Jean-Luc Aufranc has put together a low-cost privacy-friendly mount for any Raspberry Pi Camera Module — including the newly launched Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 — by upcycling chewing gum bottles.
"I saw some empty XYLITOL gum bottles, noticed the cap would open vertically, and it seemed like the [camera] modules might fit in there as well," Aufranc explains of his thinking. "And indeed they do with the Raspberry Pi camera modules snugged neatly into the caps.
"If I push the bottom of the module into the cap it will be slightly inclined, but it will end up being vertical because the cap itself is very slightly inclined as well. It is also very tight as even if I shake the bottle like a madman the module will not fall off, no glue is needed."
The coincidental size match between the round chewing gum bottle caps and the square Raspberry Pi Camera Module boards makes for a handy mount with surprisingly little modification: just cut out a small slit at the top of the cap through which the cable can pass, and push the module home so that the camera lens is pointing away from the lid.
In addition to elevating the module and holding it vertical, the upcycled camera mount offers a bonus feature: "privacy mode," in which the lid is closed — both protecting the lens from dust and damage and preventing it from filming anything but the inside of the bottle. Flip the lid open again and you're ready to start capturing still photos and videos.
There is, however, one minor catch applicable only to the new wide-angle Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 variant: visibility of the gum bottle at the bottom of the frame. "[One] solution is to turn the module around by 180 degrees and make a hole for the camera in the cap," Aufranc notes. "The privacy mode is gone unless it’s good enough to point at the ceiling or the sky."
Aufranc's full write-up is now available on CNX Software.