Remote monitoring and monitoring of sick (elderly) people based on Xiaomi MiJia Mi Home Security 360 ° IP camera

Camcorder Xiaomi MiJia Mi Home Security 360 ° (at the time of purchase the price in Minsk, 140 rubles RB (70 USD), has now dropped to 120 rubles (60 USD). The mother-in-law was purchased for discharge from the hospital after the third stroke.

During the last two three months, the camera personally helped me a lot, but if you take impressions after constant use, I found a rather large number of drawbacks in it, which I’ll point out at the end of the article.

Perhaps the experience and practice of using this camera can help someone.

A little information about the camcorder

More detailed technical data can be viewed on the official website.


I liked the design of the camera, it was made in the shape of a ball on a semicircular stand. Dimensions - small 115x78x78 mm.

The viewing angle of the camera is 360 degrees horizontally and 85 degrees vertically.
The camera is equipped with a power supply USB - micro USB 5V, 2 A., cable - about 2 m long, as well as a special platform for mounting. On the box on the back side of its technical characteristics in English. Instructions for connection and operation in the box was not.

For the purpose of patient control, the main functions and capabilities of the camera are:

  1. The ability to rotate the camera, both horizontally and vertically, and remote camera control. I note the noiseless operation of the mechanism.
  2. The ability to shoot in low light and stealth LED backlight.
  3. Motion Detector.
  4. Possibility of two-way audio communication.
  5. Record video to flash memory or smartphone memory (when connected to the same network).

To fully operate the camcorder, you need to connect to the Internet wirelessly using the Wi-Fi standard IEEE 802.11 b / g / n 2.4GHz., And a smartphone with the Android or IOS operating system, with the Internet connected and the installed Mi Home program and a camera plug-in.

Camera application:

At the beginning I want to note that the quality of the image for me is not in the first place, there is an image, it is possible to distinguish a person’s face and what he does, that was enough for me. Therefore, I omit this parameter

  1. Standard remote video surveillance. In my situation, a sick person (initially completely lying down) was required to organize remote control when there was one left. Even living with a relative in the same apartment, and constantly being around, it is still often necessary to leave for some time, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer: go to the store, pharmacy, clinic, there can be many reasons. And if you also need to go to work, or living close, but separately (as in my case), the video camera helps a lot. Even for your own peace of mind. With the help of the Mi Home program, you can view from a distance, in live mode, see what it does, if everything is in order. In this mode, I recommend disabling the status indicator in the settings menu of the camera, if installed in a prominent place, then the patient may be annoyed by the blue light of the LED. LED backlight, even almost in complete darkness is not noticeable.

    screenshots of normal and night mode
    Window in full screen mode
  2. Turning on the camera in the security mode, you can organize entry / exit control and security - by placing the video camera over the entrance door, and if necessary, listen to the conversation. You can also find out how long the patient is alone, the time of arrival / departure of the nurse, and so on.
  3. If a sick person cannot physically use the telephone, cannot even hold it, let alone answer a call or dial a number, the device can be used as a two-way audio connection, a kind of intercom. Turning on the talk function (microphone icon in the program main screen) there is an opportunity to talk, calm the patient, get information from him. (Unfortunately, the camcorder distorts the voice of the remote interlocutor, you need to get used to the patient, and the sensitivity of the microphone, in my opinion, is low).
  4. Audio control in the room (there were cases when I turned on the TV at full volume and could not reduce it, which I think gave some problems to the neighbors).
  5. The control of a bed patient (old person) is a non-standard indication of a person falling from a bed. Putting on the security mode and setting the camera next to the bed or directing the lens a little to the side, when a patient falls, the motion detector is triggered and a push notification arrives on the phone, while a ten-second short video is recorded that can be viewed. During the subsequent movement (in the settings you can change the alert interval until the next trigger: 1, 5, 10, 30 minutes and two adjustments of the response sensitivity low and high) - a new alert.
  6. Organization of the control of drug intake - when installing a memory card in the camera, you can record a video with saving the recording on the memory card.

    You may encounter the fact that the sick relative, does not want to, ignores, cheats and tries to throw out the pills, where to hide them, just do not drink them. Once again, after finding medication in a bed or under a bed, when taking pills, by clicking on the smartphone's function of recording a video, we record 5-10 minutes of video that can be viewed later. Recording is possible on a memory card in the camera or the memory of a smartphone.
  7. Control of the duration and quality of sleep: by setting the security mode in the evening and turning the camera lens slightly away from the person, you can use the phone notification magazine or the Mi Home program to see how the patient slept at night.

    smartphone notification log and detection log in the Mi Home program.

The possibilities of using a video camera to monitor and monitor a sick, elderly or simply helpless (after a hospital, injury, surgery) person are quite large. They covered all my needs. But, in my opinion, the camera has a number of drawbacks, which appeared with its constant use.

The disadvantages that I had when using the camera:

  1. The initial installation of the Mi Home program and the connection of the camera with the smartphone took a long time, I had to change the localization several times to log out of the account and log in again before the MI camera became visible on the smartphone.
  2. I did not manage to allow monitoring for the sick, giving access to the device to another person. Having installed the camera as a common device and sending an invitation to another Mi Home user account, no messages and notifications are received on the second phone. It is possible to use the same account on two different devices, but in this case there is no possibility of simultaneous monitoring.
  3. Even with a good access of the smartphone to the Internet, it happens that the connection takes a long time (“preparing to play”) to the camera.
  4. Receiving messages on a smartphone can be delayed, quite often you receive Push notifications, almost simultaneously with the event, there were cases when the delay is 1-10 minutes (even being in the same Wi-Fi network with the camera).
  5. Several times, when trying to connect, the status of the device in Mi Home was offline, going into the apartment and connecting to the same Wi-Fi network with a camera, the connection was restored.
  6. Automatic updates of the device: after several months of using the camera, an update came 2 times, once when I was near the camera, after updating the device, the connection to the camera was broken, the device restarted, but the connection did not resume, waiting for 10 minutes, eventually rebooting the camera. In the second case, it was far from the camera and there was no physical access to it, after updating and rebooting the device, the connection was lost (“offline”), communication with the video camera resumed without any of my actions after 30-40 minutes.
  7. The duration of video recording on Xiaomi cloud server when detecting motion (triggering a detector) is 10 seconds. I could not change this parameter.
  8. Motion detector - does not always work correctly on motion.
  9. The use of proprietary (closed) communication protocol and the lack of compatibility with other devices and programs.

Brief conclusions:

If you do not put high demands, both to hardware and software, then the low cost of a video camera and free access to the cloud service and the software itself outweighs all the disadvantages.

If, however, there is no desire to put up with all the flaws and minuses, then I see two ways either to contact professional installers or, guided by the principle of “do it yourself” DIY, to start building your own system.

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