NEC Open Modular Intelligence (OMi) from the maker enables the creation of smart Signage solutions across a range of hardware.
Scalable computing power such as the Raspberry Pi compute module or Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) Slot-in PC can be seamlessly embedded into NEC displays and projectors to create a fully integrated and customisable Digital Signage solution, explains the maker.
NEC’s Open Modular Intelligence (OMi) platform as it is knows, provides a connection between source and display and is designed to deliver powerful, tailored and future proof digital signage. The platform has also been created to simply device installation, usage and maintenance whilst making it easier to pre-configure or upgrade digital signage equipment.
The new NEC P and V Series large format displays, launched first half 2017, are the first to include the new Raspberry Pi modular expansion feature and NEC reports a lot of interest for a wide range of applications which will the company hopes will revolutionise the industry. The OPS expansion slot for OPS compatible PCs and Media Players is giving companies the flexibility to upgrade the power of their displays at any time by integrating into NEC’s large format displays and installation projectors.
An open platform
Unlike System on Chip (SoC) which is a closed system with some compatibility limitations, NEC’s OMi is an open platform allowing computing performance to be fully used without limitation which appeals to software providers. Upgradable with customisable performance levels, NEC’s embedded solution is designed to be future-proof and versatile supporting a broad range of operating systems.
Open Modular Slot-in products are either embedded into the OPS slot or are integrated into the compute module slot, meaning external power sources, cabling and additional mounting systems are obsolete resulting in a neat and efficient signage solution with a range of possibilities. Open Modular Slot-in options offer an interchangeable selection of solutions including computing technology, media playback and signal distribution for unlimited versatility. The embedded solution enables compatible displays and projectors to be upgraded to a custom-made solution which matches the specific performance demands of many applications.
Cost-effective Raspberry Pi brings new opportunities
An incremental part of NEC’s OMi platform, the NEC Edition of the Raspberry Pi 3 compute module means providers and system integrators benefit from the large number of already available open source solutions accessible from the global Raspberry Pi developers community supporting the use of a broad range of operating systems, such as Raspbian, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, as well as Win10IoT Core. NEC recently announced a collaboration with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Core and Screenly, the leading digital signage software solution for Raspberry Pi. With extended memory capabilities and intelligent digital signage support such as the Watch Dog Timer and Real Time Clock for scheduling, it’s a smart combination of computing power with professional signage displays for cost-effective use in retail environments, quick service menu boards and other similar applications.
NEC says the exciting opportunities which the technology collaboration opens up is evidenced by the number of digital signage software providers who have already developed software on the Raspberry Pi platform including Grassfish, Intevi, FutureSoftware, Tripleplay, Airportlabs, ONELAN, T-Systems, MDT, Smartsign and many more.
Future-proof modularity with a low TCO
Industrial and embedded components lower the demand on power usage resulting in significant energy savings and a longer product lifecycle compared to consumer products. As standardised solutions, NEC says both OPS and the compute module offer a futureproof investment; infrastructure and design will sustain over a long lifecycle meaning its usage can continue even as the display or projector is upgraded. Industrial grade components ensure low failure rates and suitability for 24/7 applications and the warranty is valid not only for the host display and projector but also for the embedded slot-in product.
One use case sees NEC’s V Series displays with RPi compute modules in action at Cologne-Bonn Airport for Flight Information: “The Raspberry Pi solution will be very successful, completely integrated and reliable, its visionary open and modular concept makes it far superior to current SOC solutions.” says Stefan Szymanski, product manager Airport Solutions at T-Systems.
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