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VM Alert - Video Motion Detector

By Adam Uccello

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Video Motion Alert (VM Alert) is an advanced video processing application for the iPhone capable of detecting motion seen by the iPhone camera. VM Alert can use either the rear or front facing camera. VM Alert can be configured to sound a pleasant or alarming audible alert when it detects motion and can optionally save images of the motion conveniently to the iPhone camera roll.


VM Alert is simple to use. Simply start the app, aim the camera at the scene to be monitored, and set the iPhone on a stable surface. After about 3-5 seconds of being still, the app will automatically arm. (The app uses the internal accelerometer to determine when it is no longer moving.) While armed, it will alert on any motion seen by the camera. To disarm, simply pick up the phone.


Intruder Alert
Use VM Alert at your hotel watching the door while you sleep. Use it in the shower to alert you to anyone entering the bathroom door.

Visitor Notification
Use VM Alert to notify you when the mailman visits your door or someone arrives at your office.

Spy Camera
Use VM Alert as a spy camera by simply turning off the audible alert and turning on image capture. Hide your iPhone where the camera can see what you want to monitor and images of any motion will be saved to your camera roll. The images can then be easily downloaded into iPhoto or sent via email.

Private Investigators
Use VM Alert as a surveillance aid. Aim it at the door or driveway of your target to ensure you will be alerted when they leave the area.

Configuration Options

Use Front Camera
This option is only compatible with the iPhone 4. It has no effect on the 3GS.

Alert Sensitivity
This option controls how sensitive the motion detection is. To the left is the least sensitive, and to the right is the most sensitive.

Add OSD To Image
This option adds an On Screen Display of the areas of motion that are being detected. It will appear as a semi-transparent white overlay.

Beep When Arming
This option controls whether or not an audible beep is heard when the VM Alert arms.

Sound Alert
This option controls whether or not an alert sound is played when motion is detected.

Save Image to Album
This option controls whether or not motion images are saved to the camera roll.

Alert Sound
This option is determines the sound that is played when motion is detected if the 'Sound Alert' option is turned on.


VM Alert requires that the phone be stable to effectively detect motion. The iPhone cradle is recommended to secure the device.

VM Alert uses resources on the iPhone that are power intensive. It is recommended that your iPhone be plugged in for extended usage.

The iPhone camera has reasonable but not superb low-light performance. If it is completely dark, VM Alert will not be able to see motion. However, an opening door often provides ambient light that will improve performance and allow for detection.

In low light scenarios, you may want to turn the brightness down on the iPhone.

What's New in Version 1.1

- Added 'blank screen when armed' feature request from reviewer.

- Improved backgrounding behavior.

iPhone Screenshot

iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
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Customer Reviews

On its way

Agree, need to have locking black screen, add video support, also option to save stills/video in a separate secure container away from the Camera Roll, defeats the purpose a little if someone can pick up your stops recording and they can see everything that you just took right in your camera roll. That is the other thing having it disarm and stop recording when it is moved really does not make sense. Because if it is moved or if you are using it as a security device and it is moved or the hotel cleaning staff moves it and it shuts off, then you miss everything else that has happened after that event. Add the option to where it will arm once it does not sense motion anymore and then it stays armed until it is unlocked and stopped by the user. I have searched and tested many apps and this is by far better than most but making these changes will put you far ahead of them all. Look big picture, everyone has one of these when the travel and most people are unsure what happens in their room when they are not there or if they step out for a bit Making these changes makes this the all time security app for those on the go.

Great motion detection!

This app is simply outstanding! Almost too good to be true. It works phenomenally well!

One really useful thing missing from this app is the ability to alert a remote iOS device of movement. I need to be alerted while inside, of movement occurring outside. A second free receiver app for my iPad, or local push notification would earn that 5th star.

Ok, so here was my solution: I Skype called myself with my iPhone 4 and left it running in the background with VM Alert running in the foreground. When movement was detected, the alarm sounded on my iPhone and was instantly transmitted and heard via Skype on my iPad or MacBook Air. Worked perfectly. In fact, I had to turn down the sensitivity so it would only catch more major motion events.


This app works fairly well. It has good sensitivity but is a little slow taking the first pic. I would like option to have sound play when the pic is saved. Also front view camera is mirror image by default. Software needs to flip the image on the horizontal axis. I would also like to see video link to other iOS devices over 3G/4G... Note that app has not been updated in over two years so no improvement can be expected.

VM Alert - Video Motion Detector
View In iTunes
  • $1.99
  • Category: Utilities
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.1
  • Size: 3.8 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Pro, iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPod touch (6th generation).

Customer Ratings

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