2012 Review: Raspberry Pi and wireless future
Out of nowhere came an ARM-based computer and an educational to re-engage young people with programming and electronics, writes Chris Sullivan, head of global solutions marketing at Premier Farnell
When I look back over the past 12 months the introduction of a very low cost, ARM-based computer (that doesn’t have a case), the unremitting rise of social media and the mainstream commercialisation of wireless power standout as defining trends for our industry.
The very low cost, ARM processor-based computer I’m talking about is of course the Raspberry Pi.
Out of nowhere it became a global phenomenon with a mission to re-engage young people with programming and electronics. Outside of this educational charge, what Raspberry Pi has also done is to define a new market category.
Just as the iPad really defined the tablet and the Kindle really defined the eReader, so Raspberry Pi has defined the very low cost micro-computer.
And what’s also intriguing about Raspberry Pi is that just like its category defining peers’, it has done this outside of the WINTEL platform.
This is disruptive and bodes well for a more open and creative environment – and of course for the ARM-based silicon vendors.
The openness of Raspberry Pi and its rise to fame on a shoestring budget is a great intro to my next trend which is the continued rise and building-out of social media.
One facet of social media is that it enables people who don’t have a lot, to achieve a lot. Development resource can be energised in a way that transcends the organisational status quo.
Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs can share, validate, refine and take to market ideas at a speed that is forcing the electronics industry to revaluate and redefine its business models.
My third trend is wireless, but not faster data, or more bandwidth for more apps, it is wireless power. ‘Cutting the chord’ is the new moniker as we enter a world where our homes, cars, offices are not littered with cables and adapters.
It is a technology everyone will benefit from, simple charging of devices without cables, and anything that helps make my travel bag that little bit lighter can’t be bad.