The Raspberry Pi mini computer won’t be blind for much longer: a video camera unit shown off last month that will allow Pi owners to build video applications is expected to go on sale in April, according to the Pi Foundation’s Liz Upton.
“We’ve sent the first camera boards to production, and we’re expecting to be able to start selling them some time in April,” she writes on the Foundation blog.
In the meanwhile, in a Google Glass style contest (but without the extortionate $1,500 price-tag — an entirely free giveaway in fact), the Foundation has 10 camera boards to gift to testers who will put the Pi’s Eye through its paces.
The boards will go to folk who “have a magnificent, imaginative, computationally interesting thing you’d like to do with a Raspberry Pi camera board”, as Upton puts it, to help the Foundation do “extra-hard testing”.
The reason we’re giving these cameras away is that we want you to help us to do extra-hard testing. We want the people we send these boards to to do something computationally difficult and imaginative with them, so that the cameras are pushed hard in the sort of bonkers scheme that we’ve seen so many of you come up with here before with your Pis, and so that we can learn how they perform (and make adjustments if necessary)… We want you to try to get the camera doing something imaginative. Think about playing around with facial recognition; or hooking two of them up together and modging the images together to create some 3d output; or getting the camera to recognise when something enters the frame that shouldn’t be there and doing something to the image as a result. We are not looking for entries from people who just want to take pictures, however pretty they are. (Dave Akerman: we’ve got one bagged up for you anyway, because the stuff you’re taking pictures of is cool enough to earn an exemption here. Everybody else, see Dave’s latest Pi in Space here. He’s put it in a tiny TARDIS.)
Pi owners hankering to have an eye to play with should email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain exactly what they want to do with the board, backing up their application with example of prior project work (with or without cameras) and GitHub code or the like, says Upton.
The Foundation also needs your postal address should you win. The competition is open worldwide until March 12.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1129409) which builds and develops the Raspberry Pi.