Pi Zero Update and the future of computing

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on my experience with the Pi Zero so far. I haven’t done any circuitry or wiring, but have been crushing up on my breadboards / circuits. However, I did set up a hole in my firewall to setup SSH, VNC, and a WeMo switch to power my Pi remotely. All in all, this was a really cool experience to learn more about networking, terminal, and how to maximize computations with limited memory / CPU power.

Diving a little deeper, I wanted to see if I could whip up a quick IoT app last week. In just about half an hour I had my Android phone communicating with the Pi over local WiFi via Sockets. Using Socket.IO, a quick and easy Socket wrapper for Android, I was able to transfer a String from an EditText on Android to echo inside the Pi’s terminal. If you use your imagination here, you can trigger any sort of action or command with this architecture alone. You have a bare bones form of communication interface between the two devices and only need to determine what real world action particular Strings will perform.

Work has been winding up to a General Release of our first Mobile / Desktop app, and thus we look towards the future of the company and what kind of impact we want to make. Combining the world of Software with the real world of hardware can make for some incredible opportunities for accessibility. Nothing has been solidified, but we do know we want to look at microcontrollers/ mini pc’s with small form factors. Knowing this, I stumbled upon VoCore’s mini linux computer. What really piqued my interest was that this fully operational linux computer is about the size of a quarter. For $35 I couldn’t resist. VoCore may have just created the tinkerer / wearable / IoT enthusiast’s wet dream.

As we move into production we will definitely be tinkering with more Pi’s and cool innovative machine’s like the VoCore. Even if you aren’t into the hardware, programming on the Pi Zero and smaller micro computer’s has completely opened my eyes to the world of performance. If you want to improve your programming skills I whole heartedly recommend working on some small projects with these controllers.

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