For years, we have tried several of the available serial JPEG cameras and we were very unsatisfied with the performance, the horribly translated documentation and the non-existent manufacturer support. Well, thanks to the creative engineers at GHI Electronics and to the community support, we will finally have a USA made, well supported and well documented serial time-lapse camera with much more to offer. Allow me to introduce you to ALCAM.
When we decided to create ALCAM we did not stop at just making a camera that captures images through UART. We also added SPI and I2C to the supported interfaces, we added an SD card to allow the capturing of images directly to the SD card and then added video Time-Lapse and Stop-Motion recording as well. ALCAM supports resolutions that range from 160x120 to HD 1080 format.
As if that wasn’t enough, we also added a stand-alone mode where the camera can be used without any serial commands (without a micro). In this mode, a pin is used to trigger image and video capturing. This pin can be connected to a simple button or it can be connected to a sensor, like a motion detector.
ALCAM was designed to work with ANY micro or development system with access to the serial bus. This includes but is not limited to Arduino, mbed and NETMF. If you can use UART, SPI or I2C then you can use ALCAM!
We have spent months on researching image sensors and lenses but we are not done. While we continue our search for the best suited image sensor and lense, we decided to host a campaign on Kickstarter. We decided to host this campaign to involve our community and the world in helping us make ALCAM a reality. Currently ALCAM is being offered as an OEM board, however, with a successful Kickstarter campaign, ALCAM will also be available as a System-on-Chip. Please back us and let us know how you think we can make this camera even better.
Last but not least, we would like to give a special thanks to the “GHI insiders” for the valuable feedback they provided to us.
Seems like no-one is [em]connecting the dots[/em]… One of the beauties of ALCAM is the software interface; sure the bare-bones hardware can be “hacked,” but, like ALFAT, this module gives people the ability to just drop a camera into their design and having it working in minutes!!! Not everybody wants to dabble in hardware level software (at least not for the camera part of their project
@ Jeff - Most people aren’t going to know “ALFAT”, I would even venture a guess that members of our community aren’t familiar with ALFAT because it’s never come across their radar as a need. But I agree, a lot of people are just looking at the hardware alone as far as costs and completely ignoring the easy to use software interface.