Partnership Creates Eco-system for Easy Digital Signage

Partnership Creates Eco-system for Easy Digital Signage

Software, Hardware and CDM Help Make Beautiful Displays Without Frustration.

An intuitive creative suite, remote access to every device, and devices that will withstand commercial usage are just a few benefits of the partnership between Arreya Digital Signage Suite, AOPEN and Google. Understanding all of the elements of the digital signage ecosystem is the first step in deploying a system that is easy to use and meets the needs of your business or organization.

What is Arreya?

This cloud-based digital signage software was created with user experience in mind, from content management to deployment on devices. From video live streams to simple slideshows, and even calendar content from other sources. Page as a slideshow allows you to create a more dynamic display right inside of the creative editor.

  • Create and manage content in your browser
  • Remotely manage devices from your computer
  • Cloud-based digital signage offers instant updates
  • Interactive displays and noninteractive applications
  • Flexibility in creative editor and use scenarios
  • No contract lock-in
  • No proprietary equipment needed
  • Deploy the same content to hundreds or thousands of screen for one monthly subscription fee
  • Integrations with Google Charts, Google Sheets, Google Slides and More
  • Partnerships with leading companies like Google and AOPEN

Arreya is a complete solution for retail, marketing, employee communications, school signage and digital donor walls.

How Does AOPEN Work with Arreya?

Global technology company that offers general use commercial grade hardware. These are the only commercial grade Chrome OS devices in the world, and are created to be the most stable devices in the industry. They will withstand 24/7 usage, temperature changes to 140 degrees fahrenheit, and multiple users. They are designed for the least downtime possible, and  automatically restart when networks do go down.

AOPEN’s all in one devices are designed to be placed in public places. They have no power button, and when used in Kiosk Mode, they are locked down to only display the content the user wants on them.

  • Rugged and Enterprise-ready
  • Auto Power Resumption
  • Long Range AC Wi-Fi (PCI Security Level) via Dual Antenna and BLE
  • Secure Power Connector
  • Fanless, Solid State: Dual Independent Screen Support
  • Internal Circuit and PSU Protection
  • Anti-Shock and Vibration Protection
  • Selectable Powered RJ50 Ports for Commercial Applications

AOPEN also works with the best kiosk manufacturers in the world to make sure that mounting solutions are available for devices for any use.

How Does Google and CDM Come into Play?

Google Chrome is the inpoint for cloud-based solutions, and is the best, most reliable, flexible and simple to use platform for digital signage.

Chrome is designed to run on very low-end hardware, and Google does not charge manufacturers for Chrome OS, minimizing the cost per device. The simplicity of the design leave very little to go wrong.

With Chrome Device Management (CDM), you can control all of your devices from one easy to use console.

  • Turning devices on and off from anywhere
  • Configuring device policies including network configurations and player settings
  • Monitoring and notifications for key metrics and issues
  • Remote troubleshooting that sends screen grabs and reboot information
  • Works with touchscreen and non-touchscreen applications
  • Choose from public session or kiosk mode

Using Chrome Devices in Kiosk Mode Lowers Total Cost of Ownership. How?

  • 45% Reduction in management hours per device each year
  • 61.1% Lower initial device investment
  • 67.4% More efficient ongoing device management
  • 319% Three year ROI
  • $4,146 Average annual benefit per device per year

By using Arreya in conjunction with AOPEN Devices and Chrome Device Management, you have the complete digital signage package. Arreya has tested many scenarios in house to help streamline the process of creating and deploying digital signage. This reduces the stress and dependance on your IT department, and increases ROI for your company or organization.

Learn more about using these Using Chrome OS and Google Partners for simpler digital signage displays.

Chrome Device Management Now Mandatory for Kiosk Mode

Chrome Device Management Now Mandatory for Kiosk Mode

Chrome Devices Management (CDM) has always made managing digital signage convenient with remote management capabilities, device health notifications, and locking devices into kiosk mode. But now, Google has made it mandatory to have a CDM License in order to lock the device in Kiosk Mode.

What is Kiosk Mode?

