This is the sixth entry 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.
An industry colleague said a couple of years back that Cambridge, England-based Signagelive was doing a nice job of punching above its weight class, a reference to a relatively small company out-innovating and out-marketing some larger competitors in winning software deals.
In certain respects the company is not all that much larger now, but no longer regarded as a welterweight trying to get in the ring with some heavyweight companies. It’s turned into one of the better known and referred-to companies, owing a lot to CEO Jason Cremins staying ahead of the technology curve, drafting off that buzz, and limiting development efforts to core products and leveraging available cloud-based services that supplement the offer.
The company was one of the first to start talking about the potential for non-PC playback devices – first SMIL and more recently Android. It was also among the first real companies to use HTML as a presentation platform for signage (though I saw it done as much as 11 years ago).
Signagelive has an Adobe Air app available on Google Play (the Android version of the App Store) that operates as a “Virtual Player” client for non-PC devices, and is well along in work to replicate what Signagelive now offers on its PC software on non-PC technology (like Android players and Samsung’s Smart Signage platform.
The company is also working with several hardware vendors on commercial-grade devices (as opposed to modified set-top boxes) that will be Signagelive-ready.
Signagelive and Android
|Question||Answer and Description|
|Where is company based?||UK, USA and Singapore|
|When released?||Q1 2012|
|Product page online (link)||http://www.signagelive.com/overview/|
|OS version?||Android 2.2+|
|Native player or browser-based player?||Native|
|Highest video resolution fully supported?||Only restricted by the device|
|Remote monitoring, diagnostic and recovery capabilities?||Yes|
|Remote control capabilities, like RS-232 screen control?||No|
|Remote upgrade capabilities?||Yes|
|Browser pop-up controls?||Yes|
|Video file support, ie .mp4, .wmv?||MP4, WMV, AVI|
|Player side API, so you can work with sensors and other triggers?||Yes|
|Multiple content zones?||No|
|Support for live data feeds?||Yes, Media RSS|
|Dynamic NFC tag emulation||No|
|IP video streaming||Yes|
|Targeting||Yes, meta based.|
|Interactivity||Yes, touch and swipe supported in Kiosk mode|
|Describe the cost of the hardware and software, whether bundled or itemized||$120 per annum ($10 per month) MSRP|
|Descriptions||Currently player has been developed in Adobe Air and is available from Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.signagelive.virtualplayer). It supports two modes, full screen content schedule and playback, plus a kiosk mode that enables scheduled content to be interrupted and link to an underlying media asset, which can be a web page or flash app.|
|What’s next||We are publicly launching a Player API in Q3 that replicates 100% of the functionlaity of our Windows-based Display Edition. We have several Android based hardware manufacturers developing devices specifically to work with our Player API and replicate the features only previously available on a Windows PC inc. multi-zone and triggers/interrupts.|
Video: Signagelive for Android