There is a new ESP32-based board dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) with voice wake-up and face recognition. The board is not yet available to the general public.
In the end of 2018, Espressif sent us an ESP-EYE development kit and a t-shirt to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. They were kind enough to sent a t-shirt for both of us (Rui and Sara).
ESP-EYE First Impressions
Taking a first look at the ESP-EYE board, I was impressed how small it was. Just with 21mm by 41mm, it is equiped with a 2 MP camera, on-board microphone, reset, boot, and function buttons and two LEDs. It features 4MB Flash, 8MB PSRAM, and Micro USB type-C connector.
This board is exclusively dedicated to AI with voice wake up, and face detection and recognition.
At the time of writing this article, there is a broad overview of the board on the Espressif website. There is also a purchase link to pre-order the board. It costs $19.99 and the estimated dispatch date is the end of March – you’ll still have to wait to get one.
ESP-EYE Quick Start Guide
Inside the ESP-EYE package, they provide a quick start guide labeling the board and showing its main features.
Testing the ESP-EYE Board
The ESP-EYE came flashed with the ESP-WHO facial recognition software. This allows us to build an IP camera that can detect faces and distinguish people. The GitHub page provides a schematic showing the ESP-EYE workflow.
Basically, after applying power to the board, you should wake it up with voice commands. You should say “Hi Lexin” to wake it up. To better understand what’s going on, we’ve connected the board to our computer via Serial and used Arduino IDE Serial Monitor to see the messages (we could have used any other software).
After waking up, it creates an access point that you can connect to. After connecting to the ESP-EYE access point, you can access the camera video streaming in your browser using the following URL: 192.168..4.1/face_stream
The video stream is slow (about two frames per second), therefore face recognition is also a bit slow.
You can enroll a new face on the system by pressing the function button. It will associate the face with an ID. After that, it should easily recognize you, and displays a message saying “Hello” followed by the face ID.
If it doesn’t know the face, it displays “Who?”.
I really enjoyed playing with the ESP-EYE. It will provide an affordable way to add voice wake-up and face detection and recognition to our projects. This is just awesome!
We would like to thank Espressif for sending us one ESP-EYE board to play with.
You may also like reading:
- ESP32 vs ESP8266 – Pros and Cons
- Best ESP8266 Wi-Fi Development Board
- ESP32 Development Boards Review and Comparison
Thanks for reading.
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