Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in 3rd International Conference on Signal Processing and Communication Systems Omaha, Nebraska, 28-30 September 2009.


An embedded smart camera is a stand-alone unit that not only captures images, but also includes a processor, memory and communication interface. With battery-powered and embedded smart cameras, it has become viable to install many spatially-distributed cameras interconnected by wireless links. Not requiring to have access to electrical outlets and have wired links increase system flexibility. However, wireless and battery-powered smart-camera networks introduce many additional challenges since they have very limited resources, such as power, memory and bandwidth. The algorithms running on the camera boards should be lightweight and efficient. In addition, the frequency of communication between camera nodes, and the content of the message packets should be carefully designed, since communication consumes power. In this paper, we present a wireless embedded smart-camera system that performs peer-topeer object tracking and event detection. We analyze the power consumption and performance of this system during different parts of the algorithm execution and for different message exchanges between camera nodes. We also present a graph of the energy consumption for different tasks performed in a camera’s processor. The number of instructions are also presented. The results demonstrate the importance of the careful choice of when and what data to transfer between cameras, and also the necessity of having lightweight algorithms in these resource-constrained systems.