Google Chrome Digital Signage Made Easy

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Chrome’s operating system is amazing. Not sure if you knew that, but it is. The OS is the most secure in the market. Chrome for digital signage can be used in many ways. I wanted to come up with a short list of 5 dynamic ways the Chrome OS can be used in the digital signage space.

Sure, there will always be the 1-2 person donut shops that plug in a flash drive to a monitor and showcase a slideshow they made in the back office a few minutes ago with their specials.

And for them, that works.

But if you’re a 100-location donut shop empire, then you have multiple layers of complexity to navigate.

Some common one’s I’ve seen are: maintaining brand guidelines, ensuring all locations are showing the same promotions, it’s difficult to change a promotion last-minute when you’re dealing with so many locations, relying on store managers to receive your email and download a presentation onto a flash drive is time-consuming and never has 100% success, or if they want to communicate with their employees about events coming up, giving them a briefing over the promotion, or displaying company news, that can be difficult.

Many companies that operate with multiple locations use digital signage solutions to be able to do all of that at scale.

Since Google Chrome’s operating system is perfect for digital signage, it’s a wonder that not all solutions use it.

The Top 5 reasons I think you should use Chrome for digital signage:

1. Managed

The Chrome operating system and the corresponding Chrome hardware is a managed system. Once the device is enrolled in a domain, the administrator has the ability to manage every aspect of the device. In the realm of digital signage we have the ability to restrict the device to running the signage application only. This means that the device cannot be repurposed without an administrator intervening. The entire Chrome OS management console is accessed through the web which means you can manage your devices from anywhere (even your mobile device).

For example, let’s say you have a Chromebox running your digital signage in the employee break room. A clever employee may think they could plug a keyboard and mouse into the device and be able to surf over lunch. Thanks to Chrome OS management the device is restricted to digital signage display and support personnel only.

2. 0-60 Rollout

The managed capability also allows for fast and easy rollout, since the only step an administrator needs to take is to enroll the device into their domain. At that point all the necessary settings, policies, and configurations are automatically downloaded to the device. For a digital signage administrator this means that in mere minutes you can have your entire signage fleet up and running, and you won’t need to install a thing!

This same benefit means that if you need to rollout an additional series of displays you won’t need to waste time installing software, setting up policies, or configuring apps. A display administrator only needs a few seconds to enroll the device and it will automatically obtain all the necessary policies and applications for it’s purpose.

3. Secure

Chrome OS is built from the ground up with security in mind. With features like verified boot and data encryption you can ensure that no malicious software can ever take over your system or data. Unlike other operating systems, Chrome OS allows a digital signage administrator to automatically run their digital signs right when the machine turns on. And, like I mentioned, it also prevents users from hijacking the device for other purposes.

4. Update automatically

Chrome OS is automatically updated seamlessly in the background, this prevents the need for additional patch management systems or manually updating your fleet of devices.

Gone are the days of administrators needing to worry about making sure their devices are updated, or making sure that latest security vulnerability was patched. Chrome Management takes care of this and even gives the administrator control over timing and distribution of the patches, so you can automatically scan for updates every morning at 4am when there’s the lowest usage.

5. Low Power Usage

The Chrome hardware for digital signage are purpose built to be energy efficient. Rather than taking a full desktop computer, a small Chrome OS device can achieve the same signage performance while dramatically reducing energy costs.

Having a purpose-built device for digital signage means the device does not need to be overloaded with additional internal hardware to prepare it for any eventuality. Most Chrome OS devices run with only a single fan, and flash memory. This means the power consumption is minimal, because we don’t need to be concerned with spinning disks or bulky case fans.

Are you convinced yet?

Chrome-based digital signage solutions are by far the most secure, easy to manage, scalable, and easy to implement.

And it doesn’t have to be a Chromebox. With the recent release of the Chromebit, an enterprise-grade digital signage player can cost $85 per device.

Considering that it’s not uncommon to spend upwards of $800 per device for digital signage, that’s a massive upheaval in the industry.

Do you use digital signage today? Have you run into any of these pain points that Chrome addresses?

Learn more about how we use chrome for digital signage here.

Written by: Thomas Blade
Senior Skykit Solutions Engineer

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