Seeed Launches New Hardware Product for Industrial Computing

By Bruce Harpham Thursday, April 22, 2021

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is getting easier to use thanks to new hardware. Seeed Technology, a hardware company used by more than 300,000 developers, has released a new industrial human-machine interface device. Based on Raspberry Pi technology, the technology is built for demanding business use in industrial settings. Known as the reTerminal, the device will be made by Seeed, a hardware business based in Shenzhen, China. The reTerminal is expected to be available for pre-orders in April 2021.

The reTerminal device from Seeed.

The Developer Ecosystem Growing Seeed

The success of Seeed is only partly driven by new hardware devices like the reTerminal. The company strategy includes a focus on developing a large community of developers. Additionally, the business operates a wiki and an active discussion forum dedicated to technology topics. By offering a place for developers to seek help with firmware problems, Raspberry Pi configuration, and other topics, the company will have the chance to retain and grow its developer community.

A New Business Challenger to Cisco Systems

The Seeed business focus on low-cost IoT technology presents a business challenge for Cisco. Based in the United States (US), Cisco Systems has invested heavily in promoting the IoT opportunity. Those investments have already paid off in business growth. Cisco reports that it has grown adoption in manufacturing by 16% and utilities by 12%. As competitors like Seeed grow with a low price strategy, Cisco may be forced to focus on more complex IoT business customers.

Aside from Cisco, several large firms like Amazon, Verizon, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle compete in the IoT business. There are more than 6,000 startups in the IoT business, according to AngelList.

The Multibillion-Dollar IoT Market Is Still Growing

According to IDC, an IT research company, spending on the IoT was lower in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the global market for IoT technology still grew to $742 billion in 2020. The research company indicates that IoT spending in healthcare, insurance, and education will grow the fastest. In contrast, IoT adoption by business users in manufacturing is expecting to slow. Electric vehicle adoption of IoT is also expected to increase this year. Indirectly, increased business demand for IoT technology in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and related sectors may help Seeed to grow.

Affordable Internet of Things Technology

Instead of asking business users to connect an expensive, fragile smartphone or laptop to a factory, the reTerminal is a good alternative. The device includes a 5-inch touchscreen display designed to operate in harsh conditions, including exposure to environmental contaminants. Running on a Linux Debian operating system, the device includes Bluetooth 5.0 and wireless (2.4 and 5 GHz) Wi-fi connectivity.

Affordability is a fundamental reason for the popularity of Raspberry Pi hardware. Last year, the Raspberry Pi 400 was launched as a $100 computer suitable to help people learn programming skills. Seeed products are similarly priced with several single-board computers, like the Raspberry Pi 4 Computer 8 GB, priced at less than $100. Unlike the Raspberry Pi 400, Seeed technology products are not intended for consumers. Instead, the hardware company offers products that are typically used as one component in other technology products.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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