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Posts Tagged ‘digital signage’

Grid-EYE Breakout Board is a $49 Low Resolution Thermal Camera Module

November 29th, 2016 8 comments

Thermal cameras can be really expensive pieces of equipment, and even the cheap 60×60 thermal cameras available on Aliexpress costs a little over $200. However, PURE Engineering has made an breakout board with Panasonic Grid-EYE infrared 8×8 array sensor that allows you to experiment with the technology, or integrate into your own projects for just $49.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Grid-EYE breakout board features:

  • Panasonic Grid-EYE AMG8834 64 pixel infrared / thermal camera sensor with 60 degree viewing angle using MEMS thermopile technology
  • Pinout compatible with Arduino Zero,  ST-NUCLEO board, and other 3.3V boards with I2C, VDD, GND, INT, and AD pins
  • PUREModules PCB edge connectors with UART, GPIO, to interface with the company’s IoT board
  • Power Supply – On-board regulator handles 3 to 5V input

The Panasonic sensor transfers thermal presence, direction, and temperature values over I2C. The company wrote a demo for the module with an Arduino sketech and a Processing sketch both available on github, and you can see it in action in the video below using an ice pack and a hot coffee mug.

Applications listed by Panasonic for this sensor include digital signage, security, lighting control, kiosk/ATM, medical imaging, automatic doors, thermal mapping, people counting, robotics, and others.

The board is now listed on GroupGets for $49, and 100 boards need to be sold for the group buying campaign to be successful. More details may be available on the product’s page on Pure Engineering website. Alternatively, you could also get AMG8834EK Grid-EYE evaluation kit with the IR camera, an Atmel SAMD21G18A MCU, and Bluetooth Smart connectivity for about $95 on Newark or 48.99 GPB (~$61) on Farnell UK.

[Update: PUREmodules modular system has been launched a kickstarter campaign, but it does not seem to include the thermal camera]

Zidoo Releases Digital Signage SDK for X8 and X9S Android TV Boxes

November 23rd, 2016 No comments

Zidoo X9S and X8 are Android 6.0 + OpenWrt TV boxes powered by Realtek RTD1295 processor with HDMI input supporting PIP, UDP broadcasting and video recording, which works reasonably well despite some 4K video decoding limitations. The company has now released a “digital signage SDK” – which I’d rather just call a digital signage demo – working on either device on github, but you can still study the source code in order to build your own.

zidoo-digital-signageSome of the possible features showcased in the demo include:

  • Digital Signage (AD) player as shown above with video, picture and scrolling text
  • Multi Views display (HDMI IN + Video playing + Web browsing)
  • Multi Videos decode
  • Screen rotation
  • Screen zoom in / out
  • Display output resolution switch
  • HDMI IN player
  • HDMI IN picture in picture (PIP)

So it’s not a total solution, just an “SDK” showing what can be done with media files, and you’d still have to write your own app managing content updates (from storage or network), as well as some content management software.

zidoo-digital-signage-demo-source-code

Two apks are used: ZidooDigitalDemo_1.0.apk whose Java source code is available as shown in the screenshot above, and zidoo_share_1.0.5.apk, closed source with not details provided, but that’s probably what ties the solution only to Zidoo X8 or Z9S hardware. I’m guessing it’s just a server/service between the demo and lower level functions.

[Update: A demo video has been uploaded

]

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 to be launched by the end of the year, used in NEC displays

October 14th, 2016 38 comments

Eben Upton had already mentioned the Raspberry Pi Foundation was working on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 based on the same Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor and 1GB LPDDR2 RAM used in Raspberry Pi 3 board earlier this year, but few details had been provided at the time.

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RPI Compute Module 3 in NEC Display – Click to Enlarge

The module is still not available, but NEC Display Solutions Europe has already announced they are working on integrating Compute Module 3 into commercial displays starting with 40″, 48″ and 55″ models in January 2017, and up to 98″ by the end of next year, used for digital signage and presentation platforms.

nec-raspberry-pi-compute-module-3

The Raspberry Pi Foundation goes on to say they’ve been working on NEC project for over a year now, and they expect to release Compute Module 3 to the general public by the end of the year. Price and complete technical details have not been released yet.

You can also watch the video below with NEC announcing Raspberry Pi 3 module based Displays at the 7:43 mark.

