Easy Basics: Project 86a Meet the Espressif ESP-EYE development board v2.1

of Acoptex.com in ESP8266 ESP-32

Basics: Project 86a

Project name: Meet the Espressif ESP-EYE development board v2.1

Tags: Arduino, Espressif, ESP-EYE, development board, v2.1, image recognition, audio processing, AIoT applications

Attachments: none 

In this project, you needed these parts (Dear visitors. You can support our project buy clicking on the links of parts and buying them or donate us to keep this website alive. Thank you):

1.ESP-EYE devkit (ESP-EYE development board v 2.1 and Micro USB cable) 1 set


We will learn about ESP-EYE development board v 2.1.

What is the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT)?

The Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) is the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure to achieve more efficient IoT operations, improve human-machine interactions and enhance data management and analytics. AI can be used to transform IoT data into useful information for improved decision making processes, thus creating a foundation for newer technology such as IoT Data as a Service (IoTDaaS).

Applications of AIoT

Many AIoT applications are currently retail product oriented and often focus on the implementation of cognitive computing in consumer appliances. For example, smart home technology would be considered a part of AIoT as smart appliances learn through human interaction and response. In terms of data analytics, AIoT technology combines machine learning with IoT networks and systems in order to create data "learning machines." This can then be applied to enterprise and industrial data use cases to harness IoT data, such as at the edge of networks, to automate tasks in a connected workplace. Real time data is a key value of all AIoT use cases and solutions.

Understanding the ESP-EYE development board v 2.1

ESP-EYE is the Espressif’s development board for image recognition and audio processing in AIoT applications.

Espressif offers a complete AIoT solution that combines ESP32 with an artificial intelligence (AI) development framework. This solution includes the ESP-EYE development board, together with Espressif’s IoT and AI development frameworks, also known as ESP-IDF and ESP-WHO, respectively. You can get the ESP32-EYE in different stores for approximately 30 USD.

ESP-EYE features an ESP32 chip, a 2-Megapixel camera and a microphone. ESP-EYE offers plenty of storage, with an 8 Mbyte PSRAM and a 4 Mbyte flash. It also supports image transmission via Wi-Fi and debugging through a Micro-USB port.

ESP-WHO is a face detection and recognition development framework designed for AIoT applications. You can use it with the ESP-EYE development board, the Amazon FreeRTOS-qualified ESP-WROVER-KIT or other ESP32-based development boards. Then, by adding only a few peripherals, such as cameras and screens, you can easily create complete AIoT applications. You can read more about it here.

ESP-IDF is Espressif IoT Development Framework (esp-idf). ESP-IDF is the official development framework for the ESP32 chip. You can read more about it here.

ESP-EYE workflow


  • A 3D PIFA antenna. With the R14 resistor users can select the external IPEX antenna, whereas with the R15 resistor they can select the 3D antenna.
  • IPEX Connector used for connecting the external IPEX antenna. With the R14 resistor users can select the external IPEX antenna, whereas with the R15 resistor they can select the 3D antenna.
  • WiSoC ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor with WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Crystal Oscillator provides an external clock to ESP32.
  • 4MB Flash & 8MB PSRAM provides memory for storing applications.
  • CP2102 USB-to-UART Chip converts the USB signals to UART signals.
  • USB Port provides power supply to the whole system.
  • LDO power supply provides the required power supply to the ESP32 chip, camera and LED indicators.
  • LED Indicators. The board has a red and a white indicator. Different flashing combinations of the red and white indicators reflect the different statuses of the board, e.g. waking up, networking, face detection, face recognition, face enrollment and face recognition.
  • An external 2-Megapixel OV2640 camera module for face detection, face recognition and Face ID enrollment.
  • A digital MEMS microphone for voice control functions.
  • SPI Port. A reserved port for data transmission.

Signals and connections of the 

ESP-EYE First Impressions

When you get the ESP-EYE dekit package you notice that the ESP-EYE development board is realy small, just with 21mm x 41mm.

Inside the ESP-EYE package, you will find a quick start guide labeling the board and showing its main features and Micro USB cable.

The ESP-EYE came flashed with the ESP-WHO facial recognition software. So we can make an IP camera that will detect faces and distinguish people. 

Unlike some boards, this codebase does not require internet connectivity - you don't have to send video or audio data to 'the cloud' - it's all processed on-chip! The built in demo shows off what it can do:

  1. Plug Micro USB cable into any USB port in your PC/laptop and open up a serial port connection at 115200 baud to the new serial port;
  2. Once the red LED is on, you should say "Hi Lehshin" (in documents they spell it lexin, the x is pronounced as a shh sound) to activate the board;
  3. The red LED will blink, then connect to the new Wi-Fi access point created;
  4. After connecting to the ESP-EYE access point, you can access the camera video streaming. 
  5. Open up any web browser using the following URL:
  6. Point the camera at faces to show off the recognition boxes. The video stream is slow (about 2 frames per second), therefore face recognition is also a bit slow.
  7. You can enroll a new face on the system by pressing the function button. It will associate the face with an ID. After that, it should easily recognize you, and displays a message saying "Hello" followed by the face ID. If it doesn’t know the face, it displays "Who?".
  8. Once you get the demo going, check out the source code and ESP development platform to customize your very own DIY voice/speech recognition project.


We have learnt about ESP-EYE development board v 2.1. If you like the ESP-EYE, you’ll also like the ESP32-CAM development board with camera. It is a just 7 USD device that combines an ESP32-S chip, a OV2640 camera, several GPIOs to connect peripherals, a microSD card slot. You can read more about it here.


  • No libraries needed in this project


  • No sketches needed in this project

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Published at 09-07-2019
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