How to set up a simple pet monitor (with Google Hangouts)

My sister and I have a cat named Xena. She’s a quirky and weird little lady that we both adore her very much.

Because she is a cat, I don’t expect she would do much while we are not home. Most likely will just sleep or lying her ass in the bed all day like this:

Or staring everything that moves on the street:

However, I think it would be an interesting thing to see what she’s up to when I’m away.

Pet monitor can costs anywhere from $69.99 to $150 and up, based on what I found on Amazon. Since I’m only intend to do this for fun, keeping it cheap or free is essential.

Then I thought about video calls. (i.e. Google Hangouts, Skype or any other similar tools)

Why don’t I and Xena both jump on Google Hangouts and just hangout!?

It’s literally requires no skills, like, no brainer.

Here’s how to:

Preparation: Have a laptop/desktop/tablet/phone that has front camera. Keep your place bright enough to see your pet. (leave the lights on if the place is dark during the day)

Step 1: Make sure you and the pet both has a Google Hangouts account. One is on your laptop/desktop (for your pet), the other on your choice of device. (phone or tablet)

Step 2: Log-in both Google Hangouts accounts, make sure the Internet connection is good.

Step 3: Call from either account (doesn’t matter who make the call), answer the call on another device. Position the laptop/desktop front camera towards to wherever you like to point at.

Final step: Make sure your phone/tablet doesn’t disconnect from wifi while you’re on the active call. (But Google Hangouts has a great feature that even if you disconnected from the call, once you got wifi back and turn on the Hangouts again you will in the chat. The other side doesn’t need to “answer the call”)

And then, just leave your apartment!

Here’s how it looks:

Calling her name while I’m waiting for the subway. (She’s not impressed apparently.)

That’s it!! It’s super simple.

The only con is my laptop’s front camera won’t detect the movement of Xena, can only pointing at one direction/angle. It’s okay since that’s just a little experiment I do for fun. (I believe Xena wouldn’t burn down the house anyway)

Spying from my office… where the hell is that cat!?