Via Raspberry Pi Blog

How to Set an Android TV Box Video Output to Portrait Mode

August 2nd, 2016 6 comments

Most buyers who buy an Android TV box just want to use it to watch videos, browse the web, play games, and so on, so landscape mode seems to be the best choice, and orientation option in the firmware is often disabled. However, TV boxes can also potentially be used as digital signage players, which may require landscape or portrait modes if the screen is positioned vertically. Since I’ve just been asked that question, I’ve checked for a solution, and luckily there’s an app called Set Orientation that does the job.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

When you first start the app, it will show the option “Disabled”, but you can click on the arrow to reveal more options, and select Portrait to rotate the screen.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

In case the screen is upside down, simply select Portrait (reverse) option, click OK, and you’re done! Easy.

Gateworks Ventana GW5530 SBC is Designed for Drones, Robots, and Digital Signage

July 21st, 2016 No comments

Gateworks Ventana is a family of boards based on NXP i.MX6 processor designed for embedded applications, and often include one or more mini PCIe ports for expansion. Their latest single board computer – Ventana GW5530 –  is powered by an NXP i.MX 6Dual processor coupled with 512MB RAM, 256MB storage, a mini PCIe port, a micro SD / SIM card slot, micro HDMI output, and some I/Os.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Ventana GW5530 specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX6 Dual Core ARM Cortex-A9 processor @ 800MHz with Vivante 2D and 3D GPUs
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Up to 2GB as option)
  • Storage – 256MB flash (Up to 2GB as option), micro SD/SIM card slot, serial configuration EEPROM
  • Video & Audio Output – micro HDMI 1.4 port
  • Connectivity – Optional u-blox EVA-M8M GPS Receiver with MMCX or u.FL Antenna Connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG Port
  • Sensors – 9-axis inertial module (accelerometer/gyro/magnetometer)
  • Expansion
    • High-Power Gen 2.0 mini-PCIe Socket with USB 2.0 Support
    • SIM socket (shared with micro SD card)
    • Video input header for CVBS, Y/C, YPrPb
    • Digital and serial I/O header
  • Debugging – JTAG connector
  • Misc – RTC with battery backup, voltage and temperature monitor, programmable watchdog timer, reset header, LED header
  • Power Supply – 8 to 60V DC input via 2-pin header; Reverse voltage protection
  • Power Consumption – [email protected] (typical); 7W Available for mini-PCIe socket
  • Dimensions – 100x35x13 mm
  • Weight – 28 grams
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C

    Click to Enlarge

    Click to Enlarge

The company can provide OpenWrt, Android, Yocto Linux, and OpenEmbedded board support packages (BSP) for the board. Some documentation can be found on Ventana wiki. The boards targets “small embedded applications such as Man Portable Units (MPUs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) equipment, digital signage, and robotics”.

Block Diagram

Block Diagram

The board is available now, with pricing not disclosed, and 1 year warranty. Gateworks GW11038 development kit with GW5530 SBC, OpenWrt BSP, USB and video cables, power supply, and a JTAG programmer can also be purchased for evaluation. More details can be found on Gateworks Ventana GW5530 product page.

How to Install PHP 5.6 (and Xibo Digital Signage CMS) in Ubuntu 16.04

May 28th, 2016 5 comments

Xibo is an open source digital signage using a client / server architecture, and in the past I wrote a tutorial showing how to use it, and ran Xibo Python client on ARM Linux TV box, but with software handling only so rendering scrolling text was not very smooth at all, and video decoding was not really possible. But now I have Star Cloud PCG02U Intel TV stick which costs just $70 shipped with Ubuntu 14.04, and that I have upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04, and I thought that would be a great low cost Xibo Linux client which should have pretty good performance. I started by installing Xibo server, only to find out that the cross-platform Python client had been phased out, with now only Windows and Android clients available.

So I canceled my plan. I still had some challenges installing Xibo server on Ubuntu 16.04, so I’ll report my experience as it may be useful to others. There will be two sections: 1. Downgrading PHP 7.0 to PHP 5.6 in Ubuntu 16.04 and 2. Installing Xibo CMS in Ubuntu 16.04.

Downgrading PHP 7.0 to PHP 5.6 in Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu 16.04 ships with PHP 7.0, and while it provides much better performance over previous version, the massive changes mean that some software packages are not compatible, and that includes Xibo that requires the “mysql” php module, which has been removed from PHP 7.0. So that means I had to install PHP 5.6 instead, which is not officially supported, but can be installed through a ppa.

Remove all php 7.0 packages:

Install php 5.6, apache2 and mysql, and required php modules for Xibo:

Usually, this is enough, but Apache2 will not enable php 5.6 automatically, so you need to run three more commands to enable some modules, and restart apache2:

You should now be able to create phpinfo.php file in /var/www/html, and confirm PHP 5.6 is running.

