Raspberry Pi 3 and the curse of human expectations

The new Raspberry Pi 3 is out, and it is a new, impressive iteration of the device that conquered the maker movement. The spec sheet has been improved with a new, more powerful processor (1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53) but above all with native WiFi (802.11n) and Bluetooth 4.1 support .

The initial reception of the device has been pretty modest as seen on media coverage in the last few hours, something that speaks clearly about our human capability to get excited about something about several iterations.

When the first Raspberry Pi launched the first time, it was all bell and whistles. The world marveled at what it represented, but a few iterations later this thing isn’t apparently that impressive or remarkable. Or is it?

Of course it is. Being able to get a computer for $35 (well, you’ll still need a MicroSD card and some other peripherals) is absolutely impressive. The world needs to marvel again about this little device. It deserves everyone of us to marvel at this technological feat that gives anyone in the world an easy way to work, have fun and create incredible things.

Damn humans. We have the exceptional,  shameful capability of getting used to all kinds of marvelous things.

Source: Raspberry Pi 3 on sale now at $35 – Raspberry Pi

Follow up (I): The guys over Pimoroni have published a worthy first look at the performance and main features of the new RPi3 at their official blog. 

Follow up (II): There’s another good review at Make:, the article featured in Reddit. Welcome reddit users, btw!

This is the future of mirrors

Max Braun, a software engineer at Google, has combined a few hardware and software components  to create a mirror that is certainly smarter than all the mirrors I’ve seen in my entire life.

This connected device is not cheap (the display panel is $450 alone) but the result is certainly impressive and shows the way to what mirrors could and should be in the future.

Sure, you could just have a smartphone or a tablet in your bathroom showing this information or a energizing morning video to get you on the mood, but this is far more attractive. In fact Darren Orf has expressed exactly my point at Gizmodo:

Google. If you need moonshot projects that actually make money, this is it. I will buy it immediately. Just tell much money I need to throw at you.

Exactly my point, as I was saying. Let’s see how much time is gone before someone launches something like this in Kickstarter.

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a crazy little wonderful microPC that costs $5

The Raspberry Pi was a marvel of design and versatility, and it was one of the big reasons the maker movement started in the first place. Sure, Arduino and other projects have helped, but the RPi democratized the trend and made anyone a potential hardware tinkerer.

After developing several versions, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has just launched the Raspberry Pi Zero, a mini computer that is astounding in size and capabilities. With a ridiculous small form factor (65 x 30 x 5 mm) this little beast carries specs that should anyone start playing really quick:

  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
    • 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
    • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header

But what is more amazing is the price of this little thing: $5! On some countries that could make shipping costs actually more expensive than the device itself. They’ve even included one Raspberry Pi Zero in each issue of the new MagPi magazine! (Sold out already, of course) Crazy.

I think this enables a new kind of projects in which size and affordability is critical. Yes, this device has some limitations (only one microUSB port for data, no Ethernet, “just” 512 MB of RAM) but even that is not a real problem for users of this little miracle of technology thanks to adapters like powered USB hubs.

It’s amazing what you can do with $5.

She created Japan’s Xiaomi, launching 21 gadgets in 2 months

The small Japanese company UPQ has launched 21 gadgets in 2 months and has showed that anyone can compete with the giants if he/she has talent and works hard. From the article:

When asked if she’s trying to become the Xiaomi of Japan, Nakazawa deflects. “Big Japanese tech companies are in trouble,” she says. “I want to change the way Japanese people approach making new products.”

Designing in Japan (or anywhere else) and producing the products in China (the cheapest electronics manufacturing is mostly there)  makes sense, and lots of Kickstarter projects have made this true over and over again. Good story.

Source: She created Japan’s Xiaomi, launching 21 gadgets in 2 months | TechInAsia