On Chrome Devices, kiosk mode keeps your signage secure from passersby changing the web content it being shown. You have probably heard of kiosks run on a Microsoft platform being “hacked,” and suddenly showing porn or other unwanted content. This often happens when the kiosk goes down. When it comes up again, you get an error screen with an address bar that allows anybody to go to any website.

With a Chrome device in Kiosk Mode, the device is locked down for security, not just the display. After the device crashes, it send you a message from your CDM that the device is down. When your device restarts, which you can usually do remotely, your digital signage display comes back up in kiosk mode, with no address bar available for people to type in unwanted URLs.

What is Chrome Device Management?

Google Chrome Device Management is a product from Google that is required in order to run a Chrome application in “Single App Kiosk” mode. Kiosk mode allows a Chrome device to be locked down from tampering and allows it to run a single app at a time, in this case the Arreya client application.

There are currently two options for Chrome Device Management, ENTERPRISE and STAND-ALONE.

CDM for Enterprise

  • For organizations that already use Google Apps or are looking to start a Google Apps account
  • Requires a domain that you can verify you own https://support.google.com/a/answer/60216?hl=en
  • Verification must be completed before we can provide licenses

Stand-alone CDM

  • For organizations that do not use Google Apps or do not wish to start a Google Apps account.
  • No domain is required, you will access the Google Admin console with a provided account and username that end in deviceadmin.goog
  • Registration can be done using the following link: https://devicemanagement.google.com/signup/form?product=Chrome-Kiosk
  • After registering for a Chrome Device Management Trial, your account name, which ends in .deviceadmin.goog, will be used to provide licenses.

 

QUESTIONS? We are here to help. 319-294-6671 or e-mail us directly at info@arreya.com

AOpen Chrome Mini Products for Digital Signage

AOpen Chrome Mini Products for Digital Signage

AOpen’s new Chrome OS based Chromebox Mini and Chromebase Mini have a lot to offer for the digital signage and kiosk industry. These two products are AOpen’s first commercial Chrome devices targeted to a lower cost market. From a user standpoint, here are some thoughts, specifications, and how we plan on utilizing these two new devices released in 2017.

AOpen Chromebase Mini

AOpen’s latest addition to their Commercial Chromebase line of products, features a great looking 10.1” touch screen. The very first thing we noticed about this device was the weight, at 2.7 lbs this is not a tablet! The Chromebase mini is built for a commercial environment, an all metal enclosure makes it an admirable alternative to a cheap tablet for a high traffic, high use environment. Another feature differencing the Chromebase mini from a cheap tablet is the lack of an accessible power button to limit tampering with the device. We see this device being used for retail end-cap displays, conference room displays, calendar/scheduling displays, wayfinding, and many more use cases.

The touch screen features 1280x800 resolution and supports up to 10 point multi touch. Overall the screen looks great and is a big win for this device. The Chromebase Mini shares most hardware specs with the Chromebox Mini and has similar processing power. Standard VESA mounting patterns on the back of the device make finding a mounting solution extremely easy. The HDMI output on the device is great to see for multiple monitor displays. The MSRP of this device is $349 USD, and its ruggedness makes it perfect for commercial use, or affordable enough for consumer use.

Our praises:

  • Build quality, durability
  • Touch screen

Our gripes:

  • Non-standard 1280x800 screen resolution
  • Accessing the I/O ports can be cumbersome

Specs:

  • Panel: 10.1” 1280 x 800 250nits AHVA
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch; pinch to zoom
  • CPU: Quad-Core Cortex-A17, up to 1.8GHz
  • DRAM: LPDDR3 Dual Channel 4GB
  • Storage: EMMC 5.0 16GB
  • FHD Webcam (2MP)
  • Built-in Dual Digital MIC and Stereo Speaker
  • WIFI+ BT4.0: 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT4.0 x 1

AOpen Chromebox Mini

AOpen’s latest offering in their line of commercial grade Chromeboxes, is the aptly named Chromebox Mini. Just under 6 inches on its longest side and under 1 inch thick, the device undoubtedly has one of the best form factors we have seen in a Chromebox. The Chromebox Mini comes with WiFi antennas which can be rotated to your desired angle, this inherently increases the footprint of the device but in tight environments, the built in ethernet connection can be used instead. The processing power of the Chromebox mini seems to be on par with similarly priced devices, although hardware specs are noticeably cut down from the rest of AOpen’s commercial Chromeboxes. Built in video output is limited to just one HDMI port. The Chromebox Mini also has a connection for a external power switch in the situation where the power button won’t be easily accessible.

