Raspberry Pi might not be on the menu for everyone in technology but for an important and emerging segment of the education market, the “maker” world, and for many young companies starting to contribute to the Internet of Things, it’s key. Launched in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools, the very inexpensive and very small system-on-a-board device has sold like, well, hot cakes (at least 4 million, to date).
To be sure, there has always been skepticism about to what extent Raspberry Pi would migrate into commercial use. There were many reasons, not the least being questions about reliability (some early units would unexpectedly reboot when suddenly exposed to certain wavelengths of light!).
However, as with the advent of the inexpensive home PC and the smartphone, it seems like a new ecosystem of technology and inventive people is forming around this low-end product. That may be why Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 (through the company’s IoT developer program) will actually be able to run on the newer and more robust version of Raspberry Pi now entering the market – featuring a quad-core ARM7 based Broadcom CPU running at 900MHz with 1GB of RAM.
Although it’s dangerous to predict the future, that certainly sounds like an important signal that this technology is going places. And, given the almost limitless opportunities to “wire the world’ through the IoT, there may be more to come.
With the enormous growth of connected devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) is literally exploding. Estimates are so large they have to be broken down into device categories to be comprehended, as Forbes did in its “Internet of Things by the Numbers” article last summer.
That may explain why Pi is popular with makers—there are just so many devices to play with out there! Its portability and ease of (Internet) access certainly don’t hurt. But app devs, such as those in the Node.js developer community, have embraced Pi for very practical uses, including home automation apps, live-streaming video and more.
So what’s the enterprise connection? Well think about it. How can collecting or sending data through distributed devices serve a business, for example? For retail: What about knowing not only where and how customers move throughout a store, but watching them interact with displays and merchandise to determine effective shelf and location positioning? Utilities collating equipment inventory with field equipment failure to expedite repairs by line workers.
When I think about the ease of managing and monitoring distributed devices in tools like the Modulus platform, I can imagine how what was once a “toy” platform could disrupt enterprise. For developers, Pi moving to the enterprise is a reminder that opportunities have never been greater. Having the right development platform is going to be crucial to keeping up and riding the curve.
For more on how Modulus brings Node.js to the enterprise, visit modulus.io
As the senior director of product marketing and strategy for the Progress solutions and audience marketing team, Paul Nashawaty keeps his eyes peeled on what enterprises are doing about big data as it relates to digital transformation. Paul is responsible for applying practical business methodologies using technological solutions to drive success in organizations.
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