What’s Next on the Raspberry Pi Front

Raspberry Pi founder [Eben Upton] recently sat in an uncomfortable chair in London to discuss all things Pi. Having sold about four million units over the last 2.5 years, he feels the future is bright for his original vision of inspiring and helping kids to learn programming.

[Eben] is quite pleased with the Pi-Top, a B+ based laptop kit that’s pulling in backers left and right while completely unaffiliated with the Pi foundation. The kit includes a 13.3″ HD LCD screen, keyboard, trackpad, and an injection molded case, though you can print your own with the included STL files. Kits start at $249 without a Pi and $285 with a B+ included. Robot and home automation HATs are also available separately or bundled with the Pi-Top kit.

The most exciting news is that the $600,000 spent on DSI connectors for those four million Raspis is about to pay off. [Eben] hopes that an official touchscreen will be available for purchase before the end of 2014 or in early 2015. He showed off a 7″ capacitive touch panel that will attach to a display board stacked on a Pi, effectively turning it into a tablet.

[Eben] said that they will not be making a Model C and instead are working on revision A+. He hopes to make an official announcement in the near future.

Finally, [Eben] discussed the importance of community, which played a large part in the birth and evolution of the Pi. He also spoke of Pi Academy, a sort of professional workshop for teachers in the UK who’ve recently been tasked with teaching computer science as demanded by changes in the mandatory UK school curriculum. He hopes that these 2-day seminars will help educators achieve the high expectations recently laid out for students to achieve by age ten.

30 thoughts on “What’s Next on the Raspberry Pi Front

  1. “He showed off a 7″ capacitive touch panel that will attach to a display board stacked on a Pi, effectively turning it into a tablet.”

    This! I have the 2.8 TFT Adafruit display with a battery pack currently, but this I’d buy in a heartbeat!

  2. First thing to note about Eben Upton, is that he’s a liar. He did a presentation at my hackerspace some years ago, claiming that they didn’t have any upgrades in store for the Raspberry Pi Model B. This was back when the B had 256mb of memory. 1 week later, everyone came out with the _brand new_ model B, with 512mb of memory.

    When confronted about it, he was extremely snacky about it and cited an old PC that made outlandish claims, which failed because people stopped buying the old PC while waiting for the newer version after a large announcement was made too soon…

    1. > When confronted about it, he was extremely snacky about it and cited an old PC that made outlandish claims, which failed because people stopped buying the old PC while waiting for the newer version after a large announcement was made too soon…

      You know that was a real story and legitimate strategy, right? It’s happened more than once in the history of computers.

      1. It was 1 WEEK AWAY! That wasn’t the only thing he lied about either. He also lied directly to our faces about having open source GPU drivers, and a bunch of other things – although this was probably much less a lie; it’s possible he actually believed he could get broadcom to open source the drivers.

    2. That seems pretty minor to be honest.. but I can totally dig the snarky(?)ness. It seems like to tell either Eben, Liz or any of their “I’m a forum moderator! Aren’t I fantastic” clan that they are wrong or misleading on something results not in a rational debate about the issue at hand but them getting their frilly panties in a twist.
      The b+ version of the Pi seems to solve a few issues that the original ones have with the USB and the board resetting.. but they won’t even acknowledge that those issues still exist with the original. The discussion on their post about their original GPU “drivers” was comical: Liz a cookbook writer by trade trying to act smart against someone that actually develops GPU drivers.
      All that would be fine had they actually saved the children however they thought they would but they haven’t. They’ve sold 4 million boards. Many of those boards are totally unused. Many of them are running XBMC or MAME frontends… a tiny tiny fraction of them are saving the children. We told them that kids don’t need another cheap computer to learn how to “code” and that’s been made painfully apparent. They should be thankful that hackers etc have bought up so many boards as I think it’s pretty much saved their ass.

  3. Hey, it’d be nice if when you were building a laptop out of the Raspberry Pi, you had a version of it that didn’t have the power hungry Ethernet chip, and included hardware to charge, monitor and run off a LiPo battery built in.

    Well, it existed.

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2362800/hardkernel-cancels-raspberry-pi-like-odroid-w-after-broadcom-stops-supplying-soc

    … and allegedly, the Raspberry Pi foundation pressured Broadcom not to sell them any SoCs for a future batch.

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=83148

    No, apparently, using open source to produce something better is using the “hard work of the raspberry pi foundation and developer community to make money”. If that’s their attitude to it, how dare they “use the hard work of the Linux community” to avoid the expense of writing their own OS :P

    (Why am I so annoyed? No, I’m not associated with HardKernel in any way. I was going to make a board that you could solder one of these onto that connected it to a SiK based radio module and RTLSDR, to give you a handheld digital walkie-talkie / SDR scanner that you could build yourself. Even the Model A Pi is much bigger, and you’d need to do board-level modifications to get rid of the inefficient for battery use linear regulators, and even then the board is huge compared to the ODroid W. The Pi Compute Module is much more expensive and you’d have to solder a SO-DIMM style SMD socket yourself. The Intel Edison looks more promising but you’d need the breakout board, it’s more expensive, and since it uses 1.8v I/O, there’d need to be a lot more level shifting…)

    1. by jamesh » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:51 am

      ** snip **

      Indeed. The Foundation spends money (lots of) on software and engineering to make sure its working and as good as possible,. These types of clones simply use that work without any sort of payback. It the sort of thing that puts people like the Foundation out of business.