The Chromebox Mini’s form factor and other features make it a great choice for someone looking for a powerful box for a traditional screen/player combo. The form factor of the device makes it easy to mount in existing enclosures and new installations. The MSRP of $189 USD makes it an attractive option for lots of digital signage customers.

Our praises:

  • Great form factor, easy mounting capability
  • Price: Just $189.00 USD MSRP
  • External power switch connector

Our gripes:

  • No mounting tabs or brackets out of box
  • Limited to 1 video output

Specs:

  • Fanless/non venting hole design
  • CPU:Quad-Core Cortex-A17, up to 1.8GHz
  • DRAM: LPDDR3 Dual Channel 4GB
  • Storage: EMMC 5.0 16GB
  • WIFI+ BT4.0: 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT4.0 x 1
  • Dimensions: 5.75 x 3.8 x 0.94 in

QUESTIONS? We are here to help. 319-294-6671 or e-mail us directly at info@arreya.com

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OLCHS Uses Digital Signage for School Communication

OLCHS Uses Digital Signage for School Communication

Oak Lawn Community High School

Saving Time with Arreya Digital Signage and Google Chrome

Students at Oak Lawn Community High Schools are better informed about upcoming events, opportunities and achievements.

The Challenge: Creating More Time for Learning

Joseph McCurdy, Assistant Principal of Oak Lawn High School, located just outside Chicago, Illinois, sought out a better way to communicate with the large and diverse student population during the school day. Some of the school’s coaches were utilizing a form of digital signage to recognize top athletes and their own announcements in various parts of the building, but the student population, as a whole, was not included in the use of the signage.
Administrators were spending 5-10 minutes of instructional time per day making daily announcements over the intercom system that were largely ignored by students.

As a public school, OLCHS needed a cost effective answer. They knew that a one time purchase of digital equipment would be the major cost, and that there would be an ongoing cost for software, but felt digital signage would be a cost effective way to share information that would save time and money (ink and paper get pricey) once implemented.
McCurdy did not want to increase the workload on the office staff, so he also needed to find a solution that would allow students, staff and coaches to contribute to the information posted on digital signage.

“We are very happy with the [Arreya] system. It has been easy to update and create attractive displays.”

Joseph McCurdy

Assistant Principal, Oak Lawn Community High School

At-a-glance

Looking for a better way to engage students and acknowledge achievements while still capitalizing on academic time Joseph McCurdy, Assistant Principal at the high school chose Arreya Dgital Signage.

Oak Lawn Community High School implemented large screen monitors throughout the campus with Google Chromebits and Arreya Digital Signage Suite. The platform saves the staff valuable classroom time. It focuses students on effective communications and is easy to instantly add content through the Arreya editor.

Solution:

Focus On Communications

Digital signage has allowed OLCHS to increase instructional time, and inform students about events and opportunities with Arreya’s easy-to-use platform. “Students didn’t listen to the announcements, and we were wasting valuable instructional time trying to keep them informed. With digital signage, they can read the signs that are positioned in different common areas of the school, or they can pull it up on their phones if they can’t remember what they saw or heard,” McCurdy said. Before they were missing opportunities or staff members were repeating instructions that were already announced.

Arreya Digital Signage Suite updates automatically on each display when new school information is deployed, and displays can be controlled from one central account. Staff members don’t have to run around the school turning on devices, making updates or hanging paper signs to get the word out to students about opportunities. They simply save the information in a Google folder and when the signage is updated, the students instantly get the new information wherever they are located. Joseph McCurdy says,“It’s neat to hear the students planning activities. They know they have to get the information into the shared Google file so everybody knows about it and sees it on the digital signage throughout the school.”

