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IoT development with Windows 10 and Raspberry Pi – What you need

Windows-10-for-Raspberry-Pi2This is my second blog article covering Windows 10 IoT Core. See the first part here:
So, you decided to develop your first IoT (embedded) application using Windows 10 IoT Core. Awesome! What do you need for that? Surprisingly, not that much.

  1. First, you need a device, a IoT board. At the moment, Windows 10 IoT Core supports three boards:
    • Raspberry Pi 2 (quad-core ARM)
    • MinnowBoard MAX (Intel x86 Atom)
    • DragonBoard 410c (quad-core ARM)
  2. Then, you need a Windows 10 computer for development. Make sure it’s a release version of Windows 10. Anything less than that is not supported. Make sure you have all latest updates installed.
  3. Make sure to enabled development mode on your Windows 10 computer. In order to do that you need to go to Settings -> Update & Security -> For Developers and check “Developer Mode” option.
  4. Install Visual Studio 2015 (any edition, free Community version will do just fine). Make sure you have all updates installed, specifically Update 1.
  5. Install IoT Core project templates from here.

Regarding the board choice: Raspberry Pi 2 board is by far the most popular IoT board and in my blog series I’m going to cover only this board. It doesn’t mean that other board choices are not that good, but we have to decide on something.
Raspberry Pi 2 (make sure it’s a version 2 – version 1 is not supported by Windows) could be obtained from many different retailers. Microsoft and Adafruit (maker of Raspberry Pi) teamed up and developed a Starter Pack for IoT which included Raspberry Pi board, SD card, case and power supply. However, at the moment this starter pack is sold out. Plus, there are less expensive options… Let’s explore them.
Technically, when we talking about IoT board, we mean the following:

  • (required) Board itself which is .. a circuit board. It’s a barebones single board computer. It costs $39.95 from Adafruit and it’s currently in stock. It’s also widely available from other retailers, online and offline.
  • (required) Power supply. Raspberry Pi using a standard micro USB. You can buy a new one or use existing phone charger, just make sure it’s capable of outputting 2A current.
  • (optional) Case. You don’t have to put a Raspberry Pi in a case, but it’s convenient to do so. You can buy a case from retailer or build it yourself.
  • (required) Micro SD card (8Gb min). You will need this card to put Windows 10 to it and boot Raspberry Pi from it. You can use your own card.
  • (optional) WiFi dongle. Raspberry Pi 2 doesn’t include onboard WiFi module, so you either need to plug in your board to Ethernet wire or buy optional USB WiFi module. Make sure to only buy WiFi dongle which is supported by Microsoft (only a few models are supported for Raspberry Pi, including official one from Adafruit).
  • (optional) HDMI cable. Raspberry Pi has a full size HDMI output. If you desire to plug in your device to monitor (or TV), you need a standard HDMI cable.
  • (optional) Accessories and peripherals. If you willing to connect your board to outside world (other than via network or USB), then you need accessories (sensors), like camera module or touchscreen.

So, getting set up with IoT development is not that complicated and expensive. In the next blog post I’m going to cover setting up IoT board and development environment.

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Stan Tarnovskiy

Solutions Architect at Perficient

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