Raspberry Pi Zero Smart Glass

by ZeroBeatPro, published

Raspberry Pi Zero Smart Glass by ZeroBeatPro Jul 3, 2016
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At a lose for words? Can't describe an object? PiZero SmartGlass can help you with that by using image recognition tech. Make your own smart glasses easily with the Raspberry Pi Zero! Affordable and easy to build, retro-wearable 3D Virtual Stereo Digital Video glasses are around $75 along with the Pi Zero. This display uses composite video to connect the Pi Zero's video out pins and are easily customized. There are many applications for image recognition, which allows computers to translate written text into digital text. The PiGlasses can help with the field of machine vision, recognizing people and objects. Add a battery pack and your PiGlasses are ready to go!

10/3/2016 Replaced Edimax EW‑7811Un Wifi with RTL8723BU Wifi+Bluetooth 4.0
7/16/16 Fixed full.py code to reduce CPU consumption from 100% to 2%

Print Settings


Flash Forge Creator










The Resolution works well within the .20 to .27 range.


Sanding + Xacto knife may be used.

The parts are designed to snap in place, with a strong push.

OCR Demo

Image Recognition Demo

Picture Mode

Pi Zero Smart Glass IR video recording

How I Designed This

Designed using 123D SketchUp

The designed was based off of Polylines in combination with extrude function.

Custom Section

Project: Raspberry Pi Zero Smart Glass

Overview & Background:

This project helps gain an understanding of designing a Pi Smart Glass and learning how to program with different API Recognition on the raspberry pi.


Students will learn to use Raspberry Pi Zero
Students will learn to create/use Schematics
Students will learn to Solder
Students will learn Python coding
Students will understand image recognition API
Students will experience hands on construction
Students create Smart Glasses.


The grades, ages, or skill levels that would be appropriate for this Project.
4th grade+, Age 10+, Skills in Soldering


Subjects in programming in Python, and Bash. Basic understanding of Machine Vision, and facial recognition,image search recognition,OCR recognition API.

Skills Learned (Standards):

3D Slicing
3D Printing
Motor Skills
Complex Thinking Skills
Innovation skills.

Stuff Needed

Raspberry Pi3 (for Quick Programming, and switching card into pi zero.)
PI NOIR Camera V2 or Pi Camera V2 (I love Noir)
Silicon 30AWG wires (variety of colors is recommended)
Silicon 26AWG wires (2 colors)
20x SMD Tactile Pushbutton Key Switch Momentary Tact 2 Pins 362.5mm
Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 Camera Edition
Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 Camera Cable
3D Virtual Stereo Digital Video Glasses with AV input


First print out all the parts. Make sure the pieces snap together without any problems.

Step1: First dissemble the video glasses.

Step2: Pop out the Lenses

Step 3 Remove the 2 screws in the glasses by the nose area.

Step 4: Pry out the video glasses from the seems by using a plastic tool or a flat head.

The audio jack/power jack highlighted in blue will be removed and the 1 Lcd module will be removed and can be used as a backup.

In the next few steps we will solder the Wifi+Bluetooth4.0 Module, along with the 5v rail, and 3x SMD tactile buttons with aLEDSquins

Here we are going to uses the piggy back wifi hack to solder the RTL8723BU Wifi+Bluetooth 4.0 on to the Pi Zero Board https://www.element14.com/community/groups/makershive/blog/2015/11/29/first-raspberry-pi-zero-hack-piggy-back-wifi

Next With 26AWG(1-2 meters) Solder the USB 5V to the PP1 and ground to pp6

Cut 30AWG x6 170mm strands, and 30AWG x2 200 strands for the sequin Led

Cut 30AWG x4 210mm strands, these will be soldered to the video out module. USE heatshrink


First download the latest Raspbian Jessie from here https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/, and follow the installation guide link on that page

On The Raspberry Pi Zero in Terminal and type these commands to install the
RTL8723BU Wifi+Bluetooth 4.0  module (should take about 1 hour to compile)

First Lets install the Wifi drivers
[email protected]:~ $ sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-kernel-headers
[email protected]:~ $ git clone https://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8723bu.git
cd rt*
sudo make
sudo make install
sudo insmod 8723bu.ko
sudo reboot
Next we are going to install the Bluetooth 4.0 Drivers
git clone https://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8723au_bt.git
cd rtl8723au_bt
git checkout -b kernel origin/kernel
git branch
git pull
sudo make
sudo make install


*Type this command, we are going to edit the screen dimension output since i noticed some overscan space. Originally the video glasses is advertised 240x360 but its actually 720x480 after i noticed some empty overscan space. We are going to use some overides in the /boot/config.txt.

