Digital Signage and Eliminating Projectors

We’ve been hearing from our clients that digital signage is of interest. Some want it for the visitors lobby to display company information. Some want it to do double duty as a presentation screen too. We have some good news on both fronts.

Digital Signage: Having seen the digital signage solutions being offered in the market by audio/visual specialists and the prices they are charging for such a simple technology we thought we might be able to do better while bringing the technology into range for even our smallest clients.  After some investigation I hit upon the kit computer called Raspberry PI.

Digital Signage

The Raspberry PI is a very small but powerful device. The cap in the picture is for scale. The PI measures about 4”x2”. It uses a memory card like the one in your digital camera to house its memory, storage and operating system. It has an Ethernet port to receive data and an HDMI port to display data. It is very low power and can be powered by a powered USB port or a USB charger. (again like your phone) We load the operating system and software into the memory chip and then mount the device onto the back of any TV/Display with an HDMI port. Next through a subscription service we upload the data that it will display. We expect it to cost about $20 a month including data hosting. We’ve also partnered with Samsung for display discounts. They promise better than direct pricing but that doesn’t necessarily translate to better than Best Buy. As usual we’ll recommend the best option for you.

p.s. We’ve dog fooded this technology here in our office and it’s been running now 24×7 for last few weeks flawlessly. So were ready to deploy yours.

Eliminate Projectors in Your Conference Room: This topic dovetails nicely with the first one because it is dependent on the display that you purchase. Microsoft has announced that one of Windows 8.1 new technologies is something they are calling Miracast. In short this is wireless display technology. All you need is a Windows 8.1 (if you have Windows 8, then 8.1 is a free upgrade) and a projector or display that supports Miracast. Since Windows 8.1 releases in August I wouldn’t buy a display now that doesn’t support it. Hip, hip, hurray! No more cables and someday no more projectors. It seems likely that you’ll need cables and projectors around for a while yet since you are likely to get visitors that don’t have Windows 8.1. But even so, the future is here and this feature in particular has been a long awaited one.

-Amy

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