Semi-Industrial PCs Power Outdoor Digital Signage Solutions

Demand for outdoor digital signage solutions is growing as businesses and brands look for innovative ways to boost visibility and impact.

Outdoor digital signage offers new opportunities to engage and communicate customers in high foot-traffic areas—such as stadiums, golf courses, ski resorts, and even car parks and zoos—regardless of a business’ operating hours. These outdoor displays offer continuous access to product or brand information, point-of-sale services, and customer assistance throughout the year, around the clock.

But despite many benefits, the substantial computing resources required to implement outdoor digital signage makes it inherently difficult to successfully deploy these.

"Outdoor computing can be a challenge due to environmental factors such as extreme temperature ranges, unpredictable weather, and the risk of vandalism and damage,"
says Kenny Liu, Senior Product Manager at Giada, an AIoT and edge computing specialist that provides digital signage and embedded computing products to enterprises.
"There are also special power, connectivity, and space requirements to consider."

Due to these challenges, outdoor digital signage solutions cannot operate on traditional embedded PCs. They require use of semi-industrial PCs (IPCs) specifically designed to perform reliably at the edge and in harsh environmental conditions. These powerful, ruggedized computing platforms enable outdoor digital signage and digital kiosks across many different industries—opening up new business opportunities for solutions developers (SDs) and systems integrators (SIs) alike.

Semi-Industrial PCs Offer Rugged Design and Performant Computing

The success of semi-industrial PCs as a platform for outdoor digital signage solutions comes from the way that they combine ruggedization with high-performance computing.

Giada’s AE613 semi-industrial PC, for example, offers several design features to support outdoor use cases:

• Wide operating temperature range makes the computer suitable for almost any geography.
• Flexible power input voltage helps to ensure a constant power flow.
• Rugged, fanless design offers maximum durability, reliability, and space efficiency.

But “underneath the hood,” the AE613 also provides a high-performance computing platform for outdoor digital implementations. Powered by 13th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, the semi-IPC supports 8K resolution for high-quality visuals and multimedia applications. It can also handle the heavier processing workloads required to offer users an interactive experience Video 1.

Unleashing Computer Vision at the Edge

Semi-industrial PCs are meant to support an extensive variety of solutions and applications, so they are built for easy integration with other components and peripherals. This adaptability, combined with high-performance processing capabilities, can be used to implement advanced computer vision use cases at the edge.

Video 1: Rugged embedded PCs enable high-quality displays and interactive digital solutions in challenging outdoor settings. Source: Giada

Giada’s computing platform, for instance, comes with multiple I/O options to allow for external device connections, including high-definition cameras. The semi-IPC can run specialized computer vision algorithms and software to process and analyze visual data captured by cameras and respond accordingly based on user behavior and characteristics.

This opens the door to solutions that offer real-time analytics, biometrics, behavioral detection, and more. For example, an SD could use biometrics to securely authenticate users of a smart kiosk—or show them personalized content and advertisements. An outdoor digital display could leverage computer vision to detect customer behavior and respond to it in real time, providing an intelligent, interactive, and personalized signage system.

Giada’s partnership with Intel is essential to supporting these sophisticated edge use cases. "Intel® processors deliver superior processing at the edge while also minimizing energy consumption, enabling users to handle demanding edge tasks and applications efficiently,"
says Linda Liu, Vice President of Giada.
"Our partnership allows us to leverage Intel’s industry-leading expertise in processor technology and innovation—and meet or exceed the expectations of our customers for reliability, power efficiency, and overall performance."

Future Opportunities for Outdoor Digital Signage Solutions

The adaptability of semi-industrial PCs means that they will find a wide range of use cases. This is especially good news for SIs and SDs, who will have opportunities to sell to many different sectors with a need for outdoor digital signage and kiosks in hospitality, food and beverage, retail, entertainment, transportation, smart cities, and more.

Giada expects demand for outdoor digital solutions to increase in the years ahead, and already is preparing for what’s to come.

"We’re planning to release even more embedded computing products for outdoor digital signage and outdoor digital kiosks,"
says Linda Liu.
"Our engineers will support customers as they choose the best embedded computers for outdoor applications, and in some cases help them build custom solutions to meet their unique needs."

Digital transformation reshapes nearly every industry. Integration of semi-industrial PCs, edge computing, and computer vision technology will help ensure that benefits of innovation are accessible everywhere.

Originally appeared: insight.tech


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