AWS DeepLens 2020 Detailed Review & How to Harness its Benefits.
AWS DeepLens: Science fiction has been telling us for decades that artificial intelligence is the wave of the future. Sci-fi books and movies are filled to the brim with robots who are indistinguishable from humans in almost every way. To a point, we believe that science fiction’s view of the future has some merit, but we feel that the golden age of sci-fi was, if anything, limited in the way it viewed the future of AI.
While we are smart enough to heed Hawking’s warnings (we’d be foolish not to, considering that at this point, Hawking himself is more machine than man), we tend to have a less apocalyptic view of the future of AI. Modern developments in AI and deep learning have already made ourselves easier and more productive. Technologies such as facial recognition and object detection have made our devices so much more intuitive. The ability of hardware and software to come together in an intelligent and cohesive way has slowly, but surely, altered the way we live our lives.
Deep learning is a machine learning technology that uses electronic neural networks to learn patterns and make predictions. While deep learning has been slowly making its way into consumer-level products, some software developers shy away from technologies such as deep learning.
It’s easy to assume that only engineers and software companies with a huge surplus of A&R resources could be at the helm of deep learning development. Up until very recently, their assumptions were absolutely correct. There just hasn’t been easy access to the necessary technology or affordable equipment. Amazon has found themselves at the helm of a new consumer technology.
When Amazon sees an opportunity, they take it. Amazon Web Services, aside from being Jeff Bezos’s own private cash-producing machine, has announced their AWS DeepLens, a tool for learning, training, and programming with deep learning technology. While it might look like a large external webcam from 1998, the DeepLens is, in reality, the antithesis of an AOL Instant Messenger-era webcam; an instructional window into the world of AI. Amazon’s new device is a fully programmable video camera, geared towards the developer looking to stay ahead of the competition.
DeepLens ships with everything a developer needs to get started, including some pretty spectacular hardware. The device itself contains over 100 GFLOPs of processing power, which is enough beefiness to allow the DeepLens to process deep learning predictions using HD video. The ability to process that much deep learning computation power feels like something we shouldn’t be able to do from our homes quite yet, and yet here we are.
The camera is only 4 MP, but that’s all you’re going to need to get the job done; unless you’re planning on using DeepLens to print out large prints, which would make you a real weirdo. DeepLens runs on an Intel Atom processor and 8GB of RAM, all operated using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. That’s right, folks, Linux is still kicking. Also packed inside of the DeepLens is the Intel Gen9 graphics engine and 16 GB of storage, which is expandable if you feel like you’ll need some more space.
On the front of the device is an indicator light for the camera status, WiFi connection, and power status. The power button is pleasantly ergonomic. On the back of the device, you’ll find a Micro SD slot, x2 USB 2.0 ports, and a Micro HDMI port. A pinpoint reset button is there for you just in case of an emergency. You’ll also find an audio out AUX headphone jack and the power supply port.
Education and Tutorials
The AWS DeepLens allows developers of all skill levels to start learning about deep learning. The included software provides sample projects which include hands-on examples. Even coding noobs like us were able to get a basic grasp of the concept. DeepLens provides easy access to practical applications of deep learning technology, introducing developers to the integration of deep learning into their own development projects.
True, DeepLens isn’t the smallest or most graceful of tech products, but it needs to pack all of those smarts in somewhere. Measuring in at 168 mm tall (57 mm of which is the camera) by 94mm long and 47 mm wide, it’s not going to take up a tremendous amount of room, but it’s also not going to be the most inconspicuous gadget in your collection. Though, calling this just “another gadget” is really not a fair description.
Getting started was super simple. Amazon claims that it takes only ten minutes to start your own deep learning project. We were too busy having fun with DeepLens to use a stopwatch, but we feel like their target is spot on. The DeepLens contains a library of pre-trained models, but you can also use your own models trained using Amazon SageMaker. After your send the model over to the DeepLens, you can use the AWS management console to watch the deep learning technology in real-time.
Amazon Web Service’s DeepLens is the perfect device for learning about how to integrate deep learning into your development projects. Using a combination of competitive incentives and tight AWS integration,
Amazon has designed a product that will prove to be an indispensable tool for programmers Although it plays with Amazon Web Services tools, DeepLens is versatile enough to please most developers, allowing for a variety of different frameworks. If you’ve already been using SageMaker, the DeepLens is a perfect supporting tool; it literally brings your machine learning models to life.
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