Like Bryan Mongeau in his intelligent article www.sixteen-nine.net, we at NoviSign were asked several times during the DSE about Android-based signage, its very short history, and what we see as a promising future.
I agree with the article about most items regarding the Digital Signage players. The standardized OS, with the improved performance of devices coming from China brought us to believe in a Digital Signage future, especially for SMBs. For these small and medium businesses, which once looked enviously at those who could allow themselves to implement Digital Signage, the Android-based devices are a real opportunity. These businesses can actually implement signage with reasonable cost, with no real quality difference compared to much more expensive solutions.
The only item that caught my eye in the article with which I disagree is the declaration that Android sticks, such as those in the MK family, for example, are not suitable to serve as Digital Signage players. I do agree that Set-Top boxes are stronger, they have an Ethernet connection; both computing and electrical power are stronger and stability is higher. BUT (!) the price of Android sticks is low, very low (as low as $20 per device) and, as implied earlier, for the SMB, every dollar counts!
So how do I resolve this contradiction? Very Simple! It all depends on the level of usage of Digital Signage content, the frequency of changes, and the ability of the system integrator to provide effective support. If a small business needs only a basic menu board or a simple messaging system that updates every few hours or days with a number of videos and a few other basic widgets – the stick will suffice. We at NoviSign are proud that our native Android Signage version is as lean as possible and has actually attained stability on low-end devices such as the MK series. I do agree that if the business prefers HD videos, with high frequency of changes and a general heavy load, it should go for stronger devices.
Avi, Co-Founder, NoviSign.