IMG 1193 Intels NUC in Interactive Displays

Nobody has cracked teleportation or world peace yet but advertising-oriented digital signages and interactive displays have certainly invaded every facet of our lives. With its small and versatile form factor, the NUC is the perfect choice to be the brains behind the screen.

For denizens living in the civilized world of 2012, it is virtually impossible now to step out into the urban concrete jungle without being bombarded by some kind of digital signage, which have taken over static billboard displays as the medium of mass public messaging. These screens have gradually improved over the years in pixel densities and clarity, attracting and overloading your senses with useful information and other advertising messages. From the MRT train arrival notice board to the interactive point of sales interface on soft drink can machines, there is a computer, usually embedded, controlling what is displayed to the user and running the software routines programmed on it.

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When building such interactive displays, the underlying hardware plays an important role in the decision making process. As with our previous usage examples of the Intel NUC, its small but versatile 4" x 4" form factor comes into play, especially if you want to build a sleek and attractive structure to house the screen and machine. Also its sub-20W TDP means hardly any cooling is required in the storage compartment/cabinet, and is therefore eco friendly compared to the usual offerings. Its dual-core mobile Ivy Bridge processor augmented by a speedy SSD and up to 16GB of DDR3 ram entails that you can run a few foreground and background processes simultaneously without hiccups, such as a stock ticker at the side with a Full HD video playing and background webcam recording for crowd analytics and nanny-state surveillance.

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In places where Ethernet LAN connectivity is not possible, the (optional) WIFI module of the NUC should allow the maintenance people to push and retrieve updates wirelessly from a central location.

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For custom displays such an array of video walls and other unconventional screen sizes, system integrators can define custom resolutions and orientations/rotations from the HD 4000 graphics control panel to suit their needs.

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