Pine Launches $30 Open Source IP Camera Platform, Seeks Embedded Linux Devs

The hardware work for this open source IP camera is finished, but developers are needed to get the software over the line.

Open hardware specialist Pine has officially launched the PineCube Dev Kit, offering the hardware required for the development of an open source IP camera based on embedded Linux.

"The PineCube Dev Kit aimed solely for development purpose only and not a ready-to-use end product, this is not for end user who is looking for IP camera," the organization, best known for the Pinebook Pro laptop, PinePhone, and PineTab. "More specifically, [we] only intend for these units to find their way into the hands of developer with extensive embedded Linux OS experience and an interest in open source IP camera or embedded computer development."

The hardware itself is based on an Allwinner S3 system-on-chip with 800MHz Arm Cortex-A7 MPCore processor, 128MB of DDR3, 128Mb of SPI NOR flash, and a bootable microSD slot for additional storage. The mainboard is connected to a daughter board with an OV5640 five-megapixel camera sensor compatible with M12-format interchangeable lenses. There is on-board 802.11/b/g/n Wi-Fi and 10/100 Ethernet with passive Power over Ethernet (PoE) support. The design also includes a photoresistor triggering an infrared array for night vision, a microphone, speakers, and volume and home buttons.

The hardware, then, is well advanced — but it's the software that's still under development. "I am told that software progress on the PineCube is coming along well but it’s all in very early stages," says Pine's Lukasz Erecinski. "From a development standpoint, the goal at this point is to build a mainline Linux (Debian) OS image. Marek (Gamiee), who is currently working towards making such an image, is currently waiting for some u-boot patches that will allow the PineCube boot from SD card as well as writing a video encoding library for the mainline kernel."

For those who want to assist in getting the PineCube off the ground, the hardware is available now for $29.99; more information is available on the platform wiki.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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