Raspberry Pi camera built as part of advertising campaign

the-rpi-camera

Here’s yet another example of well targeted advertising. This camera built around a Raspberry Pi is a giveaway from Sprite. The “lucky” winner of the camera will have the pleasure of seeing the Sprite logo as a watermark on all of the images they snap with it. But in the right hands it’s a simple hack to remove that “feature” (they published the Python script that adds the watermark) or to just scrap the parts for another project. Either way, Sprite got us to say their name three times in this paragraph so the campaign worked.

The most obvious part of this build is the custom cast resin case that they came up with which is a gaudy cartoon-like monstrosity. It protects the case-less Raspberry Pi board, and mounts the Pi Camera board so that the lens is positioned correctly. The lipstick-sized module mounted in the lower back half of the case is a 2400 mAh portable power supply with a USB charging port sticking out the side. This makes us wonder, do you have to wait for the RPi to power up before snapping a picture? If the size and color didn’t get you noticed by everyone the shutter sound will. it shouts the name of the soda company whenever you press the shutter release button.

If you’re more of a high-end photography enthusiast this DSLR wedded with an RPi will be of more interest.

Comments

  1. wretch says:

    Nice build, looks a bit like a Holga camera. No viewfinder, though?

  2. roboman2444 says:

    Hm… surprised sprite would do something this kludgey
    You would think they would have a nice, small 3d printed case, clean wiring, etc.
    IMO it looks worse than most things on HAD.

  3. tom says:

    “We’ve used OpenCV to process the photos for adding the watermark, and soon found out that processing a photo does take a lot of time ( ~ 5 to 15 seconds).”

    It’s a static watermark! Seeing as they are running Python already, why don’t they just do something like this? https://gist.github.com/snay2/876425

    They also go on to state that “…we have created instead just a new Python script which monitors the “/home/pi/picture” folder and every time there’s a new photo, processes it, saves it on the memory USB stick and removes it from the SD card.” … which is very strange indeed.

  4. lloyd says:

    What the hell is that?

  5. polytechnick says:

    For a branded item it’s got a strangely shoddy build. Could they not spring for a 3D printed shell?

  6. Vonskippy says:

    If a case build that ugly, Sprite should have partnered up with Sugru.

  7. Mystick says:

    Every time I hear of an advertising campaign that involves semi-kludged electronics, I think of the whole ATHF thing that shut down a city out of fear.

    • Sven says:

      That was fantastic, especially since everyone knows proper terrorist bombs have LED cartoons on them…

      I should get one of those “nine eleven” transparent backpacks to carry my half finished projects in when i move them between places, just to scare people to death… Jumbles of wires, unidentified components, batteries, strangely labeled small bags and boxes…

  8. Rob says:

    That’s got to be the work of a local contractor/distributor/somethingorother in Eastern Europe. There’s no way Coca Cola would let something that looks like that out into the wild. Granted, I’m ignorant of all things Eastern Europe, so feel free to set me straight. Regardless of who or how, that thing is just straight-up uuuugly!

  9. rexxar says:

    I just can’t understand why they put the effort into this (really ugly) die-cast case, but there’s chopped-up USB cables and hot glue on the inside.

    How could they possibly justify the cost of having this case die-cast, rather than 3D printed? Hell, for the aesthetic they’ve got going on inside, they could just use a project enclosure from Radioshack…

    • Sven says:

      Knowing something about how advertising people work, it was probably either time constraints or a realization that they didn’t know crap about what they were doing.

    • Greenaum says:

      It looks like some sort of Romanian hacker / advertising agency, who come up with ideas and hacks for unusual one-off ad displays for corporate clients.

      Their other stuff is all pretty kludgy, PVA glue and lolly-sticks. The camera’s of the same quality as the rest of their stuff. I don’t think the case is die-cast, looks more like one-off vacuum-formed plastic bits.

      Seems like they’re not very knowledgable technically. But that itself is interesting. When before could anyone design their own digital camera with custom software? Admittedly ugly, but you can now put appliances together just by plugging component bits together, no soldering! That itself is impressive, and gives hope for the future of people making custom stuff for themselves.

  10. Ian Oliver says:

    I’m kinda disappointed that the contest is probably limited to Europe or Romania (not sure which). I have some ideas about how to improve that camera. I hope it ends up in good hands.

  11. Galane says:

    That is one really crappy case. Looks like the builder used a lot of thickener in the resin and troweled it into the mold with a putty knife.

    As a stylistic concept prototype it’s enough to show the idea, but if Sprite was going to give away a lot of these it’d be far cheaper to have a custom board designed and plastic injection molds made in aluminum. Aluminum molds can run quite a lot of parts (some have run many thousands of parts with little or no wear) and are a lot less expensive to have made than steel molds.

    For a high production version that useless lump on top would need to go buh-bye, unless it would have a white LED and a big clear diffuser for a flash.

  12. 1000100 1000001 1010110 1000101 says:

    looks like the contest is available in Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  13. no it is not says:

    Re : “This makes us wonder, do you have to wait for the RPi to power up before snapping a picture?”

    It depends entirely what they’ve loaded onto the SD card.

    If its the Raspbian distribution recommended by the raspberry pi foundation then the boot time of 30-ish seconds plus a few more seconds for the camera board to settle and scripts to get going. For a single use scenario however, an operating system as complete as Raspbian (debian) would be overkill.

    An optimised single-use Linux OS image could easily enough be built for the pi using the buildroot scripts see http://buildroot.uclibc.org/ )with far less overhead and only the necessary program binaries installed, drastically reducing boot time.

    Something like this has already been achieved, Guillermo Amaral, author of the Marshmallow game engine, created an image for the pi that boots straight into a demonstration of his engine in ~4 seconds. see a demo video at http://guillermoamaral.com/read/mes/

  14. Mike says:

    Am I the only one here that doesn’t think that the camera looks bad? I doubt that I could make something that looks better in an afternoon. Sure, the internals aren’t pretty, but they don’t have to be. This project is concisely documented (with source), even if they didn’t cover the body work.

  15. Joejoedancer says:

    The camera is fine. The people on the other hand need a shower and degreaser.

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