The Raspberry Pi is something of a miniature marvel – a fully functioning computer barely bigger than a credit card that has become iconic amongst tech heads across the world. With the latest iteration of the Pi, there’s also whispers that it could be the title computer that finally brings the Internet of Things (IoT) kicking and screaming into the mainstream.
What’s so different this time?
Unlike the Pi 3, the latest model – the Raspberry Pi 4 is powerful enough to function as a legitimate desktop computer, with one board able to run two 4K screens at the same time. It’s faster than before, there’s a to more memory and it’s still remarkably around the same price! The thing that makes it so exciting from an IoT perspective, however, is the full-speed internet and USB-3 connection.
With the latest board, it’s quite possible to perform various quite powerful AI tasks and use it as an edge device. For this reason, it’s ideal as a home security solution. Indeed, it can even perform real-time face recognition tasks and is compatible with various cloud solutions. This means the Pi itself could be used to perform AI tasks while the cloud can be used for storage of larger files like images and video files.
In the 8 years since the original Raspberry Pi was unveiled, there have been hundreds of think-pieces written about whether or not the Pi can be used as something more than just a hobbyist tool or educational device. There are 9 Raspberry Pi models currently available with the cheapest costing around a fiver and the most expensive around £50. The more expensive models contain 4GB of RAM, which is seriously impressive for such a small device.
A computer of that size and power for that price is obviously going to prove tempting for businesses that are looking into industrial IoT applications. The potential for return on investment alone is significant and poses a much lower risk for companies than shelling out thousands on more powerful and yet unproven equipment. It’s also a device with a major global community and plentiful availability on bespoke technology retail sites such as OK Do.
Raspberry Pi IoT in use
One company that is already using Raspberry Pi’s in a commercial capacity is Zero’s Bakery in New York. They used a Raspberry Pi alongside a set of industrial wireless sensors to ensure that their refrigerator systems could alert them remotely if the temperature were to rise above the normal threshold. The Pi’s were also used to automatically import readings into a spreadsheet which meant no more employees having to manually input boring temperature data.
This is just one solitary example of the Raspberry Pi in commercial use and there around bound to be hundreds more scattered around the internet. So, if your business is on the fence about stepping into the IoP, this tasty little Pi could be all the inspiration you need.
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