But why bother when platforms like Beaglebone and Rasberry PI are very well established and supported?
This question bubbles to the surface every week or two online, to the point that the question "Why not Pi?" has grown to be a pet peeve of mine. Why are we comparing a large, power-hungry PCB containing many chips with a microcontroller chip?
But for the noobs out there asking "Why not Pi?", here are some of the many reasons why an off-the-shelf linux SBC (even a cheap one that is awesome) are often not a fit for a given project:
-control over device form-factor (maybe I want to build a wristwatch that is smaller than a Pi)
-poor low-power performance and lack of control over CPU sleep modes
-too slow boot time for many applications
-dependence on huge amounts of code outside of your control (possible problems with licensing, reliability, etc,)
-control over device life cycle (the Raspberry Pi folks don't exactly check in with me before obsoleting a version and releasing a new one)
-that awesome feeling you get when you build something yourself (I don't get that feeling on a Pi)
Anyways, the list could go on.