Raspberry Pi camera board nears completion, user testing required

6 Mar 2013

A camera board for the Raspberry Pi was promised in the new year and, while things seem to be slightly behind schedule, at least 10 lucky users will soon be able to get their hands on a pre-production model in a giveaway with an ulterior motive.

There are 10 camera boards up for grabs for users that can convince the Raspberry Pi team that they have big, challenging plans for the pre-production unit. As the team members are still testing the device themselves, they’ve decided to involve members of their highly creative community at this phase in order to ensure its capabilities on its release.

“The community here always seems to come up with applications for the stuff we do that we wouldn’t have thought of in a million years; we thought we should take advantage of that,” wrote Liz Upton on the Raspberry Pi blog.

Those who wish to get their hands on a camera board are required to do something “computationally difficult and imaginative”, such as facial recognition or 3D rendering, in order to really test the unit’s limits. They don’t want users to simply take pictures with these exclusive units, though they say they will make an exception for Dave Akerman, who has already created imaginative photographs using Raspberry Pi.

Applications explaining these plans should be emailed to iwantacamera@raspberrypi.org, and the competition is open worldwide until 12 March.

The completed camera board is expected to be released in April at a price of US$25. It will feature a 5MP sensor and be capable of recording 1,080p H.264 video at 30fps.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.