Installing Xibo 1.7.7 CMS in Ubuntu 16.04

The rest of the installation is actually standard. Download XIBO CMS, extract,. and setup the directory permissions for the CMS and media library.

You’ll also want to modify 2 lines in /etc/php/5.6/fpm/php.ini to allow for longer execution time and larger files:

Now go to your browser to access http://localhost/xibo or http://<IP_address>/xibo to complete the installation.

Xibo_Installation_Ubuntu_16.04

Click to Enlarge

The first step will check all requirements, and if that’s OK, you can click next. if not you are likely missing some PHP modules, but the instructions above should have installed all what’s needed already. The rest of the installation is pretty straightforward, but if you have issues you can check out Xibo CMS instructions.

Xibo_Ubuntu_16.04_Install_SuccessNow you can login to create a layout and schedule to played by one or more Windows or Android clients.

ADBoard 3G/4G Digital Signage Board is Powered by Allwinner A83T Octa-Core Processor

December 17th, 2015 2 comments

MQMaker officially launched their WiTi router board earlier this week, but the company has also introduced ADBoard, an octa-core board specifically designed for digital signage with a connector for LVDS display including backlight, an RTC with backup battery, and a mini PCIe connector for 3G/4G connectivity combined with a SIM card slot.

ADBoardADBoard specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A83T octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 2.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP GPU @ 700 MHz supporting OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, and DX 9.3.
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Display Interfaces / Video Output
    • HDMI up to 1080p60 with HDCP 1.2 and CEC support connector
    • LVDS connector, LCD backlight control header and capacitive touch panel header
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm audio output, speaker connector, microphone connector
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 2.0 OTG port (full size), and 2x USB 2.0 headers on-board
  • Serial – 3x UART headers
  • Other Expansion Headers/Connectors
    • 1x mini PCIe slot for 3G/4G modem and SIM card slot
    • 1x SPI, 1x I2C headers
    • 1x keys header, 1x IR receiver + LED header
  • Misc – Power switch, U-boot button, fan header
  • Power Supply – 12V input for board, LCD power header, header with 12V/5V output?.
  • Dimensions & Weight – N/A

Digital_Signage_Board_SIM_CardThe board is said to run Android 4.4, but there’s very little other information, probably because it’s not been designed as a community board, but instead for companies who may need integrate such board in large LVDS displays such as in retail locations, or possibly connected them in smaller one as in their bus fleet to monetize with targeted advertisement.

The board sells for $89 plus shipping on Aliexpress, and according to the product page the price drops to $69 when ordering 100 pieces or more. Allwinner 83T has also been used in Banana Pi BPI-M3 board for a while, and I’ve been informed about another similar digital signage DS-830 V3.0 board by a company called SMDT (Smart Device Tech), which also integrates a mini PCIe slot for 3G/4G modem, and most of the same features as the ADBoard, however, all information is only in Chinese language.

Lenkeng HDMI PowerLine Extender Brings one HDMI Signal to Many Displays over Electrical Cables

November 18th, 2015 No comments

Shenzhen Lenkeng Technology is a company specializing in video converters, splitters, and extender products. One of their latest product is LKV380Pro HDbitT HDMI over powerline extender that allows to carry one HDMI signal from a source to up to 4 displays through existing electrical cabling.

HDMI_Extender_powerlineSome of the features and specifications listed for LKV380Pro transmitters and receivers:

  • Technology – HDMI over power line with HDbitT technology
  • Video I/O – 1x HDMI 1.3 / HDCP 1.2 output, transmitter also includes an HDMI loop out.
  • Resolution – 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p50/60, 1080i50/60, and 1080p50/60
  • Range – 1080p video transmission up to 300 meters
  • One transmitter supports to 4 receivers simultaneously
  • IR pass back function (20 to 60 kHz IR devices) with IR output on transmitter, and IR input on receivers.
  • Security – AES encryption
  • Power Supply – 100~240V AC
  • Dimensions – 150 x 92.7 x 25 mm
  • Weight – Tx: 330 grams, Rx: 316 grams

Powerline_HDMI_receiver_transmitterOne potential case use at home would be for digital TV, where you may have a single access point to the antenna, and this solution would allow you to receive TV channels from another room, using the IR receivers and transmitter on the device. It would also be interesting in locations where you need to show one source to many such as retail locations, universities, airports, etc…, and probably some industrial applications. You can watch a short video demo on Facebook.

The company quoted me $256 for a sample kit with one transmitter and one receiver. You can visit Lenkeng LKV380Pro product page for more information.