The Raspberry Pi is a simple, low-cost, but functional range of general-purpose computers beloved worldwide for breaking down the barriers of computing and making it accessible to the masses. The rudimentary performance and affordability of the Pi have inevitably made it an appealing product for business owners. Here, Hitaltech discusses the origins and benefits of the Raspberry Pi, as well as five ideas for using the Pi for commercial purposes.
What is Raspberry Pi?
Raspberry Pi is a series of small, single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation that have succeeded in driving down the cost of general-purpose computing to as little as $5. The Raspberry Pi Foundation engages millions of young people around the world to learn computing and digital making skills through clubs, events and teaching resources.
This has opened up the possibility for anybody to use computers for enterprise, entertainment and creativity; eliminating the cost barriers that historically priced many people out of the computing market. Despite the fact that the Raspberry Pi was initially designed as a programming platform for children and young people, plenty of enterprising organisations have recognised the value of using the Pi for business purposes.
The benefits of Raspberry Pi
The benefits of the Raspberry Pi for businesses and hobbyists alike are several-fold.
The Pi works perfectly as a low-cost, small computer with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ethernet connectivity, and can process video and audio. Best of all, it can be easily purchased online for as little as $5 to $55 (depending on the model). The Pi comes ready to use straight off-the-shelf and is scalable using additional modules. It is also compatible with common programming languages and is designed to consume very little power.
5 ideas for using the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi delivers a lot of bang for your buck. Little wonder then that so many businesses have leapt at the chance of leveraging the potential of this affordable range of computers. In fact, since the Pi’s launch in 2012 an estimated 27 million devices have been sold; more than half of which are thought to have been used for industrial and commercial purposes.
Here are five ideas for using the Raspberry Pi for business purposes:
1. Monitoring Equipment
The Raspberry Pi is widely used for the monitoring of machinery and equipment. It’s various connectivity options mean that the Pi can be paired with a range of sensors to test common parameters, such as temperature. It can then relay results to the end user via a connected display or mobile notifications.
2. Signage and Dashboards
Some users have capitalised on the Pi’s relative simplicity and minimal power consumption to run digital signage and departmental dashboards. Replacing overpowered computer dashboards for such basic functions with the Pi makes perfect sense when it comes to streamlining costs and re-allocating expensive resources.
3. Gateway Solution
The Pi’s impressive processing credentials and low power consumption have also made it an enticing edge gateway solution. Working as a local data processing centre, the Pi can locally process any data it receives from distributed node devices and relay commands to actuators and cloud-based devices.
4. Basic Server
Another frequently touted option for using the Pi for commercial purposes is as a basic and affordable server to handle light internal traffic. Multiple boards can be connected to create a low-cost but functional server cluster. There are plenty of hints and tips regarding this type of application on the Raspberry Pi forums.
5. Simple Automation
As well as the Pi’s aforementioned ability to receive and relay data to and from devices and the cloud, it can also prompt commands. This makes it an intriguing tool for employing ‘if-then’ conditional statements and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create simple but effective automation systems.
Source your Raspberry Pi case from Hitaltech
Although you don’t necessarily need a Raspberry Pi enclosure to run one, many users choose to protect their single-board computer in a functional and aesthetically pleasing Raspberry Pi case. Here at Hitaltech, our Railbox and Modulbox DIN rail mounting enclosures serve as highly customisable and competitively priced Raspberry Pi cases to suit a wide range of commercial and industrial applications.
If you would like to find out more about our products, including our connecting technologies and enclosures, please contact us today on +44 (0)1253 899910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hitaltech team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have.