Tablet computers are a great option for small digital signage. Everything you need is built in – media player, display, and wireless capabilities – and tablet touchscreens are a perfect way to engage customers and enable them to interact with products and brands.
The familiarity of tablets is also a plus. Consumers like tablets and are comfortable using them. And compared to large digital signs, tablets offer a more personal experience, encouraging one-on-one interactivity and longer dwell times. Consumers can investigate products, product reviews, services, and promotions, as well as sign up for newsletters and loyalty programs, all while in the store and at their peak interest.
Because of their size and portability, tablets are also easy to deploy. They can be mounted on a simple floor stand, mobile kiosk, or simply set on a counter and secured with a cable. For more permanent installations, they can be secured to a countertop or wall.
Benefits of Intel® Platform-based Tablets
Tablets based on Intel® Core™ processors , Intel® Celeron® processor and Intel® Atom™ processor E3800 product families offer additional benefits. They deliver stunning integrated HD graphics, produce little heat, need no fans, emit no noise, and enable long battery life, bright high resolution touchscreens, and Wi‐Fi and cellular capabilities. These processors also include built-in hardware-assisted security enhancements that defend against malware and help secure personal information.
These tablets can also run operating systems such as Microsoft Windows* 8.1, giving retailers access to a wealth of software and tools for creating interactive content. In addition, retailers can configure a tablet to allow only access to the specific applications, forms, and websites that shoppers need. This means you can enable a consumer to check stock and even order a product from your website while they’re in the store, but prevent them from visiting competitor sites to compare prices or simply surf the web.
Intel® Retail Client Manager
Intel® Retail Client Manager (Intel® RCM) provides particularly useful capabilities for managing digital content, remotely supporting a fleet of tablets, and improving the effectiveness of ad campaigns. This intuitive content management system software makes it easy to broadcast advertising across a digital signage network that can include a mix of traditional digital signage solutions and tablets. You can use any combination of HD video, web content, images, flash or HTML5 animation, and audio, and stream to some or all of your digital networks.
The software enables you to:
- Compose campaigns in minutes
- Customize content on the fly to take advantage of special offers, pricing, or other opportunities
- Control each digital sign independently
- Respond to touchscreen inputs to deliver requested information and options
- Build playlists for each zone for context-sensitive highly dynamic displays
Figure 1. Intel® Retail Client Manager enables sign owners to remotely create, schedule and launch interactive marketing campaigns across a network of signs.
A remote control feature reduces the complexity of scheduling content and managing digital touch points through a simple and intuitive interface. You can control individual consumer digital touchpoints, dedicated channels, or entire media networks with advanced manageability features such as Power Off, Restart, Show Screen, and Direct Control. On Intel® Core™ processor-based tablets with Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT)-enabled, technicians can also use advanced remote manageability capabilities to repair software issues and perform other technical tasks.
Intel RCM includes a built-in Contents Reports feature. With a camera-equipped tablet or a camera mounted near a tablet, Intel RCM can collect end-point data on the gender, approximate age, and dwell time of the viewer for proof-of-play and valuable insights on audience and advertising effectiveness. This same data can also be used to automatically cue relevant messaging for any viewer that walks up.
Members of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance offer a variety of tablets that are ready for signage duty. Advantech, a Premier member of the Alliance, offers the MIC-071 Pocket Pad, a unit that requires little real estate but packs as 7” HD resolution multi-touch display. The tablet is equipped with the Intel® Atom™ processor Z3700 series – a variant of the Intel Atom processor E3800 product family. The tablet includes a built-in bar scanner consumers can use to check prices and coupons. It also has an IP54-rated enclosure to protect against dust and moisture.
Figure 2. Advantech MIC-071 Pocket Pad.
Dell OEM, also a Premier member of the Alliance, offers two excellent choices. The Dell Venue 11 Pro includes a 10.8” full HD IPS 1080p display and a choice of Intel® Core™ i3 and i5 processors. Buyers can opt for an Intel® vPro™ technology option to get Intel AMT. A rugged case and tablet dock make this tablet easy to set up and maintain in retail environments. Built-in near field communications (NFC) allows communication with the latest smart phones, enabling new promotional opportunities, such as in-store coupons. A model is also available with an Intel Atom processor E3800 product family.
Figure 3. Dell Venue 11 Pro.
Dell also makes a small tablet: the Dell Venue 8 Pro. This tablet features a high quality 8” IPS display. Powered by the Intel Atom processor E3800 product family, the tablet comes with a rugged case for commercial use.
Associate Alliance member Venture makes the Titan S-1 Industrial Tablet. Powered by an energy-efficient Intel® Atom™ processor Z3745, this ruggedized tablet features long battery life, an 8” touchscreen, and dust, shock and water resistance. It includes built-in stereo speakers. Its rubber bumpers remove easily for quick access to I/O ports.
Figure 4. Venture Titan S-1 Industrial Tablet.
Affiliate Alliance member Arbor Technology makes a number of rugged tablets, including the Gladius G0975. Powered by the Intel® Celeron® processor N2930, this tablet features a 9.7” IPS LED touchscreen faced with Gorilla* Glass and is rated to military specs for 4-foot drop resistance. It includes four function keys and a home key for easy operation and reset. A detailed white paper provides more on the features of this tough, versatile tablet.
Figure 5. Arbor Technology Gladius G0975.
Sign of the Times
Based on their low cost, compact form factor, high quality graphics, energy-efficient processors, and inviting interactive screens, I think we’re going to see a lot more tablets doing duty as digital signs in a wide range of venues. The topic will be well worth revisiting as Alliance members continue to innovate, bringing new versatile tablet solutions to the retail floor.
Contact featured members:
Solutions in this blog:
Advantech and Dell OEM are Premier members of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance. Venture Corporation is an Associate member of the Alliance. Arbor Technology is an Affiliate member of the Alliance.
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance
Associate Editor, Embedded Innovator magazine