Friday, 11 December 2015

Fake HD Cameras come under the spotlight


Online auction sites are full of tremendous claims regarding camera specifications but the reality is that webcams and CCTV cameras rarely offer the performance they claim. Knowing the true specification of your camera has never been an easy task but that is about to change.

One camera we purchased from the popular eBay site claiming to be Full HD 1080p and offering a Lux of just 0.01 turns out to be nothing more than Standard definition and a daytime Lux of an amazing 10. That means that not only is the picture quality just 25% of what you think you've ordered but you would only view any action in good daylight and you have little chance of catching the true action when you need to.

Here at Easylife we have become increasingly frustrated with deceptive marketing techniques and the mis-selling of CCTV cameras, so we've decided to do something about it. Visitors to our online webcam site, easylife.com, can now check their webcams for free.


Here is an example of what you can expect to see when you connect a poor quality CCTV webcam.


At Easylife we recommend only high quality CCTV cameras. Choose wisely! Here is how it should look.


Test your CCTV camera or webcam here

Test your entire system performance here


Services include CCTV camera or HD video source in a fully flexible, in-browser environment.

Free sign-up allows you to get started straight away and automatically stores your settings for when you return. CCTV Services with Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is now fully operational with Chrome and our newly created series of apps Cloud Video Recording (CVR) launched fully on December 8th 2015 and optimization of the services is ongoing.

Easylife is a professional video interface that allows you to share your webcam in a peer-to-peer environment which means there is no central server. If you are looking to chat securely with friends, create a broadcast quality peer to peer communication link between a professional camera or simply the camera built into your mobile phone then we are the service for you.


Here's what you can do at easylife.com:

CCTV
  • Create a complete CCTV monitoring system
  • Monitor your CCTV room on another computer anywhere in the world
  • Automatically record movement video to the cloud

HD VIDEO LINK
  • Broadcast Full HD from your phone camera on the internet
  • Create a broadcast quality link between reporter and studio
  • Create a video link between your satellite receiver and computer with a browser
  • Create a video link using the XDS4K consoles from a lounge to a bedroom

SCREENCAST
  • Capture the video from your computer screen and transmit it to anyone’s browser
  • Add your webcam as an overlay
  • Share ground-breaking medical achievements with participants anywhere in the world on a real-time basis

TELESUPPORT
  • Conduct one to one training sessions with your webcam
  • Share your screen with the other member
  • Communicate on a one-one basis


Because some browsers do not fully support peer to peer video communication we currently recommend the use of Chrome or our supporting apps. (Peer2Peer is a fast developing medium and this is expected to change at a rapid pace).



Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Live streaming made easy



With Easylife you can create your own webcam based live stream. The service is free to use, but also includes a number of subscription options that unlock premium features such as billing controls, support for multiple cameras, personalised room settings and more.



The service is based around peer-to-peer video technology that connects viewers directly to cameras, rather than push the video feeds through a server. Server support would only kick in when the number of viewers connecting to your stream starts to impact on your bandwidth. Easylife makes use of HTML5 so everything can be done from within the browser, no need to download or install any programs, you simply go to easylife.com and get stuck in. Support for all the major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, will be rolled out in the coming months, so no matter what device or operating system you use, Easylife will be there for you.



"Easylife could be used for all sorts
of live streamed events"


For customers taking up the subscription service, billing controls offer a great way of generating revenue. Shawn Downey, the company’s Managing Director, explains “Easylife could be used for all sorts of live streamed events. Say, for example, a Maths tutor wanted to set up a personal live stream with some students. Using the billing controls, he could set a charge for the students to access the stream. The tutor can also stream from multiple webcams, set a free preview period, broadcast his computer screen, and send files all from within the Easylife service.”

The latest updates to the service have now made it possible to use a variety of different audio and video devices. Everything from high definition USB webcams and IP cameras, to wireless microphones and more can be used.



Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go now using the Google Chrome browser. You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com.

Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.

Permission is granted to reproduce this press release in its entirety.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Getting to Grips with Internet of Things (IoT) and Security Issues


“Internet of Things” or ‘IoT’ for short, is a buzz word going around the web at the moment that most of us are only just starting to hear about. No sooner has it hit the headlines and we start to hear horror stories because users and installers of devices use default insecure passwords as they make direct connections to the internet.




So exactly what is 'IoT' and how can I get to grips with it safely?

Put simply, IoT is a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. Normal, everyday objects, something like a toaster, a light switch or even a kettle for instance.

