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UK maker community turns to Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is becoming more popular with UK makers as nearly half of Brits (48 per cent) say they plan to use it for an electronics project, with 87 per cent of makers having already used the mini-PC to make a smart home device.

Research conducted by online retailer reichelt found that there was a clear upward trend towards home-made smart technology as the use of these devices become increasingly popular for day to day life.

The expanding capabilities of mini-PCs like Raspberry Pi are a key factor behind this rise in popularity, with 24 per cent of those questioned saying that they were planning to make their own smart home device, such as smart lighting, thermostats or alarms, using a Raspberry Pi board.

The most popular smart gadgets were found to be security alarms – 26 per cent have made their own versions, followed by smart lighting or heating (24 per cent).

Nearly half (48 per cent) of those surveyed said they plan to use the Raspberry Pi for an electronics project in the future.

According to reichelt‘s research, the Raspberry Pi is proving so popular because of its:

  1. Easy installation – 20 per cent
  2. Low price point – 13 per cent
  3. Small format – 11 per cent
  4. Internet capability – 11 per cent

When it came to future updates and new releases, more than half of those surveyed want even more memory (54%) and even more computing power (53%) for the next Raspberry Pi model.

Top Raspberry Pi projects

Raspberry Pi’s are most commonly used for:

  1. Computer for every day use – 31 per cent
  2. Printer – 29 per cent
  3. Multimedia centre – 22 per cent
  4. Gaming – 22 per cent
  5. Multi-room audio – 18 per cent
  6. Remote control for devices – 18 per cent

Whilst there is an upward trend for more maker projects, the UK is significantly behind Germany with Germans using Raspberry Pi nearly twice as much as – 47 per cent vs one fifth.

According to Sven Pannewitz, product manager for Active/Passive Components at reichelt, the affordability and versatility of the Raspberry Pi is the key driver behind this trend.

"The Maker projects are definitely showing a positive market development and we are seeing more developer boards being used. The projects are getting smarter, especially when it comes to home automation, because the Raspberry Pi can be used so effectively in a variety of ways.

“The WiFi connection, which has been integrated since version 3, and the new PoE capability in the new 3B+ model, make the Raspberry Pi particularly interesting for smart home projects. The trend for future projects points primarily to lighting and heating control in the smart home, but the Raspberry Pi is also frequently being used as a multimedia centre."

Neil Tyler

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I've got a Raspberry Pi Zero W controlling the lamps in my lounge via an Amazon Echo. It works really well. Now the weather is improving I will also be dusting off another Pi Zero to control the pump in our paddling pool.

Posted by: Matt Hawkins, 25/04/2018

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