Camera Dimensions 133 x 28 x 94mm
Image resolution: 8-megapixel
VisionCams offer the chance to capture long-term recordings of settings without invading privacy. Computer vision triggers and manipulates images, producing stop-action recordings that balance intrigue with insight.
VisionCams take images automatically. The default program takes time-lapse pictures depending on how much movement is detected in the scene and is activated by swivelling the lens cover open. A selection of other programs are also available from the VisionCam software page, each capturing and modifying images in different ways. This allows VisionCams to support a wide range of experimental uses.
Preserving privacy is fundamental to VisionCams. For instance, the default programme saves and displays only the contours of scenes, producing images that are evocative without being invasive. Compact VisionCam is designed to be noticeable when left in place. The display is adjacent to the camera, so it can be seen while images are captured. It takes an image when motion is detected and displays a preview of what it has seen in the form of a looped stop-frame animation on screen. The camera can be left for hours to capture the rhythms and flows of its location, and stopped by closing the lens cover.
The casing for the Compact VisionCam can be printed on all 3D printers without support material. This design is smaller than VisionCam Tall and can be used in portrait or landscape orientations. It requires only off-the-shelf components that you can buy online. Both the Raspberry Pi operating system and the VisionCam software are available as a single disk image, and can be flashed to an SD card in one step. Powered via a USB port, it can be plugged into a mains adaptor or run for hours using a standard USB battery.
There is selection of 3D printable accessories that can be attached to the VisionCams to extend their physical functionality.
List of all the components to assemble the VisionCam Compact
3D printed case (download files below)
Raspberry Pi Model 2 and above
Adafruit PiTFT 2.2" HAT details
Raspberry Pi Camera module V2
6 x No.2 6.4mm & 3 No.2 9.5mm self-tapping screws available here
Micro SD card
Micro USB cable for power
USB power supply or battery
Cultural Probe task wrapper
List of handy equipment
Small Phillips screwdriver (cross head)
Download 3D files to make the case
to view and download various file formats
VisionCam Compact, Fusion360
How to use
Plug in a USB power supply or battery.
Wait the Raspberry Pi to boot up, the camera is ready to use when the animated icon of the lens cover is displayed on screen.
Open the lens cover by swivelling it left or right to begin recording.
The display will show a looped stop-frame animation of what has been recorded.
To adjust the contrast lines, press the large button to the top right on the screen to enter a ‘settings’ mode which shows a live preview. Press the button on the far left the screen for fewer lines, press the button immediately to the right of this for default lines, and button to the right of this again for more lines. The live preview / settings mode will time out after a short period or can be cancelled at any time by pressing the large button to the top right on the screen again.
Record for as long as you like (note that the camera will stop recording if it is very dark).
Close the lens cover to stop recording.
Download the images from your camera
For instructions on how to download the images and the compiled stop-frame videos from the VisionCam, please head over to the Software page.