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The Pi Wire


As with everything in the technology industry, things move pretty quickly in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem – so much so that it can be really hard to keep up sometimes! This regular column looks to round up the best Raspberry Pi and open source hardware news to keep you up to date on the latest developments, projects, and products as well as provide an event listing so you know what's going on in your local area.

Three Millionth Pi Sold and a Royal Visit!

The Raspberry Pi, which was released just two and a half years ago, recently hit the 3-million mark in total sales. To put that sales figure in perspective, the BBC Micro sold about half that many in its entire lifetime. Raspberry Pi has far outsold any of its direct competitors, and the latest sales figures indicate just how successful the Rasp Pi community has been at drawing in both beginner and professional users.

The 3-millionth Pi was actually sold a month before the announcement, but because of the way Raspberry Pi distributors report their sales figures, the Raspberry Pi Foundation just learned about this milestone at the beginning of June.

On the day of the announcement, the Foundation also announced that they had been to visit Buckingham Palace for the UK Tech Reception. The Tech Reception event is intended to showcase the fantastic work going on in the UK tech industry, which is an ever-increasing contributor to the UK economy.

As you can see in the picture, the Raspberry Pi Foundation brought a great selection of Raspberry Pi goodies to the palace event, including a Babbage bear. According to the blog post on the Raspberry Pi website, founder Eben Upton got a bit of a telling off from the Duke of Edinburgh for turning up without a tie!

OTTO: The Hackable GIF Camera

The last issue of Raspberry Pi Geek included an interview with James Adams – the mastermind behind the recently released Raspberry Pi Compute Module. The Compute Module is a really exciting development that opens the door for Rasp Pi technology in embedded hardware and industrial markets.

The clever folks at Next Thing Co. in Oakland, California, have released the first product available to market that uses the Compute Module at its heart. OTTO makes use of the same Omnivision OV5647 CMOS sensor that is used in the Raspberry Pi Camera Module, albeit in a slightly different PCB package and with an improved lens.

You may be wondering why someone has made a camera based on the Raspberry Pi and a 5Mpx sensor when hundreds of great off-the-shelf cameras are already available with many more megapixels. The answer is that this is not your average camera – OTTO can take GIFs right out of the box and sync them straight to your smartphone over WiFi. The OTTO camera is also hackable, meaning you can tailor it to do exactly what you need.

The camera unit is packaged in a beautifully designed retro-feel enclosure, OTTO was launched on Kickstarter [1] and quickly exceeded its US$ 60,000 funding goal. OTTO's makers say "We think the future of photography isn't just greater fidelity, but greater flexibility." You can pre-order your OTTO camera from Next Thing Co. [2].

If you want to know more about the Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has just released additional documentation [3]. You can purchase a Compute Module development kit from RS Components (part number 813-4164) or from Farnell (part number 2427123).

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