Friday, 23 December 2016

Omega2: $5 Linux Computer with Wi-Fi, Made for IoT


 

Can the Omega 2 Replace Raspberry Pi? The $5 Linux IoT Module

The Omega 2, a $5 Linux Module concentrated on ease of use and accessibility, managed to surpass its Kickstarter funding goal in just a few hours after being published. 
With integrated Wi-Fi and on-board flash storage, the Omega 2 is a tiny Module that aims to deliver a simple and affordable solution for any IoT project. A full computer running Linux, the module is just 1/4th of the size of the Raspberry Pi. It appeared on Kickstarter with a goal of $15,000 and got fully funded in just a few hours.
Omega 2 Programming Languages Tutorial
Image source: Onion.io
Based on the MIPS-based and Wi-Fi enabled Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 system-on-chip, Omega 2 is a leap forward from its predecessor. The Omega launched last year via a successful Kickstarter Campaign by Onion. It is a $19 module that has enabled Wi-Fi running at 400 MHz. In comparison, the new module runs at 580 MHz and offers fifteen GPIO lines, two new PWM lines, two UART lines and a I2C, SPI and I2S lines. Onion also provides IoT enthusiasts the $9 Omega 2 Plus, which offers double the built-in storage and memory.
Omega 2 $5 Linux Module Raspberry Pi Comparison
Image source: Onion.io
Backward compatible with all of the modules of the Omega, the new board launches with a plethora of new expandable docks. Just some of them are the Expansion Dock, the Mini Dock, the Power Dock, the relay Expansion Dock and others. There is also an Arduino Dock R2, which makes the Omega 2 Arduino compatible. 
Omega 2 $5 Linux Module Raspberry Pi Arduino
Image source: Onion.io
Cloud-integrated and modular, the Omega 2 aims to deliver a seamless programming experience, regardless of the programming language one uses. Onion also offers its users an App Store, where people may find natural solutions for their home IoT (Internet of Things) projects.
Omega 2 $5 Linux Module Raspberry Pi Project
Image source: Onion.io

Could the Omega 2 Replace Raspberry Pi?

The Omega 2 has a number of diverse features and a relatively low entry price point. This can make the Omega 2 more accessible and easy to use than the infamous single-board computers offered by Raspberry Pi. A cheap solution for every IoT project, the Omega 2 is as functional as a Raspberry Pi board. This is further possible with the diverse and affordable expansion docks of the $5 module. However, it’s hard to tell which board will be more suitable for one’s needs.
While the Omega 2 has almost the same functionality, the Raspberry Pi already dominates the market. This results in hundreds upon thousands of online guides one can easily use to make their homes smarter. Furthermore, while the new $5 Omega board runs Linux, the $35 Raspberry Pi 3 offers customers a range of operating systems, including Snappy Ubuntu Core and the Windows 10 IoT Core. This results in more diverse projects and gives a wider range of possibilities.
Omega 2 $5 Linux Module Raspberry Pi Music Project
Image source: Onion.io
With this in mind, the Omega 2 is a long way off from dethroning the Raspberry Pi. Nonetheless, it’s an exceptionally affordable and an easy-to-use solution for anyone who would like to get into IoT projects.
For more information on the Omega 2, feel free to visit their official Kickstarter project page. Also, make sure to stay tuned to Build Your Smart Home.co for everything IoT related!

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