The Perils of Corner-Cutting

The digital signage industry has a perpetual problem with corner-cutting.

For retailers and private companies, putting in a digital display network is rarely seen as mission critical, so there is a steady push to control costs by choosing cheaper hardware and software.

For start-up companies launching advertising networks, they’re looking to stretch their limited capital budgets as far as they’ll seem to go.

The problem with cutting corners, of course, is that short-term start-up savings often result in longer-term operating pain, and higher overall costs.

It happens when network planners who don’t know any better, or dismiss warnings as just being cynical sales ploys, put up televisions instead of commercial display panels that have actually been engineered for hard duty and the more challenging environmental conditions of retail and public places.

The corner-cutting really happens with computing choices – particularly because the personal computing hardware business is so competitive and covered exhaustively in technology blogs and other publications. Everyone knows how little PCs now cost. Continue reading

Digital signage and the Internet of Things

The technical community has been talking for a while now about the coming Internet of Things – when our business and personal lives see a fundamental shift in how we see and use the Internet.

Right now, we use the Internet through computing devices like desktop PCs and laptops, tablets and smart phones. The digital signage industry was built and now operates around the concept of computers getting instructions and media from other computers, and driving visuals to screens.

The Internet of Things is the step beyond that – when what we know and do also taps into intelligent devices that may be as simple as sensors, but have Internet addresses and the smarts to send data and react to conditions and triggers.

Arguably, “things” have been existing at the edges of the Internet for many years. People turn off lights and open locked automobile doors using browsers and mobile apps, and industry has been getting feedback from sensors and monitors for many years. But they are far from the mainstream right now, and not all that intertwined.

That’s what will change. Advantech has been building rugged, intelligent devices for many years and our bread and butter are industrial computers. We see our future mission as Enabling an Intelligent Planet. It’s at the core of what we’ll be doing.

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