Amazon's AWS DeepLens camera wants to teach you deep learning

The new Amazon AWS DeepLens video camera wants to train developers on deep learning.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
2 min read
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Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET (from Amazon)

It may look like a mild-mannered home security camera, but Amazon's AWS DeepLens is anything but. Announced today at the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference, the $249 (£185/AU$330 converted) DeepLens video camera is designed to help train developers in deep learning programming techniques. 

April 14, 2018, is the projected date of availability on Amazon.com, although you can preorder today.

Deep learning has become a catch-all term for the AI smarts that dominate today's smart home. It's what fuels Amazon's Alexa-enabled speakers, what makes them able to differentiate among various voices, and what makes facial recognition cameras able to distinguish you from your neighbor. And they're only getting smarter -- at least, that's Amazon's hope. 

"AWS" stands for Amazon Web Services and it refers to a variety of cloud-based services offered by the tech giant. The services range from hosting back-end site operations, to storing recorded video, (like what's offered as an optional upgrade via Amazon's Cloud Cam indoor security camera) to messaging services and even AR and VR applications. 

All of the indoor home security cameras we've tested

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Rather than functioning as a traditional indoor security camera, the AWS DeepLens is a training device. It has 1080p HD resolution, a 4-megapixel image sensor, 8-gigabyte memory and 16-gigabyte storage. It also has microSD, Micro-HDMI and two USB ports to accommodate a variety of projects. 

Some of the potential projects Amazon lists include object detection, activity recognition and face detection -- all fueled by Amazon SageMaker, the AWS machine learning service enabling these projects. 

"Amazon SageMaker is a fully managed end-to-end machine learning service that enables data scientists, developers, and machine learning experts to quickly build, train, and host machine learning models at scale," Amazon said in a blog post

With the growth of machine learning in our phones, security cameras and other common consumer products, Amazon's AWS DeepLens video camera could help drive further innovation. We'll see. 

Watch this: Amazon Cloud Cam: The DIY home security camera of my dreams