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Attacks leading to loss of life’s have been witnessed in homes affecting normalcy, safety and the owner’s peace. This happens in home with or without CCTV cameras or any monitoring system. Kenya security forces have been reacting to these incidents with minimal satisfaction from the public. From the look of things, the police preparedness is inadequate, and forces approach to the attacks is a thing to question. Thus threats of this nature should be approached with modern methods.

Surveillance system is developed to work with cameras for the purpose of observing an area they are often connected to a recording device or IP Network and may be watched by a security guard or law enforcement officer.

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Traditionally these systems used direct wired connections between the control center and all the sensors. According to Zixuan Song (2011) nowadays, many intelligent applications with various functions are becoming part of our daily lives due to the developments in networking, computing, and communications technologies. Surveillance systems are utilized in many places for public & private security, such as banks, supermarkets, and environments which are hazardous or inaccessible for human beings (for example, in environments which with poisonous gases, or very low or high temperatures).

Since computers and network are widespread, many new network based applications are appearing in our homes. Although home surveillance systems are used in a small fraction of homes, the number of people deploying such systems is gradually increasing as more and more functions are implemented by such a system. While initially such systems provided only entry alarms (to deter theft) or smoke & fire alarms (to automatically summon the fire department), later systems incorporated temperature measurements, detectors for water leaks, etc. These systems help people manage their homes more easily, provide improved security, and enable the home owner to know what happens inside or around their home.

According to Chris Karlof, (2004) lots of integrated transport Network is based on compressive wiring technology, limiting the system to special places and higher costs. The systems are designed to monitor a given area throughout the day and night. The current system include CCTV Cameras, sensors, actuators, CPU for storage and processing data, screens for displaying purposes. Only that most of these requirements are hard to get, expensive and power consuming.

A home surveillance/monitoring system may include video cameras, terminals, sensors, actuators, and severs. More generally, such a system can be used for monitoring or controlling devices. Typically the network transfers data from sensors to a server, from which the user can request information. Similarly the user can send commands via the server to sensors and actuators to control devices. These systems are increasingly connected via a gateway (with firewall) to the internet. As a result home owners can both monitor their homes and control devices in their homes via the internet or other IP network.

According to Remi Bosman and Johan Lukkien (2009) Surveillance systems based on IP networks have become mainstream products in recent years. Large numbers of images and other forms of data can be transmitted in real time through the internet or intranet. Surveillance system has gradually evolved from only the traditional security monitoring functions to become an intelligent management system. Compared to analog surveillance system, a networked surveillance system is more flexible, reliable and lower in cost.

With surveillance system, one is able to know what is going on in a certain area when he/she is not actually there. CCTV allows you to monitor what’s going on in your area through live or recorded video. They integrate with other smart devices like thermostats to improve security of a given area.


1.2 Problem Statement

Current surveillance system runs the whole day recording each and every second of capture. Most of the video recorded by the cameras may not be of any use simply because the camera did not record any important issue. At the end of the day this system will have used more power leading to more expenses yet the video recorded was of no help. Furthermore, no real time notification features are available in current system to notify the owner of the current situation in his/her home. Hence there is need to create software to be deployed on the router in order to find, configure and manage the cameras and a website application where the captured clips can be uploaded for registered user.

1.3 Objectives

1.3.1 General Objective

To develop a smart home surveillance system with SMS notification

1.3.2 Specific Objective

        i.            To study and analyze the current existing surveillance systems in order to establish the challenges associated with them and thus to establish the requirements of the target system.

      ii.            To design and develop a system that will allows cameras from a home upload video files with motion to the owner’s account in an online website.

    iii.            To implement the system i.e. come up with the actual home surveillance system by cording using development tools of my choice.

    iv.            To test and validate the proposed system to ensure that it is capable of addressing the challenges on the ground and most important of all ensure that it is error free and productive to all users.


1.4 Scope and Boundary

At the end of the project, I will come up with a system to provide smart surveillance services and web application where recorded videos will be uploaded. The system to be developed will have facial recognition feature to recognize the owners of a house and differentiate him or her with an intruder. If a not kwon face of a person is recorded by the system, an image will be taken and saved and a notification SMS will be sent to the owner’s phone number and the image sent to his email. The system will always start recording videos only after a motion is recognized by the system. The recording will stop after the motion has ended and any additional ten minutes. Once the recording is done, uploading will start immediately to the online platform for interested owners to view. Another SMS will be sent after a complete upload of the video. The homeowners can also send a command to the system to start recording even without any motion by setting duration of recording. Once recording is done the process of uploading will take place to the last step.  Through internet connection homeowners can monitor their houses from anywhere.

1.5 Justification

With increased need of personal security, privacy and property protection, Surveillance system would be the best option to handle these issues at a lower cost. The current system is expensive to buy and maintain therefore, there is a need to work on a system that will be affordable to all and easy maintain. Anyone who would like to monitor his/her house and property from a distance, then this research project will be of great help. The new system will include less hardware requirements, capturing only and if a motion is detected will make the system consume less power and avoid junk recorded video files will thus improving a lot in the current system.