      ** snip **

      This guy goes around a bunch of tech sites etc being a dick to people if they say anything negative about the pi or the foundation. He’s the sort of guy that threatens people on the internet with lawyers. IIRC this guy works for Broadcom so you would think he’d realise that most of the effort to support the SoC in Linux should have been paid for by Broadcom. I wouldn’t touch them with a shit covered stick.

      1. Yeah that community has turned, I am all for low cost well supported computing but people like jamesh (James Adams?) exemplify everything wrong with the community right now. Admins on the forum and (un)official irc are quick to censor any criticism towards the pi foundation. For example that odroid-w thread was locked because it “got enough free advertising” when really it more turned into a discussion of spending money on developing open source, it was just some admin flexing his “power”. Also remember all those B+ leak shenanigans? That is not to say everyone in the community has gone sour (bless your heart gordon) but I foresee this becoming a real problem as it might turn off more hackers from using the platform.

        1. Yep. I remember the Model B+ shenanigans. By the way it can hardly be called a leak. E14 sold a Model B+ while it was embargoed. The person who bought the B+ posted pics. E14 had previously created a forum page for the B+ and left it open and when confronted denied everything and disabled the new forum. So those in the know already had some idea something was up. Before I decided to break the news of the B+ I asked around and at this stage established that the “Foundation” and E14 was being less than honest.

          The “Foundation” had been working with a select group who had signed NDA’s and had provided this select group a distinct competitive advantage over others. This is not the kind of behaviour I expect from a truly OSS organization. It is still unknown what the true release date of the B+ was supposed to be. May, June???

          Cannot join #raspberrypi (You are banned). Still banned Fri 10 Oct. Feel free to raise the issue of my banning (Rikkib) from the Foundation controlled forum (Another falsehood. Of course the IRC chan is controlled and censored like the forum) with the “Foundation”. I understand UKScone got some hate mail. Nobody has sent me any hate mail or any mail at all about the issue and I am easy enough to find. I did what any honest person would do when one finds out one is being lied to. Was funny watching the “Foundation” goon squad trolling my LinkedIn profile and the IRC comments (I can read logs still. Surprised they have not banned my ip.)

          Both James Hughes and Russell Davis have made unfounded attacks on my personal integrity and have resorted to name calling on this site. As others have pointed out they have no interest in honesty, integrity or open debate.

          1. >James Hughes

            I’m sure this guy spends his whole day looking for threads about the Pi so that he can attack anyone that doesn’t sing the foundation’s song. I’m pretty sure he invites a gang of buddies along to downvote posts as well.

      2. I’m glad I’m not the only one that found that comment causing an itch.

        Surely if the foundations aim is to get little hackable computers to kids, another form factor is only going to help that. They got the benefit of a new form factor without any risk or outlay.

        It seemed like because the foundation didn’t get their cut and it could’ve taken sales from the model A or compute module it had to go.

      1. I wouldn’t exactly call it that, and it does have a few advantages over an old smartphone. But the other week I picked up a $49 (AUD) Android tablet just for the lols – 7″ 800×480 screen and dualcore allwinner A20 CPU (as well as some very bad front/rear cameras). Looks to be a good candidate for hacking, and you get a lot for ~$15 more than the Pi. Well, OK, the Pi is more documented…

  4. cant wait for another closed source binary blob _our authorised model only_ driver ….just like the camera – chinese clones are half the price, but you could get even cheaper cameras if there was OPEN MIPI driver, instead you get one hardcoded model and thats it.

    so forget about connecting $3.5 240×240 ipod nano screen, thats too good for you, buy this >$80 one instead from the foundation

  5. IMHO the idea was noble, and the result is admirable. That having been said, there is a very sad reality here that gets Little to no airtime in Major media. Having encountered Liz’s (for me representative of the entire attitude of the Foundation) less than fair methods of disallowing respectful criticism on the Forum, I have given up putting any time into this Project. I wish them well, but I do view the RPi as something that could have been much much more if everyone involved did “the best for the Kids” and not the best for the foundation.

  6. > The most exciting news is that the $600,000 spent on DSI connectors for those four million Raspis is about to pay off.

    4.000.000 / 600.000 = 6,66

    Did they really payed 6.66 Dollar for a single connector while ordering in a piececount of millions?

  7. The Kano Computer is an interesting application for the Raspberry Pi to get kids interested in learning how to program:

    http://www.science20.com/square_root_of_not/kano_computer_in_a_word_wow-146511

    A commenter over at Dangerous Prototypes took the time to research the cost of each component if you wanted to build your own Kano Computer:

    http://dangerousprototypes.com/2014/10/10/review-kano-diy-computer-kit/

    It seems most of the negative comments about Raspberry Pi laptops (Pi-Top) or desktops (Kano Computer) are that the Raspberry Pi wouldn’t make a very good laptop or desktop. These applications, I suppose, might be for those who are interested in building their own computer like the IMSAI 8080 (from the movie Wargames), MITS Altair, etc., but a lot easier to build and use.

    1. Except the alternatives with USB. 90% of all use cases with an imaging requirement can just stick an off the shelf camera on a USB port. The real popularity of the pi is through hype and marketing, and the promise of “low power”.

      I wonder if there are some user statistics reporting for raspbmc……I imagine a very large portion of the pi’s sales have been driven by the demand for a small, cheap, hackable media platform for TVs.

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