Whilst the tech-savvy amongst us know our home internet has its own IP address, many devices may exist at one IP and security firewalls are designed to stop unauthorised access.

Can IoT devices embody the best security aspects that the web has to offer if they make a direct connection to the internet? The answer is no. Security is a big issue for the easylife engineers and we'll cover this is more detail but what can IoT do for you?

Pretty much all of us want a simple and easylife. So let's take a look at how this new technology can be used with other devices around our home.



Web connected thermostats offer slight advantages over their older, more basic cousins but are still limited to the behaviour learning we used as an example earlier. A good example would be if you were on your way back from a winter holiday and wanted your home to be nice and warm for when you get there. You could tell the thermostat to turn the heating on from your mobile phone.

So at this point I can imagine that you are visualising your home and how your household devices can benefit from being web connected.

One everyday object that you might have overlooked is the humble television. Over the past few years more and more manufacturers have been building ‘Internet ready televisions’, and it has come to a point now where Smart TV’s are the norm for a majority of people.

The inexorable rise of the “Smart TV”, and the reason for it’s almost universal acceptance can be put down to to one simple thing; video-on-demand. The ability to choose what you want to watch, and to watch it whenever you want.

That ability to use a service at your leisure, wherever and whenever you want is what makes a great service. That is exactly what Hastings based company iMedia Communications Ltd. has incorporated into their Easylife service. This brand new take on CCTV and security makes use of web connected CCTV cameras, webcams, IP Security Cameras, microphones and more to offer customers one of the most modern and user friendly CCTV and security services on the market today.

Shawn Downey, the Managing Director at iMedia Communications Ltd., explains that “the service is free for anyone to use, but also has a number of subscription options allowing for a more robust, feature packed service, if and when required. You can set movement activation, record to your local hard drive, record to cloud storage and even have it notify you on your mobile phone via a suite of available apps."



"Making use of HTML5 means that everything can be done from within the browser, no need to download or install any programs, you simply go to easylife.com and get stuck in. Compatibility has been based around the Chrome and Opera, support for all other major browsers, including Firefox, Windows Edge and Safari, will be rolled out in the coming months. So no matter what device or operating system you use, Easylife will be there for you.”

Shawn goes on to explain, “because the Easylife service makes use of IoT technology in a controlled environment, users are able to view and control their CCTV feeds from anywhere that they have access to the internet. Privacy”, he says, “is also something that has been prioritised. Easylife makes use of secure, video peer-to-peer connections directly between browsers or apps and the video feeds do not pass through any third party servers or services. It means that easylife takes control of your cameras security and does not allow hidden flaws to exists by accidentally setting up a security camera with insecure passwords."



"For CCTV applications this is great because you are making highly secure connections, and cameras can be added to the same browser from different locations. The technology is no different than that used by credit card companies when you make an on-line purchase." 

To login to easylife you can use two factor Authentication with existing providers or Open ID.

Two-factor authentication provides identification of users by means of the combination of two different components such as a password known only to you and a random code generator which can be a third party app. The use of two-factor authentication to prove one's identity is based on the premise that an unauthorised user is unlikely to be able to supply both factors required for access. If at least one of the components is missing or supplied incorrectly, the user's identity is not established with sufficient certainty and access to the account then remains blocked.


Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go now using the Google Chrome browser. 

You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com


Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd

Referances:
Open ID Foundation: http://openid.net/
Internet of Things: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_Things
HTML5: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5
IEEE http://standards.ieee.org/innovate/iot/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-factor_authentication
Images: http://www.wikihow.com/Set-a-Thermostat


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

CCTV is now available to everybody with a computer




Easylife is a service that allows you to use your computers webcam as a CCTV camera. It provides you with a whole host of security focused features including movement detection, automatic recording, local storage and cloud storage for recordings, automatic detection of connected cameras and more.

It also allows you to monitor your CCTV feeds from another location. In the past this has been a complicated thing, as it was normally required for both machines to know each others IP address as well as having specific ports opened. This created unnecessary security vulnerabilities and placed it out of reach of the average customer. The Easylife service makes use of peer identification technology, which eliminates traditional firewall problems when computers try to connect to each other directly. Shawn Downey, the Managing Director at iMedia Communications Ltd., explains "Our peer identification technology works entirely from within your web browser, and because your browser has the ability to share encrypted input and output information these problems become a thing of the past, it works automatically”.


He goes on to explain that “the service is free for anyone to use, but also has a number of subscription options allowing for a more robust, feature packed service, if and when required. Making use of HTML5 means that everything can be done from within the browser, no need to download or install any programs, you simply go to easylife.com and get stuck in. Support for all the major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, will be rolled out in the coming months, so no matter what device or operating system you use, Easylife will be there for you.”


