Amazon is now shipping the $ 250 DeepLens camera it unveiled in November to help developers create AI image recognition apps and models. Though it looks pretty underwhelming, there’s a fair amount of power in the smallish body. The camera can shoot 1080p (4-megapixel) video, and the mini-computer below packs 8GB of RAM and an Atom processor with 106 gigaflops of performance — easily enough to run visual AI models offline.
You get the usual array of I/O ports and wireless options necessary for app development, including Micro HDMI, USB 2.0, a 2D microphone array and dual-band WiFi. Amazon said you don’t necessarily need machine learning or computer vision experience, and proved it by running a hackathon, with most teams never having done any AI programming before.
DeepLens supports a number of Amazon’s AI services, including Greengrass, TensorFlow and SageMaker, its latest machine learning tool (below). It comes with project templates that can distinguish between 20 objects, a face detection module, and another that can recognize around 30 actions like guitar playing (Amazon has a convenient guide here that makes it all look pretty simple.) As mentioned, you can now now order the camera today in the US (it should come elsewhere later) for $ 250.