It may not have received as much publicity as the new iPad or the Amazon Kindle Fire, but the Raspberry Pi device has made a bigger splash in 2012 than most other innovations. And in light of enthusiasm among consumers, the firm behind the impressive product has announced plans to open a one-stop shop for the consumer market. The new shop will also allow tech enthusiasts to share games and applications, as well as tools for the computer.
Details of the new store appear in a blog post written by Eben Upton, the former Cambridge computing academic who came up with the concept that has generated interest in coding. The overarching ambition behind the new store, according to Mr Upton, is to "provide young people with a way to share their creations with a wider audience, and maybe to make a little pocket money along the way".
Although the game-changing device only launched in February this year, it has already had a major impact in the education sector. Indeed, copies of the device have been bought in bulk by schools and have been used by schoolchildren to increase interest in coding. Recent figures from the firm behind Raspberry Pi show that it has already exceeded expectations. The initial hope among the developers was to sell 10,000 units this year, yet more than 750,000 have already been acquired.
And in terms of the demographic breakdown of buyers, Mr Upton confirmed that the device has been especially popular among 40-somethings who are keen to reminisce about coding. "Schools that are lucky enough to have an enthusiastic ICT teacher - or even a physics teacher - have been getting them," he commented.
He said, too, that the company will not be resting on its laurels in the coming months, with the one-stop shop forming the next part of its long-term plan. "The intent is to have something that can go into a generic classroom environment," he said.
What more could be done stimulate interest in computing among the younger generation?