Nine Raspberry Pi Boards Continue to Power Monterail Office a Year Later
The Raspberry Pi has been a primary board for home and office automation since its release in 2012. A few years ago, web developer startup Monterail used the Pi to drive is entire office ecosystem.
The company decided to get a larger office as the startup began to grow, but they wanted it to be modern and equipped with as many smart amenities as it could hold. What better than the Raspberry Pi to make that goal happen?
The team utilized nine Raspberry Pi units in total to control nearly everything – light control, conference/call room occupancy signalization, access codes for the main doors, audio system/live streaming (even in the restrooms), five TVs (each manageable with its own channels) and kitchen LED lighting.
Every system is also controllable from anywhere using a web interface that can be accessed via desktop, mobile devices and through touch panels positioned throughout the office.
With nine Pis driving the office, the breakdown is as follows – one Pi controls the low-level hardware (doors, lighting, etc.) from a custom distribution board outfitted with relays and other hardware. The same Pi also runs the web server and application controls that the company's employees can access.
Five additional units are connected to five individual TVs, with another two powering the speakers located throughout the office. Finally, a single Raspberry Pi controls the ambient audio within the restrooms. It's easy to see how that feature alone would be a benefit to society as a whole.
While the Raspberry Pi-powered office setup had its issues, it's still going strong one year later. Monterail states that while the rig works for them, it's not ready to be mass produced and implemented in other offices or homes, which is understandable as too many variables come into play.