Using Python to Build Facial Recognition Software on Raspberry Pi

Using Python to Build Facial Recognition Software on Raspberry Pi

Programming and computer hardware have become accessible enough today that people can use them to create all kinds of interesting projects. In particular, many who are interested in this kind of thing get a great deal of mileage out of Raspberry Pi — a series of notecard-sized electrical boards that serve as functional, customizable computers.

People find all kinds of interesting projects to focus on with their Raspberry Pi devices, from game controllers, to LED lighting displays, to functioning cameras. Really, there’s virtually no limit to the different types of projects that can be attempted. Here though we want to focus on one that’s fairly new in people’s minds, which is that of using Python to build a facial recognition tool into a Raspberry Pi

Here’s how to go about it….

Learning Python

When you’re focused on a very specific project like building aa facial recognition program into a Raspberry Pi device, it is at least somewhat possible to bypass true coding knowledge and instead simply find code that you can imitate. However, it is still best to learn the coding basics that make up a foundation in Python (if you haven’t before), and then go from there. With a fundamental understanding of how to code in Python, you’ll be better able to understand the process you ultimately use to develop a facial recognition program.

In a way, you can almost think of this like playing a song on the piano. It is theoretically possible to teach yourself even a fairly complex song simply by memory. You can go note by note until you’re able to play it all from memory. However, playing the song will be easier if you actually take the time to learn the instrument. You’ll understand what you’re doing, and you’ll have a foundation from which to try other projects as well. Such is the case with any Python project. You can sometimes pull it off without really learning the code, but the experience will be better if you learn first.

Obtaining a Raspberry Pi

Naturally you’ll need a Raspberry Pi for this project. But we’re making a note of this part of the process because some who are interested in DIY electronics like this might assume that they can make their own Raspberry Pi devices. It is certainly understandable for someone who understands the involved hardware to do this, but it will often cost more to buy and assemble parts, and the result is likely to be imperfect.

Others may also be under the impression that they can 3D print their own Raspberry Pi devices, though this, at least for now, is not a viable option. It may come to mind because there are some similar projects that are possible today. Printed circuit boards, for instance, while not as complex as a Raspberry Pi, can now be made in this fashion. 3D-printed circuit boards are fully functioning electronic mechanisms that are, in fact, put to use in functional devices — and are not too far off from what we might imagine in a similarly made Raspberry Pi. Additionally, if you spend some time researching this topic, you’ll come across a variety of Raspberry Pi add-ons and accessories that you can 3D print. But the device itself is still not made through additive manufacturing.

All of this is to say that you’re best off buying a Raspberry Pi for this kind of project, rather than trying to get creative building or printing one yourself. This is a device that’s sometimes marketed as a $35 computer, and while that’s not always accurate, it’s still fairly affordable for what it is. Extra cost will come from additional features you’ll need to buy to make the device work as you need it (such as, in this case, a PiCam!).

Working Out The Code

Once you have a fundamental grasp of Python and you’ve obtained the necessary hardware (including Raspberry Pi and add-ons like the PiCam) it’s simply a matter of working out the code. Truthfully there are a few different approaches you can take to building a facial recognition program onto a Raspberry Pi. But whichever one you choose, you can find helpful guidance online.

Because there are a few different approaches, we won’t harp on any one of them here. One guide yields facial recognition software in fewer than 25 lines of code. Another makes use of OpenCV for a very straightforward, step-by-step approach. But whichever one you choose, you can swiftly apply your Python knowledge to code software into your Raspberry Pi such that a you can have your own accurate facial recognition tool.


My name is Devendra Dode. I am a full-stack developer, entrepreneur, and owner of I like writing tutorials and tips that can help other developers. I share tutorials of PHP, Python, Javascript, JQuery, Laravel, Livewire, Codeigniter, Node JS, Express JS, Vue JS, Angular JS, React Js, MySQL, MongoDB, REST APIs, Windows, Xampp, Linux, Ubuntu, Amazon AWS, Composer, SEO, WordPress, SSL and Bootstrap from a starting stage. As well as demo example.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *