S+ Camera Basic Combines Raspberry Pi 3 Board and LTE Shield for Edge Applications

Soracom is a company that provides global IoT network cellular connectivity for businesses in smart IoT agriculture, energy, consumer, manufacturing, transportation, and medical industries, and even provides free IoT SIM cards for evaluation (US/Canada only).

The company has just announced the S+ Camera on its Japanese blog. The camera looks to features several off-the-shelf components including a Raspberry Pi 3 board and SixFab Raspberry Pi 3G-4G/LTE Base Shield V2 connecting to Soramcom network.

S+ Camera Raspberry Pi 4G-LTE-IoT
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It’s a little confusing as to why a cellular IoT company would develop an LTE camera since streaming video requires bitrates not normally associated with IoT. The blog post does provide a few more details however, as S + Camera is said to run SORACOM Mosaic software which enables “algorithms for edge processing cameras and management and operation of cameras”.

That means it’s quite possible the video will not be streamed, but edge processing/computing usually means AI is involved, and it may report events such as a person’s name instead of raw data, and it seems to just send images instead of video (TBC). For reference, I discovered the camera through a retweet from Idein’s CEO, a company that showcased GPU accelerated object detection on Raspberry Pi 3 in the past, and whose technology may be embedded in the camera.

If you are based in Japan, Soracom offers an “S + Camera Trial Package” with five cameras, service costs for 3 months, one-day on-site training, and 8-hour of support/consulting for 980,000 yen excluding tax (over $9,000 US). You can apply here.

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