This is the entry #9 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.
11Giraffes started out many years ago as the Elevator Channel, a digital OOH network focused on putting screens in elevators in a manner similar to how it was being done by Captivate and, originally, by the Elevator News Network (where I got my start in this sector). The company has evolved pretty significantly through the years and, I am pretty certain, doesn’t do anything in elevators.
The Charlotte, NC-based software and content company is pretty heavily focused on retail these days, with both digital sign and in-store audio solutions. They work through a dealer channel and have services in place in everything from retail and hospitality to assisted living facilities and country clubs.
TThe core Android product is a lite version of the standard 11Giraffes software media player, ported to a teeny iPod Nano-shaped stick that costs less than $60. 11Giraffes says the media player is perfect for applications where single zone digital signage is required and client content is predominantly in the form of video and images. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
The Android media player software is not specific to this stick and can be ported to other devices, including commercial-grade retail tablets. To that end, 11Giraffes announced a deal today with Outform to combine that company’s iDISPLAY commercial tablets with the 11Giraffes software.
“Outform’s iDISPLAY devices are incredibly well designed, visually attractive, and capable of presenting dynamic content using 11Giraffes software” says 11Giraffes Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Operations, Jim Marascio. “We appreciate the thought put into the iDISPLAY product line by Outform. They were specifically built for implementation in commercial environments; and as such, are easy to deploy and manage.”
11Giraffes And Android
|Question||Answer and Description|
|Where is company based?||Charlotte, NC|
|Android product name?||11Giraffes Android Media Player|
|When released?||February 2013|
|Product page online (link)||http://www.11giraffes.com/media-player/|
|OS version?||Android 2.3 and higher|
|Native player or browser-based player?||Native|
|Highest video resolution fully supported?||1080|
|Flash support?||FLV and SWF Templates|
|Remote monitoring, diagnostic and recovery capabilities?||Web and email remote monitoring (includes near real-time screen shots, playback status, network configuration and activity and other diagonistics), auto-recovery on power.|
|Remote control capabilities, like RS-232 screen control?||To be released summer 2013|
|Remote upgrade capabilities?||Yes, automated via 11Giraffes CMS|
|Browser pop-up controls?||Browser is disabled.|
|Video file support, ie .mp4, .wmv?||All standard codecs are supported -- including H.264, ASF, AVI, FLV, MP2, MP4, MPG2, MPG4, MPEG, MOV, QT, RM, VOB and WMV.|
|Player side API, so you can work with sensors and other triggers?||To be released summer 2013|
|Multiple content zones?||Yes|
|Support for live data feeds?||Yes, via RSS, social media and XML.|
|dynamic NFC tag emulation||No|
|Advanced Scheduling||Yes, by location/group/metadata tag, time of day, day of week, date range, insert at time or interval, during weather condition or weather/civil alert, and metadata. Multiple schedules may be created for any media asset.|
|Extensibility||Yes, support for relevant existing Android permissions have been accomodated.|
|IP video streaming||No|
|Targeting||Media may be targeted to locations or groups by manual selection or via common metadata tags.|
|Interactivity||Not at this time|
|Emergency Messaging||Yes, by weather and civil alerts, and Twitter feeds.|
|Describe the cost of the hardware and software, whether bundled or itemized||Multiple hardware platforms are presently supported. Additional hardware options will be added. Software is available at no cost, but requires a subscription obtained from an 11Giraffes reseller. Approved hardware begins below US$60, increasing based upon hardware functionality. E.g., media player-only devices range from below $60 to approximately $200. Players with integrated displays (tablets and larger) are also available.|
|Descriptions||11Giraffes presently endorses hardware from four manufacturers. These may be purchased with 11Giraffes software from 11Giraffes authorized suppliers, or may be purchased independently with the software downloaded from the Google Play app store.|
|What’s next||Display controls, triggering and support for in-store and on-hold music & messaging programming will be available during summer 2013. Pre-scheduled business music content is provided by authorized 11Giraffes partners.|