2.1 Introduction

This section will involve picking from related case studies, analyze them and in order to better understand both systems that is going to be developed. A comparison between these case studies is shown to see its similarities, advantages and disadvantages and thus assumptions will be drawn.

2.2 Smart Home Surveillance systems overview

According to SDM Magazines (2016) there are about 350 million surveillance cameras worldwide as of 2016. About 65% of these cameras are installed in Asia. The growth of CCTV has been slowing in recent years.

There are many existing devices in market such as CCTv Cameras, IP camera, Infrared Sensor, Laser Sensor etc. Surveillance systems provide an extra layer of protection in banks, supermarkets, Airports, homes, schools and environments which are unsafe or inaccessible for human beings. Picking the best security camera can get a little tricky with all the endless features and tech specs to choose from. Automating  and coming up with an intelligent surveillance system to help us in real time monitoring  with incidents notifications would be the joys of anyone who uses a surveillance system. Surveillance of the public using CCTV is common in many areas around the world. In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room, for example when the environment is not suitable for humans.

2.3 Smart Home Surveillance systems related studies

According to Shodh ganga (2013) the literature related to the research topic has been reviewed for last twenty years in order to find out work carried out by various researchers. There are many systems for remote monitoring and control designed as commercial products or experimental research platforms. It is noticed that most of the research carried out belongs to the following categories

a)      Internet based Monitoring using Servers, GPRS modems, etc. with different approaches.

b)      GSM-SMS protocols using GSM module individually or in combination with Internet Technologies.

c)      Monitoring using Wireless Sensor Networks.

d)      Wireless Monitoring using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee and RF.

e)      Applications have varied widely like Home Automation, Security Systems, Bio-medical applications, Agriculture, Environment, Reservoir, Bridge health monitoring, etc.


 Internet monitoring is one of the common approaches for remote monitoring. Many researchers have worked in field of Internet based remote monitoring.

(Ciubotaru-Petrescu et al., 2006) developed a system composed of server which interfaces several video surveillance cameras including several microphones for audio surveillance. This server captures video and audio streams from the video cameras and microphones and operates on these streams according to the configuration of the local control software module. This module can store the video and audio streams on local hard-disks, index video and audio captures by time and place, retrieve images and sound based on user specified time intervals and deliver them to the user via Internet, or deliver (streaming) live images and sounds from a predefined camera. The system is connected to the building power supply and can be connected to the Internet via several communication solutions based on their availability. In case of power grid failure the system is provided with a secondary power supply based on rechargeable batteries which can keep the system functional for several hours. The main weaknesses of this system are the power supply and the Internet connection.

(Zhu and Cui, 2007) developed remote intelligent monitoring system based on embedded Internet technology for device-room monitoring of the campus network. The Intelligent Monitoring Terminal (IMT) is provided with the functions of Embedded Internet Node Unit and local MSD (Monitoring System Devices). IMT can give alarm of theft or fire according to detection analysis of temperature, sound and smog. And it also can connect to Internet for carrying out remote data communication. The MCU S3C44B0, which utilize 32-bit ARM kernel, is adopted in intelligent monitoring terminal. Linux operating system is chosen as the software core of embedded system. It offers self-contained TCP/IP network protocol module and provides strong support for embedded Internet technology.

(Kumari and Malleswaran, 2010) developed real time based equipment home monitoring and controlling system using embedded web based technology which directly connects the equipment to network as a node. The embedded system consists of ARM7 based LPC 2148 microcontroller board, A/D, signal conditioning, sensors, and communications interface. The function of web based system is to collect the real time data information of the on-site equipment and remotely send the data in the form of user defined data transmission style. The remote Computer collects the data and running status through the network and provides the comparison on the historical data. If the parameter value is different from the original set value, the corrected signal is sent to the control unit. The embedded remote monitoring system completes the data Collection in the embedded platform and provides the data to remote host through the TCP/IP protocol from Web server. It creates condition to realize unattended management through providing Web-based graphical management interface for the Internet or LAN users

2.4 Weaknesses of the current systems

                                i.            These systems generally do not have alert facilities against occurrence of abnormal conditions. User needs to have PC / smart phone / PDA with suitable software support.

                              ii.            The development and deployment cost of wireless sensor networks is very high due to need of motes, sensors, radio transceivers, etc.

                            iii.            Junk recording to a system is another matter of concern. This leads to more power consumption and in return more expenses are incurred.


2.4 Research gap

A more open question is whether most CCTV is cost-effective. While low-quality domestic kits are cheap the professional installation and maintenance of high definition CCTV is expensive. In current systems, a guard has to notice an ancient that is not right then take actions towards it. Traditionally, CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) based Surveillance Systems were used for multi camera monitoring. This solution was expensive due to the huge hardware costs.

