Smart Raspberry PI project
Raspberry PI is a great little $35 mini computer the size of a credit card. The latest version (2.0) comes with 1 gigabyte of ram and a mid-range powerful ARM processor. Raspberry PI is used by hobbyists, schools and IOT companies to create clever consumer gadgets. The sky is the limit and what you can do with your PI is defined by imagination only (and I admit, some knowledge of Linux).
What our custom Linux distro brings, is a ready-to-use kiosk system
Smart Mobile Studio full control Raspberry PI
My good friend Glenn, a citizen of Denmark, loves all things Linux – so when I asked him if we could hijack the boot sequence, drop the desktop and boot straight into full-screen Chrome instead.. well, it didn’t take long for him to figure out a way to do that. I have to little experience with the mysteries of Linux to make that happen (it would take weeks of fiddling), so it’s good to have friends who know’s what they are doing.
In essence we are creating a custom Linux distro which is designed to run your Smart Mobile Studio projects exclusively. This means:
- full access to the filesystem
- no content domain restrictions (CORS)
- no blocking-operation restraints
- No restriction on database or storage sizes
- Your Smart program completely runs the show
As a gateway to the operative system and interesting functionality, I have gone for a nodeJS server running in the background (booted before the browser display) which means the desktop (or your project) can use RPC calls for advanced functions.
This is pretty cool because it means that the UI will be completely abstracted from the service functionality. The service can be local and run on the same installation – or it can run on Azure or Amazon cloud servers on the other side of the world.
Think of it this way: You dont have to run it on the same device. You can upload your desktop (or kiosk) to a normal web-host, disable CORS on the host, and then use websockets and connect to the NodeJS layer; which can be hosted on another computer or domain.
But all of that is already possible today. This is one of the simplest things to make with Smart Mobile Studio actually. A much cooler project is what we are doing now with the Raspberry PI — giving your creations the ability to live on and control a full Linux system.
So what are you guys up to?
The first project is a NetFlix like media system (or a XBMC clone) with full support for USB wireless remote controls. To make it short: a $35 home theatre that plugs into your television, which will scan your movies folder (or external drive) and present your movies like NetFlix does it. It will download info from MovieDB.com and other media services for identification. It sounds complicated but it’s actually very straight forward. One of the simplest solutions I’ve done with Smart Mobile Studio to be honest.
Using a standard USB remote control is excellent because it registers as a touch-device. So the buttons you press registers as touch-events in a predictable order (read: it works on all controls of this type).
What our custom Linux distro brings, is a ready-to-use kiosk system. You can use it to display advertizing in a shop window if you like, or add a touch screen and build your own ticket ordering station. Again, it’s only limited by your own imagination.
A fun hobby to say the least 🙂