For almost four decades, the Internet of Things has promised to revolutionise the way that we interact with our electronic devices, and the way that those electronic devices interact with one another. But it’s only in recent years that the technology has become available to make good on that promise.
Modern IoT devices are able to send data not only to other devices in your home, but back to the manufacturers. This allows for early diagnosis of problems, and for subsequent iterations of those devices to be made even better.
What is Raspberry Pi?
Among the most famous of IoT-capable devices is the Raspberry Pi. Now in its fourth iteration, this wallet-sized computer can be connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse in much the same way as any other kind of computer. It was first envisioned as a means through which schoolchildren could be taught the basics of programming, and how computers actually work. The device quickly became popular among hobbyists, and then found its way into professional applications, too.
What are the advantages of Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi confers several advantages that make it tempting even for very serious industrial applications.
Raspberry Pi costs just a fraction of the available alternatives, as it’s manufactured at such huge volumes and at such low cost. The organization is a non-profit that’s there to make computing accessible, and consequently it’s accessible to businesses as well as schoolchildren.
There’s a very shallow learning curve with Raspberry Pi, as it’s built to be approachable by completely untrained children. Plus, there are huge amounts of resources out there, via which businesses and individuals can quickly train in order to achieve their objectives.
Those objectives might vary from organisation to organisation. Some might require greater connectivity with electronic components, and other boards. Some might have pure software needs. There is a plethora of expansion boards through which a Pi can be augmented. If a standard board lacks a feature, then the chances are strong that there’s another board out there that will achieve the same goals.
Of course, there are considerable obstacles to certain kinds of business bringing the Pi into their operations. The storage capacity of a micro-SD card might provide a ceiling that many data-intensive applications might bump against. Moreover, the heat and pressure of an industrial environment might shorten the lifespan of a board of this kind.
With that said, the considerable advantages of the Raspberry Pi are only going to get more tempting with the passage of time – and we shouldn’t be surprised to see more of these boards spreading in the future.