For Google, Digital Signage is Another Sandbox

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Asus Chromebox

At DSE 2014, Intel's Jose Avalos, director of digital signage, embedded and communications group, told an audience that—after the release of Google's newest Chromeboxes-- the search giant will be zeroing in on digital signage.

It’s no big surprise that the Chromeboxes could be very inexpensive digital signage media players and the Chrome platform could make the back-end cheaper as well.

The trick for Chromebox is that cost is dropping lower and lower, now approaching $150. With Chrome, one web-based management console cab be used to push the content to the Chromesboxes so it can be shown on displays, which should help bring down the IT and support costs of digital signage networks.

Google thinks digital signage is a great solution for Chromebox because it is distributed by definition with central management of top importance. Google intends to keep adding capabilities to central management to make Chromebox an even better fir and make it easier to manage and distribute content to signs.


For a vision of a Google-ized digital signage future, one might look at pioneer Rise Vision with 28,811 users in 119 countries with its largest network of displays numbering 1198…all built on Google platforms.

At Intel, Avalos says he is "excited" about the announcement: no wonder, because Intel wants to collaborate with Google as it enters the digital signage realm.

While Google might validate the industry, the bigger question is whether “Googltel” can be to digital signage what Wintel was for PCs.

No matter how you look at it, the cost is being driven out of the boxes, the software and even the screens. That will hasten the consolidation of the digital signage industry—a process that Intel, Microsoft and other giant IT players really crave. From their viewpoint, the “problem” with digital signage is that the market is too fractured by small players that don’t allow the IT giants to really leverage their economy of scale. What good is it to make cheaper chips if you have to increase sales costs by selling and servicing thousands of little players?

The aftermath for integrators is clear: the real added value will be the expertise, the competency and the leadership of pulling off digital signage projects.

Go Google Chromebox