Theft of personal details and credit card information are concerns that we take very seriously at Easylife, which is why all your information is encrypted using AES 128 bit technology and stored on a secure server. Your video and CCTV feeds are also encrypted during the peer-to-peer connection, as are any recordings you make.

Account security is also a high priority, so Easylife uses the OpenID standard to handle logging in to your account. With Google and Microsoft as two of the founding members of the OpenID standard, you can rest assured that the security of your account is as good as it gets.





Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go now using the Google Chrome browser. You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com.

Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.

Permission is granted to reproduce this press release in its entirety.

Enhance your customer support with Easylife


Easylife - Live Support is a new feature that will allow you to chat with people that visit your website, in real time. Chat face to face via webcams, via text or use both.


Getting started is easy, simply visit easylife.com and choose Live Support from the list of services. This will create your Live Support room and provide you with a Google Chrome extension to install.

From within your Live Support room, you have the ability to generate a Live Support button that can be placed on your website. When users click the Live Support button, you will receive a popup notification to alert you to the fact that there is an incoming Live Support request. Accepting the Live Support request will automatically take you to your Live Support room.


A wealth of tools are available to you from within the Live Support room. Automatic language translation, screen sharing, file transfers, geo-location and more are included as standard.




Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go now using the Google Chrome browser. You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com.

Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.

Permission is granted to reproduce this press release in its entirety.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Around the world in HDMI



Shawn Downey, Easylife's Managing Director, takes a tongue-in-cheek look at its progress in recent months as he puts pen to paper on a computer!




According to Wikipedia, The first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid in 1858 by businessman Cyrus West Field, it operated for only three weeks, reports suggest he blew it up as he cranked up the voltage to get a better result. 





Subsequent attempts in 1865 and 1866 were more successful and so many cables were being laid that miners were called in to build custom tunnels. Read more here in the Easylife Artefacts Museum.

150 years later and it is this technology that forms the backbone of the internet, with copper being replaced by fiber optic. Reliability, is now as good as the best DNS server available, or as good as the most observant digger driver choosing to lay new drains in your street.




'My pants are on fire!'



HBCM In 1924 John Logie Baird one of the pioneering inventors of television, blew a hole in his trousers when he accidentally electrocuted himself with 2,000 volts as he devised a means of displaying a picture on a cathode ray tube. This quite remarkable event resulted in a street argument in his home town of Hastings (UK) where his landlord promptly evicted him.






'It's really easy!'


Some years later in 2015, the Easylife engineers have found a way to hitch up to this fiber optic telegraph system (also known as the 'world wide web' or 'Internet') and formed the worlds first point to point video and audio HDMI link service. "We give you, the Easylife XDS HDMI link", I bellowed with an air of confidence!


Now every customer who has a power socket and broadband access can create a world spanning HDMI link and set it up in under 10 minutes.



'It's really complicated!'


If you find connecting to your home WiFi network to be a bit of a complicated task (as it sometimes is for me) then you might find the thought of connecting the Easylife XDS 4K boxes together to be a little daunting. Don't worry! Did you know that your default WiFi SSID and password are usually printed on the label on the bottom of your router? Armed with this new information setting up the XDS HDMI link is easy! Simply plug the units in and switch them on. Then connect to your home WiFi network using the details on the bottom of your router. Done. 






'Do you offer a range less than 6,000 miles?'


Well, yes and no, because just like a piece of string, it's a long as it is short. You may well be looking for a 6ft link and nothing like the 6,000 miles conceived 150 years ago. Regardless of the range Easylife's XDS HDMI link is about getting 1080p full high definition from one point to another anywhere in the world. That's exactly what can now be achieved!




'The penny drops'


Shawn Downey explains how the idea first came to him. "Back in October 2014, whilst on my way to Germany, I was walking around the airport and reading an article on my phone. It was about the latest internet standard, HTML5. As is so often the case, I started to imagine how I could use this technology to make peoples lives easier. It didn't take long for the idea of a world spanning HDMI link to present itself and as the idea grew and formed in my mind, I became more and more focused on it. I blotted out all distractions, even my surroundings, as I concentrated on how it would work and what features it could provide.

Shawn goes on to explain, "The idea soon came to a head when I realised that I had wandered in to the ladies toilet by mistake! I just couldn't understand why there were all these women in the gents. I guess it was at this point that the penny dropped and, as if by magic, the product has materialised just 9 months later."

