Amazon designs an A.I. camera to teach computer vision to developers

Amazon's DeepLens camera is available in the U.S.for $249

From Google to Snapchat, artificial intelligence is expanding the camera’s prowess and Amazon wants to give developers the chance to learn about deep learning and computer vision. On November 29, Amazon Web Services launched AWS DeepLens, a video camera designed to teach developers how to program A.I. functions from stylistic transfers to recognizing a hot dog. And now, on June 14, DeepLens is available in the U.S. for $249.

DeepLens is less of a camera and more of a learning tool. The camera is pre-loaded with several different A.I. infrastructures and helps teach developers how to use the tech with AWS infrastructure inside their own apps. The camera comes with AWS Greengrass Core and a version of MXNet, while users can also add their own frameworks like TensorFlow.

The learning camera looks rather unlike other cameras on the market — instead, it more closely resembles an action camera mounted on top of an external hard drive. The camera component houses a 4-megapixel camera capable of shooting standard 1080p HD video while a 2D microphone system incorporates sound.

But of course, a 4-megapixel camera isn’t what the DeepLens is all about. The camera system uses an Intel Atom processor fast enough to run deep learning algorithms on 10 frames in one second. The 8 GB of memory houses both the pre-stored code along with custom algorithms. Wi-Fi also opens up the possibility of using cloud computing for algorithms too large to run on the internal hardware.

Using AWS DeepLens software and a computer, users can choose from project templates for a more guided learning experience or choose to design their own software from scratch. The templates or sample project walks developers through how the project works so they can build hands-on experience to integrate deep learning into their own projects.

Deep learning is a form of artificial intelligence that requires less developer supervision over more traditional A.I. The form of machine learning is commonly used for computer vision, or the ability to recognize objects or patterns in images.

While the camera is designed primarily for developers, the hands-on access could allow smaller app companies to integrate the advanced features.

Updated on June 14: DeepLens is available in the U.S. 

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