This is the fourth in a 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.
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.
Nanonation has been a long-time player and innovator in the digital signage sector – working with the Mac OS when people were still wondering why and seeing the retail opportunities for the iPad pretty much the day the product was first announced.
The Lincoln, Nebraska-based company is also well known for its retail-centric work with clients like Build-A-Bear, Mazda and Harley-Davidson.
Nano has had, which was news to me, an Android offer since last August. Unlike some other companies, it has focused on the software side and does not have a specific, branded device it sells. Instead, it has at least a couple (like the one below) it recommends, and intends to broaden that count as it grows more comfy with what’s coming over by the container from China. They cost roughly $150 with a one-year warranty.
The company says its Android digital signage solution leverages its CommandPoint content management system, which supports tens of thousands of digital signs, digital audio, and interactive solutions worldwide. The solution is now available on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. The Android solution was developed to provide an attractive hardware price point for deployers of digital signs, in-store music systems, and digital menu boards.
The Android offer is part of what Nanonation calls its Showcase product.
Nanonation and Android
|Question||Answer and Description|
|Company name?||Nanonation Inc.|
|Where is company based?||Lincoln, NE|
|Android product name?||Showcase Digital Signage|
|When released?||August 2012|
|Product page online (link)||http://www.nanonation.net/products/showcase-signage.php|
|Native player or browser-based player?||Native Player|
|Highest video resolution fully supported?||Up to 1080p (Output scaled to 720p)|
|Flash support?||Not Supported Today|
|Remote monitoring, diagnostic and recovery capabilities?||Remote health status monitoring and remote reboot|
|Remote control capabilities, like RS-232 screen control?||Extensive remote control capabilities are available through Nanonation's support team when diagnosing and resolving issues|
|Remote upgrade capabilities?||Remote OS & Application update capabilities.. Singe & multple player update capable|
|Browser pop-up controls?||Natively Not Supported|
|Video file support, ie .mp4, .wmv?||mp4, mpeg, avi|
|Player side API, so you can work with sensors and other triggers?||Not Supported Today|
|Multiple content zones?||Yes, Maximum of 7 Zones|
|Support for live data feeds?||Not Supported Today|
|dynamic NFC tag emulation||Not Supported Today|
|Advanced Scheduling||Simple & Advanced Scheduling is supported. Dayparting, event override scheduling for both content and layout. Regional and cateogry specific scheduling (media tagging).|
|IP video streaming||Not Supported Today|
|targeting||Yes, by individual unit or by group at either the playlist level or with specific media items.|
|Interactivity||Not Supported Today|
|Emergency Messaging||Not Supported Today|
|Describe the cost of the hardware and software, whether bundled or itemized||Software is priced based on volume with both a license & support model and a Software as a Service option available. We do not use a proprietary Android device, so several options are available. Standard android devices with a 1-year warranty are about $150.
|Descriptions||Nanonation's Android digital signage leverages our proven CommandPoint content management system, which supports tens of thousands of digital signs, digital audio, and interactive solutions worldwide. The solution is now available on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. The Android solution provides an attractive hardware price point for deployers of digital signs, in-store music systems, and digital menu boards with the reliability and support of an enterprise software solution.|
|What’s next||Several interactive applications and capabilities are under development today with Android tablets as well as Android devices driving touch enabled screens.|