Raspberry PI 3
Raspberry PI 3

The Raspberry Pi It’s Origins, Advancements, And Business Applications

About The Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi began development in 2006 and was based on microcomputing technology. The Raspberry Pi foundation started the initiative with the idea of creating an affordable computer to inspire children to learn about computer, software, development, and so on. The Pi’s development was heavily inspired by UK computer developer Acorn (in particular their BBC Microcomputer line). First released in February 2012. Over time several model updates have been released as technology has improved. Features such as a faster processor, Bluetooth, and WiFi have been added. A reported 11 million Pis has been sold as of November 2016.

Despite originally being released as an education tool the Pi has found widespread adoption in several different areas. Businesses have started using them as affordable microcomputers and hobbyists have created fully functional OS platform configurations, media centers, and video game emulators using the Raspberry Pi as a base. The Raspberry Pi Foundation remains focused on spreading knowledge and education while at the same recognizing how diverse their platform has become and championing its many uses.

How The Raspberry Pi Became A Part Of The IoT (Internet Of Things)

The IoT is a general catch-all for internet connected devices such as wearables, smart devices, cameras, appliances, etc. basically internet capable things the are not traditional computers. A key advantage of the IoT is the communication of information and sharing of data in real time. The Raspberry Pi being a computer became an IoT device due to the various modifications and customized software that was developed for it. Examples include model rocket tracking, humidity sensors, home security devices, and even a dog treat dispenser.

Being that the Pi is a small device that can fit in your pocket that makes modification easy and allows it to be the core component of a multitude of small sized specialized computer devices. This includes businesses where IoT based technology is helping improve sales and point of sale displays.

Business Applications

With proper configuration and software programming, a Raspberry Pi can be an important part of a business’s sales strategy. Here are three ways it can be used in a business setting.

  • Proximity Sensors: are becoming an increasingly used part of POS displays. They can serve a variety of uses. The most simplistic of these is to play a video when a customer stops at a display or picks up an item. A Raspberry Pi can easily be wired into a display to not only detect customers but also serve as the storage medium for the video files.
  • Digital POS: as noted above sensors are becoming a common part of POS displays this also extends to other digital uses. Many businesses are using digital displays in place of traditional art, digital menus, self-checkout, and directed advertisement that responds to customer feedback. A Raspberry can serve as the technical back end to this innovative software and is far easier to configure than a full-size computer of carefully hidden laptop.
  • Capturing the CX And Responding To It: the customer experience is key. In the modern marketplace, businesses have to respond to changing customer taste, a changing market, and the growth of e-commerce. Implementation of many of the features e-commerce enjoys allows traditional stores to more effectively compete and improve the customer experience.

Final Thoughts

The Raspberry Pi is a highly versatile device. Its small size and an ability to be customized makes it an ideal in-store solution for specified needs. For example, a full-sized computer or even slim desktop is both expensive and can be difficult to physically configure in a busy sales environment. With a Raspberry Pi, you have an affordable easy to install solution that can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Special thanks goes to my UK friends, who will recognize themselves, without whom this article would not have really existed. 🙂

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