The smart home surveillance system will use the technology of OpenCV and Computer Vision. Open CV (Open Source Computer Vision) is an open source computer vision and machine learning software library. OpenCV was built to provide a common infrastructure for computer vision applications and to accelerate the use of machine perception in the commercial products. This library of programming functions mainly aimed at real-time computer vision therefore, it will be used with any camera to come up with a Smart home Surveillance system.

2.5 Summary

Smart intelligent surveillance is advanced video surveillance software. Users can effortlessly monitor home, office, cradle, parking area, storehouse, UFO or any other premises 24- hours a day. Time stamped image capturing let users capture details of events precisely when they happen. Simply connect a USB or FireWire Camera to your PC. Different environments have different surveillance requirements. All you will need for securing your assets is a PC, a couple of webcams and software like Smart home Surveillance System. This system will also incorporate an SMS module to be used for notifications purposes and a web page where recorded videos will be uploaded for online monitoring.


















3.1 System development and methodology

The system to be developed will use incremental model. Incremental model is broken down into multiple standalone modules of software development cycle. These cycles will further be divided into smaller and more manageable iterations. Each iteration or loop will pass through the requirements, design, coding and testing phases. Each subsequent release of the system will add more functions to the previous release until all designed functionalities are implemented. Incremental model allows gradual development and new functionalities will be defined for a later adjustment on the system. The advantages of incremental model are that: the development process of the system is quick, flexible and less expensive to change requirements, scope and errors which will easily be identified.

3.1.1 Structural view of incremental model










This steps will be repeated until all modules of the system is achieved. Afterwards, all the modules will be integrated to come up with a final smart home surveillance system.



3.2 Analysis and design tools

The following design tool will be used to design the system

3.2.1 Flow Charts

The system to be developed will use flow charts to show the flow of data within the system. A flowchart is a visual representation of the sequence of steps and decisions needed to perform a process. Each step in the sequence is noted within a diagram shape. Steps are linked by connecting lines and directional arrows. The flowcharts will be used to represent algorithms, workflow or processes by showing steps of various kinds and their order by connecting them with arrows. This diagrammatic representation will illustrate a solution model to the problem at hand.

3.2.2 Case Diagrams

The development process will use case diagrams to show representation of a user’s interaction with the system. I will use case diagram to show the representation of a user’s interaction with the system in order to know the relationship between the user and the different use cases in which the user is involved. They will also be used show the behavior of the system based on the user’s interaction with the system.

3.3 system implementation tools and techniques

3.3.1 System requirements

This is a collection of all requirements of the system to be developed and the end user who will use the online web page to access his/ her uploaded files. Below are the software requirements

        i.            Project documentation: Microsoft word 2013

      ii.            The programming languages: Java with the help of NetBeans IDE

    iii.            Scripting languages: Python and Django Framework and JavaScript

    iv.            Markup Language: HTML and CSS with the help of Notepad++ IDE and CSS

      v.            The database management system: MySQL

    vi.            MySQL server management and administration tool: phpMyAdmin

  vii.            Operating system: Windows 7 Ultimate


3.3.2 Hardware Requirements

The minimum hardware requirements are 800 MB RAM Memory, Intel Pentium III or equivalent, at least 20-40 GB Hard disk space, keyboard and a mouse. The user should have sufficient knowledge of computers. The personal computer should have internet connection or internet server capabilities. The users must be familiar with the English language since the user interface will be provided in English.

3.4 System testing and validation

The system to be developed will be evaluated during development or at the end of development process to determine whether it satisfies business requirements.

Types of testing

Unit Testing

Testing of an individual software component or module is termed as Unit Testing. It is typically done by the programmer and not by testers, as it requires a detailed knowledge of the internal program design and code. It will be concerned with functional correctness of the standalone modules.

Integration Testing

Upon completion of unit testing, the units or modules are to be integrated which gives raise to integration testing. The purpose of integration testing is to verify the functional, performance, and reliability between the modules that are integrated. Thus it will be used to verify the combined functionality after integration is termed so.


Usability Testing

Under this testing, User-friendliness check is done. Application flow will be tested to know if a new user can understand the application easily or not, Proper help documented if a user gets stuck at any point. Basically, system navigation is checked in this testing.

It is difficult to evaluate and measure but can be evaluated based on the below parameters:

·         Level of Skill required to learn/use the software. It should maintain the balance for both novice and expert user.

·         Time required to get used to in using the software.

·         The measure of increase in user productivity if any.

·         Assessment of a user’s attitude towards using the software.

Security Testing

Security testing will be done to check how the software or application or website is secure from internal and external threats. This testing includes how much software is secure from the malicious program, viruses and how secure and strong the authorization and authentication processes are. It will be used to determine if an information system protects data and maintains functionality as intended.

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