Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton was a key speaker at the recent Global Digital Signage Conference. One attendee had flown in from Brazil just to hear him speak. He talked about interesting concepts such as a Raspberry Pi 4K.
Host, and DailyDOOH editor Adrian Cotterill, asked about Pi sales. “We’re selling about half a million units a month, of the $35 flagship product,” replied Eben.
With about 14 million Pis shipped in the last five years, he sees more scope for industrial IoT applications than consumer IoT products. “There’s a limit to how many things you can interact with if you have a human in the loop.” Eben listed a Nest-like thermostat, lighting controller, and security system: “My house is probably never going to have more than three or four consumer IoT devices.”
However, machine-to-machine interactions offer – according to Eben – almost limitless possibilities to use a Raspberry Pi. For example, many of the screens in airports now are powered by Pi Compute Modules.
Global Digital Signage Conference: IoT and security
“There’s a general IoT security problem,” stated Eben. “We took a network that was designed to be resilient to nuclear war and we made it vulnerable to toasters.” However, security tends to get “squeezed”, because “you don’t need it until you need it.” Further, “potentially the guy who doesn’t invest in security beats the guy who did invest in security to market.”
Eben sees IoT makers eventually opting for a company such as Amazon to provide an easy and robust security service. However, “I think it’s going to be a while before this stuff becomes really trustworthy.”
When will a UHD Raspberry Pi 4K come out?
Asked when we might see a Raspberry Pi capable of Ultra High Definition (4K) output, Eben said it was “forward in our minds” but dismissed the use of a separate graphics chip. “The only rationale for a second chip would be thermal… you bake in a lot of cost if you do that.” Eben estimated that “it’s probably four or five years” before we’d see a UHD Pi.