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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Solar powered autonomous camera can be stuck anywhere

By Nick Flaherty

Researchers at CSEM in Switzerland have developed the world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be deployed like a sticker, opening up new possibilities for sensors in the internet of things (IoT). 

The patented Witness IoT camera is solar-powered and includes a specially designed CMOS image sensor consuming less than 700 microwatts. Future versions will include VGA resolution as well as embedded face recognition.

CSEM has used its experience in the design and development of ultra-low-power microsystems to develop a fully autonomous portable camera that can be deployed quickly and easily via an adhesive patch or magnet.

“Enabling a range of applications from unattended surveillance and camera traps to wildlife observation, Witness perfectly embodies CSEM’s technological strategy,” said Alain-Serge Porret, VP Integrated and Wireless Systems at the Swiss Research and Technology Organization (CSEM). “We aim to deliver autonomous, low-energy-consuming devices combining both intelligence and efficiency.”

The patented Witness IOT camera measures 80 x 80 mm and 4mm thick, consuming less than 1mW of power in active mode that comes from a flexible, high-efficiency photovoltaic cell with an adhesive surface. A high-dynamic range (120dB) CMOS image sensor consuming less than 700uW @ 10 fps for 320x320 pixels includes intelligent embedded software allows triggering by scene–activity detection. The camera records fixed images at 1fps and stores them in flash memory for later USB readout.

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