Putting screens in big things that roll and bump and jolt is a substantial technical challenge – the problems ranging from too much vibration, to dust and grime, to the inquisitive fingers and sharp objects of the general public.
It’s possible to put the pieces together between rugged panels and industrial, solid state PCs – but that takes a lot of engineering and testing to get the right mix.
So I suspect there are all kinds of entrepreneurs and transport authorities who will find bliss in a new product from Taiwan’s VIA Technologies. Called VIA BLISS, it’s essentially an in-flight entertainment system in a box, aimed at the vast motorcoach bus business.
Says a release:
VIA Technologies, Inc today announced the VIA BLISS (Bus Line In-Seat System) Platform, a customizable Android-based turnkey solution for creating an immersive travel environment that transforms the bus passenger experience by providing them with personalized entertainment, information, and communication services throughout their journey.
Combining a choice of all-in-one 7” and 10.1” Android display systems with a Video-On-Demand server and networking system, the VIA BLISS Turnkey Solution enables passengers to watch TV and movies, listen to music, surf the Internet, and play interactive games from the comfort of their bus seat. To ensure there is not a moment of downtime, it also features a Device Management System (DMS) that enables operators to remotely monitor, control, and update content and devices over-the-air (OTA).
“For many years the use of in-seat entertainment systems has been mainly confined to air travel, but now passengers are demanding the same types of services in all modes of long-distance transportation,” said Richard Brown, VP of Global Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With the VIA BLISS Platform, our aim is to help bus manufacturers and operators meet this new demand by providing a complete, customizable solution that is convenient to install and manage.”
The VIA BLISS Platform has already been successfully deployed by leading bus operators in Taiwan and Turkey, helping them to improve passenger satisfaction and increase demand for their long-distance travel routes. With its scalable design and flexible development environment, the platform also provides operators with the potential to further boost their competitiveness and generate additional revenue streams by creating new applications and services such as destination experience programs in partnership with leading hotels, restaurants, museums, and entertainment venues.
The system combines seat-back and seat-side Android-based screen systems with a Video-On-Demand server, and will support up to 56 seats, fed by Cat6 cables.
So it’s primarily an entertainment system, but as you have seen in the airline business, digital OOH advertising is part of the mix for revenue generation or cost recovery. You could also, in theory, layer in things like GPS.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.