Monday, 10 September 2012

Glad to See I'm Not Alone

Found a good article on makeuseof.com - appears Christian Crawley has been contemplating some of the same fundamental questions about the Pi that I have.

From a purely geek point of view, I see that there are many applications for the Raspberry Pi that I'd love to do tomorrow - like pairing it with some Arduino kit and building some robotics.  Setting up a dedicated games box or media centre for the lounge room is also appealing.

However, as a small business owner, I'm wondering if those applications are the most marketable.  Particularly as a small business owner in a region outside of a metropolitan area, I wonder if the better uses would be something along the lines of - setting up a mobile instruction lab for computing courses?  Creating a networkable/remotely contactable security or surveillance system?

Given the tyranny of distance, response times for police and or private security contractors is never going to be great.  Such tools could be useful in allowing the owner of a property to respond more quickly, or to at least capture video evidence for later use.  If paired with a weather station on a property it could allow a farmer or grazier to monitor conditions at a dam, keep close watch over livestock at vulnerable times.  Could also be used in conjunction with GPS and RFID trackers to monitor the movements of livestock or the movement of protected species of native animals.

Of course, in many of these applications and roles that I am thinking about using the Raspberry Pi for, there are already competing products.  Question is, can the Raspberry Pi out-compete the incumbent tools either in performance, portability, or price?