Last week we got our first Raspberry Pi delivered to CustomerGauge Labs. And today, shrieks of delight were heard in the conference room as the developers and other office geeks fired up the system and got CustomerGauge working on the tiny little Pi board. Within moments they were showing the Digital Signage carousel, working smoothly, and updating in real time.
The Raspberry Pi is a single board Linux computer that is network enabled and outputs to HDMI. Raspberry Pi quote a cost of $25 – maybe true in the US - ours was EUR 33 from Farnell NL, still a bargain. Adding a memory card, keyboard and cables is all that is needed to hook it up to a suitable monitor and experiment with basic computing. It was conceived as an education tool, and reminds the elder statesmen of CustomerGauge of their days programming machines like the ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro 30 years ago.
But it’s more than a teaching aid – it’s a perfect solution for cutting-edge commercial applications. We found it easy to get a browser working (our distribution has Firefox). Then we tested with our HTML5 enabled CustomerGauge application – the system, including HighChart graph components worked fine, and was fast enough to use as a useful tool.
For the frontier-minded, teamed with a low cost TV (we bought some 40″ Philips LCD screens for about EUR300 last month) and a few extra components, a setup with the Pi will set you back around EUR350 for an excellent working digital signage system for CustomerGauge. You should be prepared for some Linux tinkering, but the results are so satisfying. Now you can show latest customer comments and Net Promote® Scores in real time, anywhere in an organisation. No other computer needed!
We have no idea how reliable the Pi is long term, but we can thoroughly recommend it to fellow geeks. A solid “10″ from us! And if we get some time over the summer, we may add some special “Pi” screens to show off more capabilities of the system.
We love this sort of open source technology, and it follows on from our work with Arduino and our AnalogGauge. We have a video update on this project below. Expect more in this line from us in the months to come.
If interested in the Pi/Digital Signage app, we would be happy to organise a webinar with our developers for a Q&A on how to get it to work – do leave us a comment or contact the Ops Team.
Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation