Meet PiKasa: the Cape Town-based all-in-one Raspberry Pi computer [update]

Update: The PiKasa Indiegogo campaign is officially up and running. The company is looking for US$25 000 to fund the project. Have a look at the campaign here.

We’ve sung the Raspberry Pi‘s praises many times. It’s a wonderfully reliable, practical, and cheap computer with just enough power for a broad range of applications. They double up as great media players too, or consoles for those old emulated games. But what about more practical uses? What if you want to use the Raspberry Pi as a full-blown all-in-one computer?

Cape Town-based firm, The Content Company, has crafted a Raspberry Pi housing for that very purpose — to turn the R500-odd microboard into an easy-to-use computer. The company’s calling it the PiKasa.

“Raspberry Pi’s are fantastic,” notes The Content Company CEO Ian Harrison, “but when you want to deploy them into a standalone application that requires some kind of display and a keyboard with maybe some extra USB ports and access to the LAN port then things can start to get a bit messy.

“There are a number of great looking housings on the market but nothing that can be used to house your Pi and make it look like a finished, all in one, desktop style product with a built in screen and keyboard and access to all the connectors that a Raspberry Pi provides,” he concludes.

The PiKasa hopes to eliminate this clutter by shoving all the essential components into an aesthetically pleasing package.

Read more: 20 awesome ways you can use a Raspberry Pi

Compatible with all first-generation Raspberry Pis, the PiKasa boasts a keyboard, a 7-inch HDMI 800×480 resolution screen, a five-port USB hub and a power supply. Thee PiKasa also features built in speakers and access to the ethernet port, but additional dongles for Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity will need to be purchased as add-ons for the Raspberry Pi itself.

The PiKasa is essentially for those looking for a small computer, a kiosk station or usage in education centres. And that’s just skimming the surface, according to Harrison:

It’s your energy monitor or your home automation system, your internet of things manager or your ZX Spectrum, your media player or games console, the instant messaging device that you give to your parents, or your weather station, or pretty much everything else that a Pi can be. And now on top of it – it’s really nicely packaged too.

The Content Company is hoping to raise funds on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo prior to the device’s launch, with the first 100 units available for US$75, or around US$35 more expensive than the cheapest Raspberry Pi.

The project will go live on 16 March.

Andy Walker
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