Being faced with self initiated problems is something you can easily avoid – don’t create them in the first place, however that’s not really how we like to do things here at Thread.

We’ve recently decided that chalkboards are not the most interesting solution for a client and that we would like to install custom promotional screens. Just making one screen and running it from a PC is pretty easy, but what if you have two screens? In two locations? Or 6 screens, across multiple floors, in different locations, in different cities? Each one would need a PC a network connection and a lot of wiring. That’s a bit of a headache if your venue is already fitted out.

Solution; welcome to the Thread office, the credit card sized computer, Raspberry Pi. Single board computing is not exactly a new thing, but the Pi has recently changed the market. Built by the Raspberry Pi Foundation RMB200 get’s you a whole PC that can run Linux or another geeky OS of your choice. Only a single USB power source is required to run it and output via HDMI to a screen or projector. Add a micro USB wifi card and the unit is connected to the web to search for content.

The real benefit is that we can hide a Raspberry Pi inside an LED screen and run it from the same power source, making installation clean and easy, and material cost as low as RMB1000 per unit.

We’re currently working on the code that will push content from a smartphone to one, or multiple units. Imagine sitting in your restaurant/bar/home/bath and changing screen content as an when you like. Future plans include making the systems interactive – infra-red sensors can change promotions with a hand gestures, or audio sensors can sense a crowd cheering at at a televised sports event.

More info as soon as we can tell you where you can see them.