Raspberry Pi Smart Camera

This Python library (and README) will help you to create just about the coolest camera you’ve ever seen. From scratch. Yourself. No, seriously. I wrote this to enable people who have NEVER written a line of code to build their very own magicitasital camera, and this README will walk you through it.


Instead of just showing you a picture, this camera will actually describe what it sees when you take a picture (how cool is that?)

Together, we’ll take a basic Raspberry Pi computer running Linux, and use it to write a Python program which accesses a free Microsoft API service to analyze photographs nearly instantaneously. The result we’ll render on a basic LCD display from Adafruit (just about the coolest place on the internet for an IOT geek).

Once we’re done, you’ll have a compact device you can carry around and show to friends, taking pictures and amazing them with how awesome a tiny computer like that can be!



There are some basic hardware requriements, and I have listed some links below to take you to websites where you can buy them.

Raspberry Pi:

You can buy a Raspberry Pi from just about anywhere and get the same result. I proofed this concept on a Pi 3, which you can buy direct from the Raspberry Pi Foundation or with lots beyond the basics from Adafruit

Raspberry Pi Camera:

The camera rarely comes with starter sets, so check the set you’re buying and if it doesn’t include a camera, you’ll need to buy one from one of the sites listed above

Adafruit multicolor LCD Display

For this project, I used a basic multicolor LCD display from Adafruit, designed for the Raspberry Pi. You can certainly use others, but you may need to make minor chages to the code.

Soldering gear

In order to assemble the LCD display, you’re going to need a soldering iron, wire, goggles, etc. Make sure you’re well equipped! safety-first!

MicroSD Card with NOOBS

Most Raspberry Pi kits come with a MicroSD card included with an installation of NOOBS (this is a basic program which lets you insall the common RPi operating systems). If yours doesn’t, make sure you buy / download one (use a search engine!)

Install Raspbian Linux and enable the camera

If you’ve never worked with a Raspberry Pi before, the first thing you’ll need to do is install the operating system.

If your MicroSD card came with NOOBS, just connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse and power supply to your Pi and follow the prompts to install Raspbian Linux (yes, it’s that easy).

If your MicroSD did not come with NOOBS, download it!

Once Linux starts up, set up the camera following the instructions here

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