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The Raspberry Pi has many uses, but one you may or may not have thought of is as a remote Internet-connected camera interface. With a little work, you can make it not only display real-time images, but turn them into a side-by-side 3D stream, appropriate for viewing on 3D goggles or Google Cardboard.

University of Technology, Sydney graduate, web developer, and assorted technology hacker Patrick Catanzariti decided to take this on as his first project with his Pi. He had experience with microcontrollers like the Arduino, but, as he puts it, “Video streams aren’t really suited to a microcontroller.”

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This build actually looks much easier than you might suspect and is well-documented in the above link. He recommends a WiFi adapter so you can transport this setup, and used the Raspberry Pi camera that simply plugs into the flex cable connector. Once plugged in, he set up a program called RPi Cam Web Interface, and with a few terminal commands, set up the camera for use on his local network.

If you try this project, and want to view it outside your network, you’ll need to either use a tunneling service (he used ngrok to do this) or setup a public web server.

As for how to get it in a 3D format, Catanzariti uses a program called three.js that “turns this [single image stream] into a virtual reality style experience without me needing to do any crazy math.” This results in two slightly different images side-by-side as seen in the first picture in this article.

If single-camera virtual reality isn’t quite enough for you, it would, in theory, be possible to use two cameras for an effect like this. Catanzariti mentioned one idea of clustering two Pi boards to access the single camera port on each. Another possible option would be to use two webcams. He is hopeful that people will expand on his ideas and encourages anyone that attempts this to “let [him] know at @thatpatrickguy on Twitter!”

For an entirely different way to use your ‘Pi with video, why not reinvent an old radio as a media center?

[via Adafruit]