Chromeboxes Are Still Out There, And Being Used On Digital Signage Jobs

August 30, 2021 by Dave Haynes

There was a time, a few years back, when hardware devices running Google’s Chrome operating system were thought in some circles to be a next big thing in digital signage – because the devices were relatively inexpensive, used an OS based on the latest web technologies, and were backed by a top three global tech company.

But it didn’t play out that way, and Chromeboxes aren’t often part of the conversation … while Android – worrisome back then – is now widely used, and now widely trusted for its security measures. Part of the story, of course, is that a lot of mainstream digital signage jobs just use smart displays with built-in media players.

But Chromeboxes are still around, and still being used by some CMS software companies, like Australia’s StratosMedia – an early adopter that has stuck with them.

CEO Brian Hammett sent me a note about a new fanless unit from ASUS, saying simply: “Yes, Chrome still exists … and this is a fantastic unit.”

Taiwan-based ASUS pushed out PR recently about its partnership with StratosMedia and the use of digital signage hardware and software for the car-staging company Conquest Staging.

ASUS has collaborated with StratosMedia to provide digital signage solutions powered by ASUS Fanless Chromebox that harness these trends, and this partnership has successfully empowered Conquest Staging in creating interactive, customer-driven car discovery stations.

At these stations, visitors can explore targeted information on the most frequently asked questions. The interface of each kiosk is designed to understand visitor interests and requests and to provide insights for car manufacturers.

The kiosks allow visitors to book a test drive from their home or a dealership, request that car information be sent to their mobile phone and use the car configurator to model their preferred car color. With the powerful hardware support from the ASUS Fanless Chromebox and the GDPR-compliant software from StratosMedia, detailed, real-time AI analytics help car companies to understand customer demographics and interests, which can then ensure that visitor experiences are optimized and enjoyable. 

“We recognized the need to take our product directly to our customers in a friendly and customer-driven interactive experience and to have the ability to capture deep visitor analytics in real time,” says Tristan Kurz, CEO of Conquest Staging. “We are proud to be the first in the world to use the ASUS Fanless Chromebox. The installation and the performance have been very smooth — well above expectations.”

The new Chromebox is the first to launch with a 10th Generation Intel processor. The fanless aluminum chassis operates quietly while delivering enhanced reliability, protection against dust and reduced maintenance needs. It also features USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Type-A ports for ultrafast connections, WiFi 6 connectivity for quick data transfers, up to 16 GB of DDR4-2666 memory and up to 512 GB of M.2 SSD storage.

Supported by Google Chrome OS with built-in Google Play, automatic updates ensure that the device always has the latest software and protection to stay safe from viruses, malware and other security issues. Additionally, ASUS Fanless Chromebox has undergone rigorous tests for 24/7 reliability — such as enduring 35-degree heat and 80% humidity for 168 aging hours — to ensure it meets exacting ASUS standards and exceeds industry requirements.

Following a high level of satisfaction at the digital signage solutions from ASUS and StratosMedia, Conquest Staging is planning to implement the same kiosks and digital signage solutions in other shopping centers. In light of the stages and presentations receiving high traffic volume, the response from car manufacturers has also been positive. The real-time user analytics and other benefits provided by these kiosks are demonstrating a strong return on investment.

Interesting to see that there is enough horsepower on these units to run features like AI face pattern detection and real-time analytics on the units in parallel with digital signage play-out. StratosMedia was an early adopter of AI tech for signage applications.

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