Android For Digital Signage: A Closer Look At Instillo’s Pure Play Solution

May 1, 2013 by Dave Haynes


We’re now at 11 entries, and still counting, in this 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.

Almost 30 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.


instillo-logoI know very little about Instillo, other than they’re based in a terrific little corner of the world – Galway, Ireland – and have put together a tidy, informative web site that marketers at many much more established companies should look at for cues on web marketing.

The start-up is based in the west of Ireland and is supported by Enterprise Ireland (a government agency). The company got organized last summer and launched in March with a pure Android solution designed to run on any Android device, not just a specific, optimized player.

Clients can use their own tablets, touchscreens, media player boxes  or whatever. The Content Management Server (Instillo CMS) is described as simple, reliable, scalable, and easy to use. I can’t speak for reliable and scalable, but the screenshots I saw and the website suggest it is indeed intuitive and friendly.

Shankar Jayagopi, the CEO of Instillo, says starting from zero, instead of adapting an existing platform, was important. “Building a rich, native Android application, from the ground up, has given us the capability to leverage the performance of low-cost hardware.”

The Instillo development team, says a company news release, quickly realised that their solution could offer more than a mere flash and HTML based player software running on Android.

The company recognised that a solution with remote management capabilities would be instrumental in reducing maintenance costs. On a relatively new platform like Android where hardware reliability to run as stand-alone for years, is not yet established, Instillo’s Remote Management Server (Instillo RMS) gives administrators comprehensive access to their media players at customers’ locations.

Administrators can view and control a remote screen via keyboard and mouse. When an issue occurs diagnoses can be made without affecting playback, using command line and file system access. Customers can subscribe to health reports and violation notifications sent via email.

I tend to cringe when I see start-ups getting into a ridiculously crowded space like signage software, but far less so when I see that company going after a very specific offer and clearly expressing how operating issues like remote management are way more important than pretty pictures and whiz-bang  features.

Instillo For Android

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