Raspberry Pi Generating Big Reader Appetite

June 4, 2013 by Dave Haynes

raspberrypi1The writing I have been doing for the last few months about Android has generated a lot of interest, as reflected in booming page view numbers. The Closer Looks at some of the Android/ARM options out there have been among the most popular posts in the past quarter.

But, by far, the post generating the most readership is about another low-cost option; Raspberry Pi.

This post on a project called Screenly has doubled and tripled most of the other posts about low cost options for digital signage players and software.

I don’t know what that says, other than it is clear there is a big, active appetite out there in the entry-level and probably the higher learning market for a very low-cost solution. I know in trading emails with Rise Vision’s Byron Darlison that his already active user forum has grown particularly active with people looking for ideas on porting the Rise player to the sub-$40 Pi devices.

And people have done it.

If you sell exclusively to Fortune 1000 kinds of companies, Ice Cream Sandwich and Raspberry Pi should not keep you up at night. But if you are selling to the SMB market, and trying to peddle solutions that necessitate a $600-plus PC, get an Ambien prescription. You may need it if you start working out how to compete with increasingly credible $100 alternatives.

  1. Bob Rushby says:

    I’ve played quite a bit with Raspberry Pi’s (I have 3 of them). The big weakness is that problems seem to occur sometimes (not always) if power is suddenly lost — something that happens in the real world. In that case, the operating system needs to be re-installed. That would be a big problem in the field if these devices were deployed in the real world of signage — unless battery backup was always provided.
    I’ve also been playing with the similar BeagleBone Black. It’s only $45, is much faster, and so far seems more robust, but I haven’t pushed it really hard yet.
    Since it, like the Pi, is linux based perhaps Screenly would work on it, too.
    Think how far we’ve come –we can now have debates about which sub-$50 computer is best. I love technology!

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