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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 21, 2002
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
I am looking for a small video camera I can mount to the back of my wheelchair to help in reversing but more importantly to make sure no one is petting or feeding or otherwise interfering with my service dog.

I have pretty specific features in mind - can anyone recommend a solution?

My "wishlist":
  • USB powered (I have a 4-port hub that is powered by the chair's batteries, so I would like not to have to worry about the camera going dead)
  • iOS app for live monitoring
  • Either an ad-hoc wifi or that fancy new Bluetooth connection to my phone. I don't want the lag of it needing a detour to the cloud, and more importantly I want this to work all the time, even if there's no wifi and the data signal is weak/overloaded (concerts, ballgames, etc)
I'm pretty sure the Drop Cam Pro would have worked perfectly, but while I was still deciding if I was going to lay out $200 for this, it turned into the Nest Cam and I'm not sure if it has the same specs.

I'm open to a more surveillance oriented camera like the Nest or something along the lines of a GoPro. Whatever works!


macrumors 601
Jan 1, 2011
L.A. (Lower Alabama)
Unless you want it to be always on (requiring you to be observing from your phone), why not just put a mount on your chair for your iPhone (or iPad) and use selfie mode. It would also save you a fortune.


macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2008
Have you checked out the Garmin VIRB? It is designed as an action camera so it could be mounted. I believe you can keep it powered on through the usb charging cable as I've done this when transferring files with mine. In addition, the Garmin iOS app is not relient on WIFi enabling you to create a network to go from your phone and see the image on your camera. You can even track location and other stats of you get the more advanced version. It may be exactly what you are looking for.


macrumors 65816
Jan 16, 2009

Like the Garmin mentioned above you could go with something like the GoPro Session. It can be powered by USB, has tons of mounting solutions, and has a IOS App for live viewing and recording. The recording capability might be something interesting for you as well. These action cams are probably a more expensive route but you might find other uses for them too. The GoPro app is pretty good but I have seen it drop the WiFi connection before on mine.

Below are some slightly cheaper but more sketchy ideas that I found. You'd probably have to DIY a USB charging solution since most seemed designed to run off the battery or off a cig lighter. mini-iPod


macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2011
What about the lo tech fix of a mounted mirror if you can find a workable location? Sometimes the obviousness of such a device deters people from doing stupid things in your blind area. It would be much easier to replace when broken or stolen and charging and privacy concerns would never be an issue. Your location says Florida. It would also be one less device that needs special rain protection. Should you become stuck it could double as a signal mirror.

I often run a security cam viewer on a 5s. I've also used the same phone to send video feed to an Apple-tv. Ongoing video tends to heat up iOS devices, and thus shorten life. I had a 5s screen delaminate and I guess this could have contributed. I'm not convinced sending a video feed to or from an iOS device or other non dedicated screen for an extended time is the best long term solution.

Shooting way off on a tangent: --->

If this is 100% about the dog, have the dog wear the camera. Isn't the dog already wearing inservice wear? A go-pro and K9 head gear ought to do it, working or not. A silver lined 'space helmet/hat' from a 50's era french sci-fi movie would just about complete the ensemble for the animal. Depending on your temperament, you could take it a step further and come up with a story about the reason for the getup is because the dog reads minds or some other ridiculous story to put you in good position to tell them it is actually because people were interfering with your animal. It may help with the awkwardness of the chair itself presents to regular people, who just want to help without being offensive, and give the chance of starting a relatively safe conversation about the animal allowing, if you want to, you to shut down in advance questions about 'what happened to you?'. Unless the person is like me and just rudely/awkwardly but with good intention, starts by asking, 'so what happened?'

No matter the solution, you still have to gently educate regular people and children about the etiquette around service animals. Not very many people have service animal contact and simply do not realize it is an extension of you. A camera will never be able to fix this lack of knowledge.


My vote is for a mirror, a space helmet, and something that looks like a camera or laser beam and go more low tech. If you have spare time, post the K9 cam to your personal blog and generate some awareness on working animals. If you do the K9 cam helmet, I think we all want to see your results.
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