To sum up; creating the XDS HDMI link has been an eventful journey that has not been without its twists, turns and calls of nature.




Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go now using the Chrome, Edge, Safari or Firefox . You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com and kindly feedback to us any bugs, issues or desires and we'll action every comment!

Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.


HBCM Facts retrieved from displayed material at Hastings Museum

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Microsoft Edge goes all webcam friendly


Webcam technology has progressed dramatically over the past 10 years. What were once small cheap devices with relatively poor picture quality have remained small and cheap but now boast a picture quality better than a traditional DVD player.







Most of us have purchased a webcam or have one already fitted to our mobile device or laptop. It’s great to know we can use it with Skype to hold one to one conversations with our friends, wherever they may be on the internet. You can even use your webcam to login to windows. 

Recent advancements in web technology have allowed us to make even better use of our webcams. Not only can we join our friends in conversation, but we can now watch over our loved ones from another room and keep an eye on the house when you are away from home. All of this can be achieved without the need to download apps or programs.



"Making it all possible"


What web technology is it that makes all this possible? It's called HTML5, and it is the latest and most advanced internet standard yet. It allows your web browser to interact with your computers hardware like never before. In fact, it can see pretty much everything that is connected to your computer, your screens, your sound devices, your webcams and even your hard drives. It does this in a way that leaves you in total control of your privacy and security by allowing to choose what hardware it can access and share.






"Unlocking the potential of your webcam" 


Making use of HTML5, Easylife.com unlocks the full potential of your webcam, in a simple and easy to use environment. It interacts with your connected audio and video devices, such as your webcam, and allows you to instantly start chatting, streaming or monitoring, right from within your web browser.


Invite your friends for a chat or start a teleconference with your business colleagues. With features such as billing controls, file sharing, desktop streaming and support for multiple users, you could even set up a one-to-one training service.





You can add IP cameras, USB cameras or HDMI cameras to create a comprehensive CCTV monitoring suite and keep an eye on your house when you are away. It can be configured to automatically start recording when the cameras detect movement, and then upload those recordings to the cloud where they can viewed at any time, from anywhere. You can also use your webcam as a baby monitor and watch over your child from anywhere, using your mobile device or laptop.





Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go on the 6th Aug 2015 on Edge, Chrome, Safari and Firefox. You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com.

Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.

Permission is granted to reproduce this press release in its entirety.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Easylife Artefacts Museum



SDThe Easylife Artefacts Museum holds a number of significant historical objects which symbolise the ongoing human desire to trade and communicate.

The first transatlantic cable communications took place on August 16, 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days – the time it took to deliver a message by ship – to a matter of minutes.


In 1859 Charles Dickens, the famous English writer and social critic, wrote A Tale of Two CitiesDid the prospect of global rapid communication inspire him to write some of his classic novels?



It was 13 years later in 1872 that the India Rubber, Gutta Percha & Telegraph Works Company presented a series of cables for the proposed link between Lizard in the United Kingdom and Bilbao in Spain. The connection would allow an increasing number of telephone calls to be made between the two countries.

Lizard, in the county of Cornwall, is synonymous for its rugged coastline and hilly walks and it just so happens that one of Charles Dickens' favourite pastimes was walking this stretch of coast.

Did Lizard, with its rugged coastline and ideal location for cable communications with Europe, influence his famous writings and quotes?




The cable being proposed for the Lizard to Bilbao connection differed in that for the first time, they were presented in a rubber encasement. Cables manufactured in 1858 through to 1865 had exposed steel outer strengtheners which were prone to corrosion and subject to imminent failure.



Submarine telegraph cables laid between Lizard, England & Bilbao, Spain.

Manufactured for Direct Spanish Telegraph Company Limited by India Rubber, Gutta Percha & Telegraph Works Company Limited - Silvertown LONDON 1872


Deep sea cable (20mm)


Shore end cable (50mm)

ACThe first cable from Lizard was located at the smaller Porthcurno and laid to Carcavelos, Portugal, in 1870. A second Porthcurno - Carcavelos cable was laid in 1873, with an intermediate landing at Vigo, Spain. 1887 saw a further Porthcurno - Carcavelos - Gibraltar cable laid by CS Scotia, which in 1897 laid another, this time direct from Porthcurno to Gibraltar.



New Cable Station built in 1909. Reverse of the postcard


In 1901 CS Anglia laid a cable from Porthcurno to Madeira to complete the link from Cape Town and in 1906 CS Colonia laid a cable between Fayal, Azores and Porthcurno.

