The Importance Of CE Marks
The excitement surrounding the Raspberry Pi has been building since the first tentative steps to create a low cost single board computer were announced in 2006. The enthusiasm levels were then ramped up even further in January 2012 when the first ten boards were auctioned on eBay. The boards, which had a total retail value of £220, sold for a combined £16,000.
However, the expected February 29th launch date came and went without any boards being made available in Europe as the Pi failed to gain a Conformité Européenne (CE) mark which is required for products to be marketed in the European Economic Area (EEA).
This was a major blow for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the UK based charity that have created the device, as they had hoped that the Pi wouldn’t require a CE mark. Furthermore, they cited several examples of other similar technologies that had been brought to market without the CE mark.
The fact that a CE mark has been denied on such a hotly anticipated product does serve to show the seriousness with which the mark is awarded. Since 1993, CE has stood for quality, as the mark is only awarded to products that adhere to all of the essential requirements of the applicable European Union (EU) directives.
The affects everything from entertainment products to medical devices thus ensuring that life saving equipment, for example, is to the standard required and expected. Indeed, the Raspberry Pi is now undergoing further electromagnetic emission tests after concerns by the CE awarding body.
While the delays to the Raspberry Pi have been frustrating to both the consumer and the company, it is comforting to see evidence that safety and quality guidelines are being followed with rigour by the EEC. This way, when the Raspberry Pi is launched to the joy of those eagerly anticipating it, it will be safe as well as fascinating.