by any user.


    Congratulations! You’re done!

    Also, I have since made a modification to the original workflow, which removes PhotoBooth from the picture. It uses a small hack called ‘isightcapture’, located here:

    Just drop it in your home directory, then you can execute it from Automator.

    This workflow waits 30 seconds, then takes a photo using this UNIX script:

    ~/./isightcapture WakingStudy.jpg

    The items are then searched for, uploaded to Flickr, then thrown in the trash. Silent, stealthy and the only pop up is a “Workflow Running” message in the menubar.

    Hopefully this makes sense to everyone. I don’t have a lot of time to answer questions, so don’t expect me to reply instantly to questions you may have.

    My Workflow:

  2. isnoop says:

    Can’t you take an automator process and make it into a binary app? You might have to do some creative footwork to figure out how to customize the email address for each user, but it should be pretty painless.

  3. aplumb says:

    Yes, looks like you could work a little ImageMagick into that flow. Look forward to seeing how this one works out, Bre!

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).