How Google’s New Android Plans Further Blur Lines Between Digital Signage And TV
June 27, 2014 by Dave Haynes
Google had its big annual I/O conference this week, and one of the big announcements was around expanding Android to TV platforms. Google now sees TV as just another display and communications, like smartphones and tablets.
Android TV will be part of Android L, the new operating system Google previewed at its conference.
Consumers will start to see new TV devices powered by Android by the end of the year. There will be an Android TV version of the Google Play store, where you’d grab apps. And most interestingly to the digital signage space, perhaps, TV makers like Sharp, Sony, and LG will have have product with Android TV built in, and manufacturers like Razer and Asus will have set-top boxes.
Bryan Mongeau, VP Technology at Broadsign, sent me his thoughts on the implications:
- Full Android is finally being integrated into the displays ( meaning more big-ass tablets);
- Android TV seems to have native APIs for rendering TV content from cable boxes (via HDMI-in) or OTA broadcasts (via ATSC/DVB tuners), which will mean there’s no more need for flaky TV tuners;
- Major screen vendors (Sharp/Sony/Philips) are finally doing “smart TV” right, by having an open Android OS embedded into the TV (Me – the challenge with Samsung’s smart signage platform is a custom Linux and can take a LOT of development work).
Android TV is about the battle for the living room, and digital signage wouldn’t have really been much of a consideration in product planning. But apart from the engineering and reliability arguments around TVs versus commercial panels, there is less and less to distinguish between a smart TV and a smart digital sign. If you can develop a retail shelf-edge program around Android tablets, and push that same program (or a variation of it, to much larger panels, without having to really do much or any new development, THAT”S a big deal.
Right or wrong, there are going to be interactive companies developing stuff for mobile, tablet and larger screens off of their own preferred content management tools, and not even really think about doing the big screens with a dedicated CMS.
What Google is up to in digital signage, and how Chrome For Business and other Google cloud services are evolving, will be the subject of one of the featured talks on Sept. 17th at DSrupted. Vidya Nagarajan, from Google, is one of our highlighted speakers. You can find out more about DSrupted, and register, here.