Android For Digital Signage: A Closer Look At Capital Networks’ Audience For Android
April 11, 2013 by Dave Haynes
This is the first in a 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.
At least 20 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.
Based in suburban Toronto, Canada, Capital Networks has been in business for more than 20 years and supplying digital signage solutions for more than a decade. The firm was arguably the first well-established, well-known digital signage software provider to recognize the opportunity and invest the dollars in Android and ARM. Capital showcased a demo unit at Digital Signage Expo 2012, and then released that product a few months later.
The unit selected came out of a test pool of more than 20 low-cost devices manufactured in China. Now the company is released a newer, faster version. (Disclosure: Capital is a 16:9 advertiser, but any companies with legitimate digital signage Android products will be profiled if they provide the needed information).
I have also known these guys FOREVER, and it is an incredibly stable crew from management through development and ops. When I saw the product at DSE a year ago I was surprised to see this was much more than “getting something to work” on a low-cost Android box. It was a full product. From the correspondence I have received and my own chats with Capital’s Jim Vair, this is a major product focus for Capital in this sector, and that product is evolving.
Here’s the breakdown on Capital’s Audience For Android, based on a standard set of questions sent to those companies selling Android/ARM solutions.
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