6 Fun Use Cases For Raspberry Pi

Eric TateBlog

Originally designed to be an inexpensive development board for programmers, the tech community has taken Raspberry Pi's capabilities to new heights.  Here is our list of 6 Fun Use Cases For Raspberry Pi

6 Fun Use Cases For Raspberry Pi

While many people view Apple as the fruit king within the world of technology, there is another delicious treat that has steadily gained popularity within the development community as well as anyone who loves to solve puzzles. Raspberry Pi is a computer board that contains many of your typical PC components and can be utilized for a multitude of functions. Originally designed to be an inexpensive development board for programmers, the tech community has taken Raspberry Pi’s capabilities to new heights.  Here is our list of 6 Fun Use Cases For Raspberry Pi.

So what exactly is a Raspberry Pi? The board pictured above shows a few of the components you’ll find within. Many iterations of the board have been released including the latest generation of Raspberry Pi 3 models – such as the Raspberry Pi 3A+ and Raspberry Pi 3B+. Specs vary slightly from model to model, but generally include a collection of computing chips and connectors. The following specifications apply to the initial release of the Raspberry Pi 3.

  • SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
  • CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz
  • GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
  • RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)
  • Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Storage: microSD
  • GPIO: 40-pin header, populated
  • Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)

The team at Diligex have used Raspberry Pi boards for a variety of projects both professionally and personally. Below are a few projects for each category for anyone looking to tinker with Raspberry Pi to enhance their knowledge in the arts of networking and development.

Please note that the projects listed may require additional hardware components and/or varying levels of development experience so please use discretion before beginning. Diligex is not responsible for any unforeseen issues that may arise as a result.

Professional Project #1 – Digital Signage

Skill Level – Beginner

Along highways around the country, billboards are being swiftly converted into digital displays capable of advertising dynamic content and rotating images. This enhanced billboard functionality helps increase revenue as well as dramatically eases the process of updating content. With digital signage, the same ease of use and ever-changing content can be brought into any office space. Whether it be advertisements, internal company metrics, or a corporate slideshow, clients will be impressed with the elegant display. While there are a variety of software options available, the team at Diligex has successfully tested the use of PiSignage to bring such functionality to Raspberry Pi.

The crew at PiSignage have done a fantastic job of detailing every step involved with the process which can be found at the following link: https://pisignage.com/homepage/documentation.html

Once completed, this project can add quite a bit of high-tech charm to any office space.

Professional Project #2 – Ethical Hacking Toolkit

Skill Level – Intermediate

Many IT professionals such as the team at Diligex rely on sophisticated network tools to help keep client networks safe and secure. At times, this requires the testing of network security by utilizing methods carried out by malicious hackers but in an ethical fashion. For many of those IT professionals in recent years, the Raspberry Pi has been a vital source for said functionality through the use of Kali Linux. Kali is a Linux distribution designed for advanced penetration testing, network assessments, and ethical hacking. IT professionals have used Kali to help identify vulnerabilities in prospect systems as well as perform scheduled assessments that validate a client’s strong network security.

With a Raspberry Pi, IT professionals can have a portable Kali-based ethical hacking toolkit at their disposal any time. The following instructions document the process for installing Kali onto a Raspberry Pi: https://docs.kali.org/kali-on-arm/install-kali-linux-arm-raspberry-pi

Having a portable toolkit available for network tasks can help take an IT professional’s career from ordinary to extraordinary.

Professional Project #3 – Temperature Sensor

Skill Level – Advanced

A hot summer’s day can do a lot more than just make a person sweat. Many businesses contain areas within their operations that require optimal temperature controls in order to keep equipment or product safe. Along with a few additional components, Raspberry Pi can be used to build a network-connected temperature sensor that can be used to proactively monitor the temperature of its installed area.

The following instructions detail every step of the way through the setup of a Raspberry Pi temperature sensor: https://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-temperature-sensor/

A solution such as this for temperature monitoring can help management rest at ease knowing that their product or equipment is contained within a suitable environment.

Personal Project #1 – Retro Gaming Console

Skill Level – Beginner

Whether as an occasional casual player or a devoted all-night enthusiast, many people would cite video games as being a fun memory of their childhood, with many carrying that love into their adult lives. As a result, one of the most popular projects for Raspberry Pi since its inception is the creation of a retro video game console. Pairing Raspberry Pi with a multitude of available USB gaming controllers can deliver a wonderful retro gaming experience through the use of digital ROMs for games that you own.

The proven-effective solution for converting Raspberry Pi into a retro gaming powerhouse is with RetroPie. With the following instructions, Raspberry Pi will begin unlocking achievements and gaining power ups in no time: https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/First-Installation

Reliving those childhood gaming moments has never been simpler.

Personal Project #2 – Digital Photo Frame

Skill Level – Intermediate

Life tends to move at such a rapid pace that it can feel like a great family photo is outdated before it even makes it into a frame – and with a camera in everyone’s pocket nowadays, the library of photos to choose from when selecting that perfectly printable shot can be extensive. Through the use of Raspberry Pi, almost any digital display can be converted into an always-updating digital photo frame capable of sharing all of life’s little moments.

The journey to ever-evolving photo delivery can be followed here: https://mrworf.github.io/photoframe/2018/02/26/setting-up-photoframe

Visitors will be amazed by the steady flow of precious moments available at a glance.

Personal Project #3 – Smart Mirror

Skill Level – Advanced

Studies have shown that some of the most common questions asked of digital assistants on any given day are basic things such as “What’s the weather today?” or “What time is it?”. This is because answers to such questions aren’t always readily available within view while getting ready for life’s adventures. With some technical know-how and additional components, a smart mirror can be built utilizing Raspberry Pi as its brain.

A great method for building a smart mirror is through the award-winning solution MagicMirror². The community team associated with MagicMirror² have developed a comprehensive tutorial that guides through every step of the process: https://forum.magicmirror.builders/topic/236/complete-setup-tutorial.

A smart mirror can help manage time more efficiently while providing an eye catching experience that will impress visitors of all kinds.

With the power of Raspberry Pi, any home or office can be benefit from a seemingly endless supply of projects. Add some code development skills into the mix and Raspberry Pi can provide infinite possibilities in the world of personal computing.

The philosophy behind these Raspberry Pi projects is the same used by the team here at Diligex. We continuously strive to provide our clients with IT solutions that help grow their business, enrich their lives, and increase their productivity. Do you have any questions regarding our services or want to inquire about how Diligex can help your company? Reach out to us at https://diligex.com/contact/ and a member of our team will be in touch.

Happy New Year from the Diligex team!