Freeverse recently released its new program, Periscope. This program allows you to use your iSight camera, or any other recognized USB camera in new and different ways. When I boot it up on my MacBook Pro I immediately see a preview window with my mug in it. A nice touch to the interface is the border to the preview window that makes it look like the tube border on a pre flatscreen era television.
On the left side of the screen is the interface which is very simply broken down into three tabs: capture, share, and review. Each tab has multiple options underneath it. For instance on the capture button, I can choose to take picture when it is triggered by motion, sound, a timer, an Applescript, or using my Apple remote. Likewise the second tab, called “Share” allows me to output the pictures to a variety of places such as iPhoto, FTP, a folder, .Mac, Flickr, or even email. Finally the third tab allows me to preview the photos taken. The picture quality is not all that great but that probably has more to do with the quality of the iSight camera than the software. Freeverse should be complimented on the interface. Whether you want to send a motion triggered shot to your work email or drop your apple remote triggered shots to you iPhoto library it takes all of about 10 seconds to configure.
Periscope is a program that fills two distinctly different roles. It is a gadget but its also a security device. As a gadget it is simply a blast. I hooked it up with my kids and they were fighting over it. One was using the remote to take pictures of herself mugging it up while the other one would do the James Bond act and attempt to walk all the way across the screen without setting off the motion trigger while I blasted the theme from Mission Impossible over iTunes. My daughter already informed me she wants it on her iMac.
As a security device I think it also does a pretty good job. I’m sure there are more complex security systems but it still probably is enough for most of us. I don’t own a USB camera but I don’t see why you couldn’t point it at your door or yard and tell it to email you a picture at work if something moves or on the hour. It could also be used to keep an eye on your pets while you are out. Interestingly, the program takes pictures even after my screen goes dark so the crooks would be none the wiser. Another good use would be if you travel and leave your MacBook in your hotel room.
A license for Periscope will cost you $29.95 and can be found at www.freeverse.com. As an aside the confirmation email is the best one I’ve ever read (and I buy lots of software). I particularly like where Freeverse’s president invites me, the “Esteemed Customer Person”, to write if I have any questions about “life in general.” I just love Mac developers, or at least most of them anyway.
I really like the interface in Periscope. It is easy to use and you can quickly set it to your needs. If you are interested in the entertainment or security aspects of this program, check it out.