Serial Camera for capturing Daily Gauge Readings -- recommendations?

Hi all,

Brand new to Particle… and I have a stumbling block.

I need to visually capture gauge readings – so I’m looking for a LOW res, serial CCD that will work with the Particle system.

By low res I mean 320x240 Quarter VGA (QVGA) would even do the trick because it’s just analog gauges. Sure it could be more, but in my application, more is unneeded.

I have looked at this thing: (it dumbs down to VGA 640x480) and that would be OK if interfacing this to Particle would be straight forward:

The other option would be a sensor array that could be glued to the glass of the gauge that would indicate the position of the needle of the gauge… naturally that would be sweet in terms of data minimization… because I’d know the gauge value… in just a few bytes.

You’re getting the idea…

Could do this huge overkill…

Could use these, and whip up a crude version of the above – with Miniature Reflective Infrared Optical Sensors:

With the concern that the IR would need to go through the glass face, and see the needle without getting spillover from other IR sensors glued to the glass in close proximity. My solution for that would be to sequence each of the 10 sensors one at a time until one spotted the needle if the bleed over was ruining the results.

Or maybe go with Hall Effect Sensors… but I’ve not used them before and don’t even know if they will reliably give me good gauge needle position feedback. Anyone out there ever tried doing something remotely similar with Hall Effect Sensors?

And naturally, now that I’ve defined the problem… if your creative juices have a completely different approach… I am all ears!!

Thanks in advance, one and all… !!!