Digital Signage:

A Win for Students and Staff


Arreya digital signage has allowed OLCHS to increase instructional time, and inform students about events and opportunities with Arreya’s easy-to-use platform. “Students didn’t listen to the announcements, and we were wasting valuable instructional time trying to keep them informed. With digital signage, they can read the signs that are positioned in different common areas of the school, or they can pull it up on their phones if they can’t remember what they saw or heard,” McCurdy said. Before they were missing opportunities or staff members were repeating instructions.

Arreya Digital Signage Suite updates automatically on each display when new school information is deployed, and displays can be controlled from one central account. Staff members don’t have to run around the school turning on devices, making updates or hanging paper signs to get the word out to students. They simply save the information in a Google folder and when the signage is updated, the students instantly get the new information wherever they are located. Joseph McCurdy says,“It’s neat to hear the students planning activities. They know they have to get the information into the shared Google file so everybody knows about it and sees it on the digital signage throughout the school.”

If you have questions about Arreya Digital Signage Suite, contact us at 319-294-6671.

Correct Hardware = Simple Signage

Correct Hardware = Simple Signage

Make Digital Signage Easy With the Optimum Equipment

What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The same might be asked of selecting digital signage hardware and software, and deciding how it will be used.

Are you tempted to buy the cheapest screen at your nearby big box store?

STOP!

Think about the Difference – Commercial vs. Consumer

The difference between commercial screens and consumer televisions are broad, and different screens are manufactured for different uses and conditions. If you use hardware in a scenario that it is not built for, your warranty will be void, and the manufacturer can deny replacement or repayment. Commercial screens typically include a 3-5 year warranty with onsite replacement, but if you get the consumer special you will likely pay extra for a limited warranty.

Buying the wrong screen for your kiosk or video wall may lead to technical support issues that are billed hourly, or require an extra piece of hardware adding up the costs to your digital signage project

5 Considerations When Choosing Digital Signage Hardware

Will Your Signage be Placed in a Hot or Cold Climate?

Consumer televisions and computer screens are not manufactured to withstand heat or extreme cold. Hardware that is not rated for the climate that you put it in will have a shorter lifespan. Many commercial screens are manufactured for outdoor climates or to withstand sun, and they often have a management system that monitors the system to make sure it doesn’t overheat.

Are You Placing Your Screens in a High Traffic Area?

Most consumer grade smart TVs have buttons and logos in visible areas. If you don’t want visitors turning off your signage or touching screens that are not meant to be touchscreens, you will want to have them secured. Commercial screens will have controls on the back, and offer the ability to disengage the buttons so only the display manager will be able to turn it on or change the volume.  They are meant for 24/7 usage and are more robust for continual use.

Are You Planning to Use Screens in Portrait Mode?

Some screens are not manufactured to be hung or used in portrait mode. If they are not meant for that use and the screen seems to have defects or stops working, the manufacturer’s warranty will be void. If you want to use your display in portrait mode, it is best to purchase a commercial screen with portrait capabilities.

If you are planning to have multiple screens in portrait mode, having screens that can be set to “talk to each other” for this purpose will save you time and money in troubleshooting and extra hardware.

Will Your Signage Be Integrated with a Touchscreen Display?

It it is the screen will need to have touch capabilities. Depending on where the screen is located and the conditions it will be used, the actual touch technology may be important. If your visitors will possibly be using your kiosk as they come out of the cold, you may want a screen that will recognize touch even if they are wearing gloves. However, if the display will be in direct sunlight, some technologies will have a shorter life or may not work as well on a sunny day. If you need certain touch capabilities, do your research on touchscreen technology.

Does Your Company Already Use G-Suite?

If G-Suite is already a part of your company’s workflow, Chrome devices are a natural fit for digital signage equipment. Chrome devices lock monitors into kiosk mode to keep visitors from bringing up websites and any unwanted content.  As a Chrome Partner, Arreya software will integrate with your workflow and your Chrome devices for seamless remote digital signage design and management.  If you already have equipment it may be possible to use a Chromebit or Chromebox to retrofit your older hardware to new digital signage software.

At Arreya, we try to make digital signage easy and affordable for the end user. If you have questions about which equipment to purchase or how to make your current hardware work with Arreya, contact us.