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Embedded smart camera systems comprise computation- and resource-hungry applications implemented on small, complex but resource-hardy platforms. Efficient implementation of such applications can benefit significantly from parallelization. However, communication between different processing units is a nontrivial task. In addition, new and emerging distributed smart cameras require efficient methods of communication for optimized distributed implementations. In this paper, a novel communication interface, called the signal passing interface (SPI), is presented that attempts to overcome this challenge by integrating relevant properties of two different, yet important, paradigms in this context-dataflow and message passing interface (MPI). Dataflow is a widely used modeling paradigm for signal processing applications, while MPI is an established communication interface in the general-purpose processor community. SPI is targeted toward computation-intensive signal processing applications, and due to its careful specialization, more performance-efficient for embedded implementation in this domain. SPI is also much easier and more intuitive to use. In this paper, successful application of this communication interface to two smart camera applications has been presented in detail to validate a new methodology for efficient distributed implementation for this domain.