Wearable Pi Zero Camera from Adafruit

Over in a land of palm trees and breezy sunsets, Adafruit’s Noe Ruiz has been making things. (My Noe story: I waltzed up to him in the Adafruit factory once, grabbed his hand, pumped his arm up and down and said: “SO good to see you again. How’s your brother?” He looked deeply confused. Turns out we’d never met; I’d just recognised him, and his brother Pedro, from YouTube. I’m still red with embarrassment a couple of years later.)

Anyway. Camera.

adafruit camera_hero-lanyard

This build‘s a great project for those of you with access to a 3d printer. It’s a teeny-weeny wearable camera which you can program to take a continuous stream or (more fun) use to take a time-lapse recording of your day.

Sample time-lapse output was showcased on Adafruit’s 3d Thursday Hangout. You can see some here:

Wearable cameras are fun – they’re great for recording events like parties or weddings, for keeping a record of holidays, or for dedicated diarists. They’ve also got a more serious side; there’s plenty of research available on using wearable cameras to aid people with memory impairments, not only acting as a piece of bionic memory, but also supporting the brain’s ability to build memories by enabling it to review material.

This being an Adafruit project, it’s documented down to the tiniest detail; there are even instructions to build the device using other models of Raspberry Pi if you haven’t got your hands on a Zero yet. (Good news: Zero availability at the four distributors, Pimoroni, The Pi Hut, Adafruit and Micro Center, is much improved, with stock appearing at each location weekly now – sign up to their newsletters to be notified when stock arrives.)


Adafruit have made files for your 3d printer available, and they’ve provided a ready-to-download SD card image for the project along with instructions on rolling your own if you want a bit more of a challenge. You’ll find an easy-to-follow wiring tutorial, and a user-guide.

Big thanks are due to Philip Burgess and both Ruiz brothers. We loved the whole thing: it’s a brilliant project, a perfect write-up, and it offers so much opportunity for expansion. Thanks all!




AndrewS avatar

Neat project (kind of like a self-contained https://thepihut.com/products/zeroview ), but with only 2 hours battery life, I’m not sure how suitable it is for “take a time-lapse recording of your day”.

Pete avatar

I’m sure they could squeeze a little longer by doing away with the booster circuit and running it all straight from the battery, although 2 hours from a 500mah battery is about right.

It is neat though, would make for a nice dash cam project

Alex Bate avatar

Can we somehow harness the power of hamsters to make this battery last longer, Liz?

CJ avatar

Looks like 2 hours of battery life, might try to make this at home, if I can find the the time though!

Mike avatar

Nice post, Ms. Liz.

I agree that Pi Zero stock is showing up weakly. Very weakly :)

I know that the Foundation is working hard on fixing the Zero drought, but we’re still dying of thirst out here.

Big Lou avatar

Not a problem here at the local Micro Center near my house – they have 10+ in stock. Woo hoo, my bird cam project is now officially a go! Hopefully they can maintain stock for the other projects on my list of todos: PiCopter, home automation, Kodi, ….

Richard Sierakowski avatar

That is a real help for people who suffer from short term memory loss.

Run time could be extended by using an external battery pack.


Neil avatar

Are hamsters wearable? … Ok. But hamster wheels?

Hans Lepoeter avatar

For the battery life issue, maybe it’s possible to create a little hw timer to fire up the pi whenever it’s needed for a time laps photo and then shutdown till the next time laps photo. This thing can actually be very usefull for many people if it time lapses a whole day

AndrewS avatar

http://blog.pimoroni.com/zero-lipo/ has some great info on battery run-times.

L avatar

Solar for your dash cams

nate avatar

What is the max number of frames per second this can support? Is it possible to create video with this?

Comments are closed