Any other thoughts on using the Raspberry Pi for IoT projects? I guess the key thing is to show your IoT project and explain how close to a finished, usable product you managed to get. To be a fair comparison, let's define the IoT project as follows:
- there's a touchscreen GUI interface for a human to interact with data
- device is powered by battery
- device can be turned on and off and reliably boot after loss of power
- device is connected to Internet or network
I've built many Raspberry Pi projects that conform to those specs. It's usually fun, tough, glitchy and a one-off. For Renesas Synergy, it's fun, tough, reliable, with a clear path to production.
For the Raspberry Pi, it's easy to get something going, but tough to get something working reliably, especially if you put it in the field and not in your house.
In the example I built below, the RPi is powered by a rechargeable battery using dual WiFi to connect to an external virtual reality camera using WiFi and the cloud using the public Internet.
This is the front of the project with the official Raspberry Pi touchscreen. It's designed to take media for immersive experiences inside of VR headsets.
As you recall, I also built a series of projects to allow people to control the video and image stream with physical push buttons and use LEDs as indicators.
I also added IR control onto the Raspberry Pi to control the video and images.
My assessment is that the Raspberry Pi is wonderful for weekend projects, one-off demos, and is ideal for children. It's very fast to get something that works, but it's super difficult to get something to work reliably at scale.
If you recall, we were never able to show the Raspberry Pi demos to our client because I was always worried that the demo would break in the middle. We had to resort to taking a video of the demo because the demo was so fragile. The power button and clean system shutdown is a big problem. If you just pull the plug on the Raspberry Pi in the middle of a demo, it may reboot. Or, it may not.
Even as non-production use as a demo platform, Synergy is much more robust. I have confidence that it will turn on and work. For actual production, it seems MUCH easier to use Synergy and also much cheaper.
The primary problem with Synergy is that the learning curve is steep. For example, as I'm just starting with Synergy, I don't know how to get the IR control and HTTP API access working over WiFi. Once I figure it out, I'll have a much better project than I could build with the Raspberry Pi.