Munich, June 30, 2022 – Munich-based VAD Concept International has added a Raspberry Pi 4 to its product range as a version suitable for industrial and digital signage applications. Concept has packaged the credit-card-sized single-board computer, which has sold 40 million units, in a robust metal enclosure with VESA holes and equipped the Raspberry Pi 4 with fixed HDMI adapter cables or display cables, which thus guarantee more reliable signal output than the standard micro-HDMI sockets. The Raspberry Pi 4 performs in many professional areas such as industry or digital signage the same as a conventional industrial or mini PC, but with a price around 150 euros including the above mentioned optimizations, it costs far less. The industrial and digital signage version of the Raspberry Pi 4 is usually run under Linux (Raspberry Pi OS). Alternatively, there are also projects that provide Android 9 (with Google Store) and Android 11. The FutureRaspi 4 will be available from the end of July – and can be experienced live at the Digital Signage Summit Europe at the Munich Hilton Hotel at the airport (booth 9) on July 6 and 7 .

The Raspberry Pi 4 uses the Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) CPU architecture and a system-on-a-chip (SoC) from Broadcom. Besides a considerable price advantage compared to conventional x86 architectures, this configuration consumes less power and generates significantly less heat. At the same time, the small PC scores with a good graphical 4K/UHD performance – and that with a board size of only 86 x 56 mm. It even handles demanding compression algorithms like H.264 and H.265 on-board and impresses with smooth playback even at very high resolutions.

Tireless computing powerhouse for (industrial) digital signage …

These features predestine the single-board computer for a variety of professional applications – provided some upgrading and conversion work is done. Concept first packs the Pi 4 board into a fanless aluminum enclosure – optionally with a specially developed Power-over Ethernet module (“PoE Hat”). This eliminates the need for a separate power supply unit: the PC is supplied with power via the LAN cable. This enclosure is thermally coupled and integrated into an enclosure extension, which on the one hand integrates the VESA holes for easy mounting, and on the other hand allows the LAN cable and the two Micro-HDMI connectors to be permanently installed in a strain-relieving manner – and thus much more reliably. Thus, the FutureRaspi 4 can, for example, be supplied with short, fully-fledged HDMI sockets, i.e. also with permanently mounted 50cm cables with HDMI plugs.

Accordingly securely prepared, the FutureRaspi 4 plays out information about the fill levels of a machine, the work progress of a production line or other operation-relevant data on up to two high-resolution screens, for example, in manufacturing and at the HMI. In the digital signage sector, the FutureRaspi 4 also reliably displays interactive content in kiosk systems or real-time information on display boards at airports.

… and Industry 4.0

Radio-based data transmission via WLAN and Bluetooth 5.0, which the Raspberry Pi 4 has on board and can be deactivated, is also possible. Bluetooth-based transmissions of sensor data have recently increased strongly. In edge-to-cloud applications, for example, the small computer evaluates the measured values transmitted by IoT sensors via radio, displays them and transfers them to backend systems via networks or the cloud.

It is easily mounted on the wall or on a DIN rail. Mounting to the VESA 75 standard on brackets, machines and screens is also possible with the help of Concept’s specially designed enclosure.

“Low-cost mini PCs like the FutureRaspi 4 hold great savings potential for industrial companies,” explains Mike Finckh, CEO, Concept International. “Through our enclosure and connection optimizations, our Raspberry Pi 4 version performs the same as a dedicated industrial PC.”