Valarm uses a variety of sensors (more than 5 as I write this, and still adding more!) to gather data and information about a device’s environment. When a sensor exceeds a threshold (e.g., the phone is shaken and the accelerometer launches an alert) Valarm responds with your configured actions. Some of the response actions include posting data about the current situation (ambient light levels, speed/velocity, noise levels) to the web or sending you a text message with the most pertinent information. Another response action Valarm can take is to record media in the form of photos and audio (video coming soon!). For example, whenever the phone is bumped and the accelerometer is triggered Valarm can take a picture with the device’s camera plus listen and record an audio clip of its present environment. This example scenario is what we’ll discuss in this blog entry.
1. First we’ll set up the accelerometer and motion sensor in addition to the media recorder. Launch Valarm and click the options button to get to “All Settings”.
2. In the Settings menu we’ll set up the Built-in Sensors and Media Recording. Turn off the Interval Timer and other sensors if you want or turn on multiple sensors!
3. Here are the Built-in Sensors, make sure to click the Motion Sensor to turn it on. Each device has different accelerometer sensitivity so you can calibrate to your specific environment to ensure you only get Valarm alerts triggered when you want them. Motion Sensitivity uses the device’s accelerometer to detect changes in angle and position of the device. Shock Sensitivity uses the device’s accelerometer to detect sudden movements or harsh bumps of the device. Click the Question Mark icon next to “Motion Sensor” for more information. You can calibrate the Motion Sensor as many times as you like. Calibrate it in a still environment such as on a table if you want alerts to be triggered when accelerometer readings exceed stillness, e.g., when the phone is bumped, picked up, or moved. You could also calibrate to a moving environment and then when there are extreme movements exceeding the calibrated values an alert will be triggered and responses will take action (e.g., a device in a factory constantly shakes a little bit but you want to know if there is a really large movement so you would calibrate Valarm while it is on the factory device and then Valarm learns what “normal” accelerometer values and motions are). Important note: the “Auto-reset Delay” in the Basics part of Valarm settings controls how often these alarms may be triggered, e.g., an auto-reset delay of 30 seconds will will mean a maximum of two motion sensor alerts per minute.
4. Enable photos and/or audio recording. Set the maximum amount of times you want to take a picture (e.g., Photo Throttle at 30 sec will take a maximum of 2 pictures per minute). Choose for how long you want to record audio clips. Important note: be sure these values don’t exceed the “Auto-reset Delay” in Valarm’s Basics settings menu, e.g.,if auto-reset delay is 30 seconds make sure Audio Length is less than 30 seconds, e.g., 15 seconds.
5. Now back on the Valarm home screen we are ready to arm!
6. Once Valarm is armed, trigger a sensor (motion trigger from the accelerometer in this screenshot) and as a response action your media is recorded! Now you can browse your recorded media using the browsers in the Media Recording options menu (screenshot 4. above) and/or upload them to Dropbox as shown in another Valarm tutorial.