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Visual sensor networks are an emerging research area with the goal of using cameras as pervasive and affordable sensing and processing devices. This paper presents a pervasive smart camera platform which is built from off-the-shelf hardware and software components. The hardware platform is comprised of an OMAP 3530 processor, 128 MB RAM and various interfaces for connecting sensors and peripherals. A dual-radio wireless network allows to trade communication performance for power consumption. The software architecture is built upon standard Linux and supports dataflow oriented application development by dynamically instantiating and connecting functions blocks. Data is transferred between blocks via shared memory for high throughput. We present a performance evaluation of our smart camera platform as well as a multi-camera object classification system to demonstrate the capabilities and applicability of our approach.