BrightSign Taking Different Path On “Smart” Displays With Embedded Player And OPS Unit

January 31, 2017 by Dave Haynes

Silicon Valley-based BrightSign is going right after the “smart” digital signage display market by introducing a new module that makes it easy for manufacturers to embed one of its players right inside a commercial panel, as well as a first foray into slot-loaded players.

BrightSign will be showing the new HD3 Series BrightSign Built-In module next week at ISE in Amsterdam.

In a press release, the company says the new module resides on a single board that measures just 70mm by 100mm (or for the metric-impaired, less than 3 by 4 inches). It has a hardware-accelerated HTML5 rendering engine and will do 1080P 60 frames HD video.

“Our new HS123 module makes it possible for manufacturers to sell displays that are signage-ready, right out-of-the-box,” says Jeff Hastings, BrightSign’s CEO. “Signage-ready displays are called for in settings with limited player placement options, and we’re glad to offer this new module to manufacturers that have been looking to use our leading signage hardware for this type of integrated product offering.”

The units also have Gigabit Ethernet, S/PDIF digital audio, USB 2.0, serial connectivity,  GPIO and UDP for interactive and optional WiFi/Bluetooth module, the latter supporting beacons.

The first two companies integrating the module are AVNU Digital and Industrial Image, which have smaller displays ranging from 10 to 32 inches. The companies will have gear in the BrightSign stand at ISE, in Hall 8.

I was curious, but the little bay NEC now has available on the back of some models for a Raspberry Pi compute module is a different dimension than this module.

BrightSign, which was shipping about 1,000 player devices a day last year, is also planning to show a version the somewhat old-school way of making a display panel smart – a player that meets the Intel Open Pluggable Specification, aka OPS.

The company says the demand is out there for OPS, hence the new HO523. An OPS player is basically a slot-loaded playback device that snaps into a display that is built with what amounts to a docking system. This one has similar characteristics to the module, in terms of playback capabilities and options.

BrightSign notes more than 2 million displays with an OPS slot have been sold thus far worldwide, with NEC accounting for almost half of the total.

NEC will be using a unit at its stand, and Elo is also working with BrightSign on an OPS display.

“The commercial signage market is clamoring for an affordable, reliable OPS media player that offers features and functionality that have come to be expected for commercial-grade digital signage,” suggest Hastings. “A combined solution that works flawlessly and provides digital signage integrators with a stable platform will increase the size of the market for OPS-based digital signage systems.”

The company will also, at ISE, be talking up a new partnership with the UK-based software firm ONELAN. BrightSign Series 3 and 2 players will now work happily with the ONELAN CMS, including legacy versions from that series.

All very interesting – particularly the module news. Most of the big boys now have at least one series (or in the case of Samsung, almost all series) supporting embedded s’mart” displays of some sort – on their own operating systems or using Android.

This module opens things up for smaller and specialty manufacturers to offer up product without going down the R&D path and into a side of electronics maybe they don’t know as well as displays. With this, they just snap in a module from a very respected, well established media player that has its  own software, and a partner ecosystem that now, evidently, includes ONELAN.

I interviewed Hastings last summer for the podcast. Smart guy. Have a listen:

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