A Slice of Pi

rpi-1024x682Remember the $500 Network Computer (NC) that Larry Ellison used to talk about all the time?  Time to meet the $35 Network Computer M2M node.

The Raspberry Pi Model B is much more than the Arduino microcontroller devices popular with the Maker Faire crowd. It’s a complete computer with Ethernet, USB Ports, SD Card slot, 256MB RAM, 1080p HDMI video, all running a standard Debian “squeeze” Linux distribution running on it’s ARM-based SoC. Add 4 AA batteries, a WiFi dongle, and some custom software and you have a very capable wireless sensor node in a box (box not included). The waitlist for these tiny embeddable computers is growing and an ecosystem of complimentary add-ons has sprung to life overnight.  Everything from cases, to cameras, to the inevitable Arduino to Rasperry Pi bridge. With the one-two punch of the sub-$50 price point of the Pi and the emerging $200 price point of the full blown touch screen tablets (Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, et al.) we should finally be at the tipping point where we will get an explosion of devices connected to the Internet of Things.

Real-time message passing between embedded devices seems like a perfect fit for an M2M messaging appliance like the Solace 3260. Devices like the Pi enable customer kiosks, point of sale terminals, medical monitors, remote sensors, and remote control networks via intelligent customer premise equipment. For this reason some of us have been experimenting with running the Solace messaging APIs on this incredible little machine and I am happy to report that it works like a charm. Now we just have to work our way through that waitlist a bit longer so we can test 100, 000 of these puppies connected simultaneously.