On the Horizon a $25 PC – Ideal for Digital Signage

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

A pocket-sized USB Computer that costs just the price of a couple of movie tickets is being developed by The Raspberry Pi Foundation and could prove a useful device for paying digital signage content.

While not yet available, Raspberry Pi Foundation says they plan to “develop, manufacture and distribute an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children,’ but concede applications for such a device could be limitless, and digital signage could be one of them

Powered by Linux, the mini PC is about the size of a USB key and is designed to plug into a conventional TV or touch screen, making it a tempting prospect for digital signage, especially when you consider the proposed specifications include OpenGL ES 2.0, 700MHz ARM11, 128MB of SDRAM, 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, Composite and HDMI video output, USB 2.0 and has a SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot.

While currently, many bespoke media players designed for digital signage are on the market, with dramatic differences in prices, for the task they do, often the costs seem unwarranted, after all a media player is nothing more than a small PC that enables content to be uploaded, distributed and played on the TV screens—either over a network or directly.

Indeed, many installers opt to use simple thin client PCs already, allowing them to use conventional software without having to pay expensive subscriptions from specialist digital signage software vendors. This new USB PC could prove a game changer if more and more tech manufactures adopt similar approaches and produce simple and cheap management systems.

Reliability, however, is essential if these budget systems are to succeed. Computers crash, stall and fail, and for an advertising display this sort of downtime can be costly, so for these items to be as multipurpose as companies like The Raspberry Pi Foundation hope, then reliability is essential.

USB PC could be as little as $25–ideal for digital signage



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