Last week, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the availability of a new Raspberry Pi 4 equipped with 8 GB of RAM. This is great news for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, especially those seeking to develop projects to solve real world problems.
Raspberry Pi has gotten increasing attention in recent times as an inexpensive but potentially powerful single board computer that can be used to prototype commercial ideas – from operating as a car computer to powering ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
Still, in many cases, Raspberry Pis are only used for prototyping. Why?
The answer is simple and it starts with the data. While Raspberry Pis today can handle processing the data throughput of many commercial applications, creating the programs to visualize and monitor the data is often a time-consuming and technical task.
For example, just creating a single web-accessible, real-time line chart (like the one below) for tracking a temperature sensor would require a developer to spend significant time and effort deploying a web server, installing a database and writing code to extract, format and print data.
It’s no surprise therefore that more often than not, Raspberry Pi enthusiasts find themselves explaining “what that means” when showing off their project or prototype.
While there are a number of ready-to-use tools for visualizing IoT data, these often require an on-going subscription and can still require developers to write APIs to connect their Raspberry Pi and any connected sensors or machines to a third-party cloud. Also most of these tools allow for viewing data only in real-time and may require subscribing to additional services (and writing additional APIs) to monitor your data.
Here at Machinechat, we believe that the data should look as sharp as the Raspberry Pi project itself is. Furthermore, we think it should be obscenely easy to enable developers to see, manage, monitor and access the data from their Raspberry Pi projects in minutes. And they should be able to do it without needing a cloud and pesky monthly subscription fees.
A good friend of mine once gave me a great piece of advice: “If you’re planning a dinner party, before you start cooking, set the table first. That’s the first thing that people see when they come in and a well set table not only communicates that you’re prepared but tells your guests to expect something special.”
There are many thousands of Raspberry Pi ideas out there. And just as a beautifully set dining table can enhance the dinner experience, a professional and high functioning data experience can go a long way in communicating that a Raspberry Pi IoT concept is both field-ready…and ready for adoption in the marketplace.