W9RAN wrote:Nice proof of concept there! I'm sure some users would be looking for more sophistication but the digital signs I see most often are more static displays (i.e. menus, specials of the day, local events, etc.) The key advantage of digital signs is the ease with which changes can be made, so my suggestion would be to make it easy and foolproof to do that. Something like a content management solution used for a website, only instead of a server, the user would "publish" a set of screens to the Pi. Of course you need the sign info to be local as not everyone will have a continuous internet connection.
But a good example of what can be done with the Pi and it's terrific graphics.
How about this? It is being developed at present. I don't want google to pick up on it so I am going to leave out the http. Go to, rhonie/rhonie/advertising/index2.html and give it a look. On the back end of this is an online menu that will allow the owner of the business to enter the contents of the marquee at the bottom, that will be placed anywhere on the screen they desire. You can of course copy the code. I am trying to find someone that can modify Webtrack for the Rpi. Located here: http://HTTrack.com
. They have a Debian version that is called Webtrack so what will happen is that you can use a Wifi dongle, have the content downloaded every so many hours, and read the content from a database rather than from the web. It will work, I just need to find the correct programmer that wants to do it.
Now what I am going to say is my opinion. I know today, I can buy a 32 inch professional digital display with a 2 year warranty that is produced by Samsung for $500 that includes the program, templates, you can customize and the USB drive. You can also buy a cheap media player if you want for around $50 that will do everything, except download content from the internet.
Now with the above being said, I am sure that the day is just around the corner that you will be able to buy a display that will do everything you wish at a low cost. (They are available now if you want to bare the cost).
By doing this my way, the Rpi boots into full screen mode, and the web address that is being streamed is never seen by anyone that is viewing it, so the security cannot get any better. The only way it could possibly be hacked is that if someone took out the SD card out of the display, period. It would be easier to just remove the HDMI cable and plug in their own source. Either way that is physical security.
Also you could run the website from any web host you want, just make the web address very long. A digital display is not like a computer. The viewer does not have the keyboard or mouse access to it, so therefore the code is never shown on where it is being fed from.
The money will actually be in the selling of the ads for the businesses that have the displays, and any person that has any outlook of the future at all will understand that it will be all driven by the internet, and not private in house networks unless it is only produced for a single business for training purposes and such. I can tell you now that I work for a place that has it own intranet, and they still use the internet for training purposes, so that all of the sites throughout the world and the contractors get the same exact training. So what is the purpose of going through the trouble of building an OS that only can be used in house? The only reason I can think of is running menu boards at restaurants.
I cannot understand it. I don't know about where you may live, but I do know that I have a mifi I use when I am not at home and I can pay as low as $30 a month for it if I wanted a low limited account. And that is nothing when you realize how much revenue you can generate by selling ads on digital displays that do nothing except rotate pictures all day long. I will tell you that the Rpi is more than capable of doing it and may be the best device to ever do it. Remember this thing is still just a new-borne, it is not even a toddler yet.
Oh, yes we know the Java is choppy is of yet, but we are improving it daily, I have been running the Rpi with it now, all week, no problem with the OS. It is just using Raspbian Wheezy with a $4.00 USB dongle that runs the Rpi from the TVs usb port. It is very simple to make the Rpi boot directly to full screen. One more thing, it is running from a 2GB class 2 card. Works great, no problem.
So now thinking let me round it all out for you,
SD card, I have about 100 of them that were produced by Crucial, I paid $5.00 a piece for.
Website, $5.00 a month for hosting that I have had for at least 10 years now.
Wifi dongle, bought from Ebay $4.00.
Raspberry Pi, I have a few, paid $42.50 shipping included.
Cables maybe average $1.00 each.
Raspberry Pi streaming ads with free OS = Priceless!!!