[email protected]:~ $ sudo nano /boot/config.txt

now just uncomment "disable_overscan=1" and set framebuffer_width=720

"#" uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible
"#" and your display can output without overscan

"#" uncomment to force a console size. By default it will be display's size minus
"#" overscan.

press enter to save

Next install cloudsight and unirest.
sudo pip install cloudsight
sudo pip install unirest

[email protected]:~ $ sudo pip install cloudsight
[email protected]:~ $ sudo pip install unirest

Create 3 folders in home/pi/


You can either chmod 777 via command line or right click the FacialRecogntion,ImageOCR,and
ImageRecogntion folders and make sure Anyone is selected for all 3 sections.

Download the full.py to the Pictures folder (its included in the Thingfiles)

Make sure the full.py permissions is set 777 or the 3 sections in the Access control set to anyone

Finally in terminal we will acces crontab -e .This is a file which contains the schedule of cron entries to be run and at specified times. In this case we want to run the file at every reboot.
[email protected]:~ $ crontab -e

@reboot sleep 10; XAUTHORITY=/home/user/.Xauthority
@reboot sleep 10; export DISPLAY=:0
@reboot sleep 10; export DISPLAY=:0.0 && python /home/pi/Pictures/full.py &


Assembly is usually the easy parts.

Start by threading the smd wired through the buttonbridge

Next solder the ends of the smd buttons to the Pi Zero, and connect the camera cable to the Pi Zero

Slide the Pi Zero through the PiHolder, with curved tweezers carefully guide the jst connecter and the camera cable through Buttonholder piece and the front bridge piece.

Place the camera in the eyepiece.

Use a little piece of tape to hold the magifyholder to the eye lens

Carefully slide the video module into the Front bridge, Finally connect the micro lcd to the side connector and the blacklight to the video module

Here is the schematic to make a DIY battery pack with indicator for pi Glasses.

Bonus: DIY Battery Pack with Indicator

Battery Pack Supplies

"BatteryIndicator.ino" code included in files above


1 hour for printing.
1 hours for assembling and programming.


Wire Strippers
Raspberry Pi3 (for Quick Programming, and switching card into pi zero.)
PI NOIR Camera V2 or Pi Camera V2 (I love Noir)
Silicon 30AWG wires (variety of colors is recommended)
Silicon 26AWG wires (2 colors)
20x SMD Tactile Pushbutton Key Switch Momentary Tact 2 Pins 362.5mm
Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 Camera Edition
Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 Camera Cable
3D Virtual Stereo Digital Video Glasses
RTL8723BU Wifi+Bluetooth 4.0  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HCL3THA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
32 or 64gb card



Rubric & Assessment:

What did the student learn for building this?
Any troubleshooting problems the student encountered?

Handouts & Assets:


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Have you tried this build-out using the newer "Pi Zero W" with the built-in WiFi and LPE Bluetooth? I want to know if it works as well as the adapter, since I have already soldered the adapter, but haven't had a chance to finish my build yet

I havent tried the build with the Pi zero W yet, but it should work perfectly as well.

Mar 25, 2017 - Modified Mar 25, 2017
phalkon13 - in reply to ZeroBeatPro

I have connected the Pi Zero W via Composite for video, as well as got the camera working, and it looks like the packages you recommend to install seem to work fine. I haven't had a chance to finish build out, but I see no reason why the buttons wouldn't work. When I get a chance to solder everything together, I'll let you know if it works (but I am very optimistic).
Great thing about the Pi Zero W working would be that you no longer have to solder the Wifi/Bluetooth board on, so it would make for more room in the housing.

Thanks for this awesome mod to this buildout. Also, your Python script might help me with getting another issue working on regarding getting the GPIO buttons on the PITFT 2.8" screen to run shell scripts (I am not knowledgeable enough in Python to fully understand, so I am using your full.py script to learn something).

Hi, Would you mind updating the 3d print files.

I printed those files and the specifications are not right so very hard to connect all the thing

thank you

sure ill rework the design