We’re now at 10 entries, and counting, in this running series of closer looks at digital signage solution providers who have started working with the Android operating system and low-cost, ultra-small ARM processors.
Almost 30 companies have introduced products based on the open-source Android operating system that is very widely used for smart devices like handsets and tablets, all of them using CPUs based on ARM reference designs. Most smartphones and tablets use ARM.
It is likely that much of the industry will shift to ARM-based devices using Android or Linux in the next 1-3 years because ARM devices now rival the processing power of lower cost x86 personal computing devices, but at a fraction of the cost and, in most cases, size.
The German digital signage software company Stinova launched its Android solution at the mammoth CeBIT tech show last month, running it off the iChannel platform.
The company’s spin on Android is that the operating system is just another way to use its DMS 6 and DMX 6 content management software: An important aspect, says the company in marketing material, is the maximum flexibility of the new system that supports different media players based on all major operating systems such as Android, Linux and Microsoft Windows. All systems can be managed within one common server and can fulfill all the demanding requirements of Digital Signage applications.
A couple of other interesting elements to what they are doing is a plug-in/extension thing called SignCreator that allows customers to edit content directly from within PowerPoint and access any screen via the DMS server, and integration with Fotolia’s 20 million stock photo database.
“With Android based devices such as Media Sticks or Tablet computers we can support customers varied applications for digital signage at a fraction of the cost of a similar PC based platform,“ says Franz Hintermayr, CEO of Stinova.
Stinova and Android
|Question||Answer and Description|
|Company name?||Stinova Ltd.|
|Where is company based?||Germany, UK, USA|
|Android product name?||iChannel|
|Product page online (link)||www.iChannel.info|
|OS version?||Android 2.3, 4.0, 4.1|
|Native player or browser-based player?||Native player|
|Highest video resolution fully supported?||Full HD 1920x1080|
|Remote monitoring, diagnostic and recovery capabilities?||yes|
|Remote control capabilities, like RS-232 screen control?||yes|
|Remote upgrade capabilities?||yes|
|Browser pop-up controls?||yes|
|Video file support, ie .mp4, .wmv?||yes|
|Player side API, so you can work with sensors and other triggers?||to be defined|
|Multiple content zones?|
|Support for live data feeds?||yes|
|dynamic NFC tag emulation||not yet supported|
|IP video streaming||no yet supported|
|targeting||not yet supported|
|Describe the cost of the hardware and software, whether bundled or itemized||€ 399.- Hardware Player + Software Bundle including 36 months SaaS service|
|Descriptions||iChannel is an easy to use Digital Signage Platform supporting Android devices. The Stinova SignCreator AddIn for PowerPoint integrates the most popular presentation software into the content creation workflow. Fotolia integration offers access to more than 20 million images.|
|What’s next||Room Booking - Audience Measurement - Full Kiosk Implementation|