One of the the things that was pretty evident a year ago was how Google’s Android operating system would be applied to low-cost set-top box-like devices to create very inexpensive digital signage offers.
Yesterday, RevelDigital from Fargo, ND (actually been there on some lost college weekends) announced a teeny USB stick player than runs on Android 4.1 and handles HD video and Adobe Flash.
The company – not to be confused with the POS company that does Point Of Sale systems using iPads – already had a platform driving Windows 7-based mini PCs, so this is a new fork in the road.
The attraction is two-fold:
1 – The device costs $145 and has a two-year replacement warranty;
2 – It is no larger than a thumb-drive, but has WiFi on-board. It also has no power brick or cord, running instead off the display monitor’s power.
Just plug it in to your television HDMI video port and your done, says the company. From that point on all upgrades are performed automatically and management of the content is 100% controlled via the RevelDigital website. Absolutely the simplest most hassle free digital signage installation you’ll find.
Most of the playback features are on parity with our Windows7 software but here are few highlights:
- True HD video supporting all major video formats including MP4/2/1, DIVX, AVI, MPG, FLV
- Support for Adobe Flash in templates and playlists
- Image support for all major formats including BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF
- PowerPoint support
- Scrolling ticker/marquee
- Standard and Media RSS/ATOM feeds with support for video/image/flash
- Web Pages / Custom HTML / and Google Gadgets
- Full control over content placement / overlapping zones / and transparency
- Integration with NWS (National Weather Service) and NOAA for automated emergency alerts
I don’t know a thing about the company, but the range of capabilities looks pretty broad. The biggies for any serious job – reliability and scalability – are unknowns. As is the price for what is a SaaS service. The Google Play download page says it is Free, but …
Then there is Middletown, CT-based Reality Interactive – which has been doing interactive digital merchandising for several years. The company has added a $125 Android box as a low-cost counter to some of its other solutions.
It runs off the company’s bitShuttle content management system.