In 1919 CS Stephan also laid a direct Porthcurno - Gibraltar cable and in 1925 CSColonia linked Porthcurno and Bilbao. The 1884 Lizard - Bilbao cable acquired by the ETC was first diverted into Falmouth and then Porthcurno.


Original cable station, circa 1920s


Cable station today


The first station, built in 1870, had a number of extensions over the years to accommodate the additional staff needed as the number of cables terminating at Porthcurno increased. In 1909 a new cable station was built to house the equipment, and the original station became the administrative offices and accommodation for the station staff. The station also trained operators for work overseas, and on completion of their training they would be despatched overseas at a salary of £52 per year. Increases were made on merit, and if an operator made too many errors while transmitting, his salary increase would not be paid.


Extensions were added to each end of the building in 1911


Superintendents house.


During the 1914-18 war 43 soldiers were sent to guard against any enemy attack on the station, but no such incident occurred. Although security precautions were not taken before World War 2 was declared, immediately after 3 September, 1939, 300 infantrymen arrived to protect the cable station. Pillboxes were constructed at various points overlooking the beach. A flame barrage was laid on the beach itself to prevent seaborne attacks and anti-aircraft guns, and artillery pieces, disguised as bus shelters or haystacks, were sited close by to prevent attacks by air or sea . The whole area became a closed site and no one was allowed anywhere near without a permit.


The tunnels.


World War II pillbox.


In 1940 two hundred Cornish tin miners were employed to excavate two tunnels to house the equipment. In ten months of digging they removed 15,000 tons of rock creating two tunnels, each 26 feet wide, 23 feet high and 150 feet long. It was opened for use on 31 May 1941 by the C&W Chairman's wife, Lady Wilshaw. The equipment remained in the Tunnels until the closure of the station and this area now forms the working display section of the Museum.


C&W ENGINEERING SCHOOL


The Cable and Wireless School Porthcurno Cornwall


On 9 June 1950 the C&W Engineering School (building near centre of postcard) opened at Porthcurno. Here students completed the second half of an eighteen month course; later the whole course was taken here. In 1993 the school moved to Coventry and the building used was subsequently demolished.


Porthcurno beach


Cable buoy outside the museum


On 31 December 1970 the cable station closed after 100 years of service. All that remained was the Engineering School, which was to move to Coventry in 1993. After the closure some of the buildings were demolished, some sold off. The original cable station building, Zodiac House, was partially demolished, the remainder being converted into holiday apartments, which were sold. The Superintendent's House, (Mercury House), was converted into five holiday flats for letting, and the 1909 building became the Museum shop and Gallery as well as the administrative offices.


ACReferences in this article courtesy of http://atlantic-cable.com/CableCos/Porthcurno/

Cable images courtesy of: Easylife Artefacts Museum

SDAuthor: Shawn Downey

Give your webcam a .com address



For many of us a webcam is like a mirror broadcasting ourselves to the world. It allows us to interact with an audience in a more personal way than writing alone. It means you can talk face-to-face with family and loved ones that are too far away to visit. It's a way of expressing ourselves and connecting with people.


“Your webcam is now more powerful
than you could ever imagine”


Webcams have, without doubt, become significantly more popular and can be found built in to most laptops and computer monitors. Even your mobile phone and tablet have a built-in camera that can be used as a webcam.



Easylife has launched a new service that means your webcam can have an instant domain name. Yes, you read that right, you can give your webcam its very own URL domain name just like www.easylife.com/mycamera. You do not need to install any fancy hardware or download any apps, in fact, all you have to do is open your web browser and visit easylife.com.

Shawn Downey, the Managing Director at iMedia Communications Ltd., leads the team responsible for developing Easylife. He explains “We have set about using new technology to make life easy for everybody, and the services that Easylife can now offer are truly stunning. You can use it to create a smart CCTV system that notifies you if any of your connected cameras detects movement. You can use it to video chat with friends and family. You can use it to set up a teleconference. You can use it to live stream yourself or your desktop to an audience. The possibilities are endless!"

Getting started with Easylife is easy, simply visit easylife.com and choose the service you wish to use. It will then automatically detect any connected cameras and present you with a preview. Pick the one you want and you are ready to go.




Easylife is set for a full release at the end of the summer (pending several patent applications with the Patent office) but the service is ready to go now using the Google Chrome browser. You can try out the service by visiting the website easylife.com.

Easylife.com is an operation of iMedia Communications Ltd.

Permission is granted to reproduce this press release in its entirety.