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In the Zone

With Intel NUC Visual Solutions, the eyes have it

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 07/27/2021
Blog Category: devices

Visual solutions are hot. Customer kiosks, digital signage, computer vision and digital whiteboards are all big, fast-growing markets.

> Computer vision: The worldwide market was worth $10.6 billion in 2019, and sales are projected to grow nearly 8% a year through 2027, according to Grand View Research.

> Digital signage: Sales worldwide are projected by Kenneth Research to reach $31.7 billion by 2022.

> Digital kiosks: Sales totaled $20.3 billion worldwide last year, according to Fortune Business Insights. It expects these sales to grow by an average of 12% a year through 2028.

Look at NUC

If you’re a tech provider looking to get into these big visual solutions markets, or if you’re already in but would like to do more business, you have a new tool on your side: the Intel NUC Mini PC.

NUC Mini PC

Available in your choice of ready-to-run PC, kit, board or element, the Intel NUC is a small but full-powered PC. And it includes key features for visual solutions:

> Intel Watchdog Timer Utility: Monitors applications on an Intel NUC and can automatically restart them.

> Display Emulation: Enables emulation of displays in either 1 or 2 of the Intel NUC HDMI ports when a display is either unattached or temporarily disconnected.

> Client Management Interface: Query and configure the HDMI CEC via the Intel NUC WMI interface. CEC, short for Consumer Electronics Control, is an HDMI feature that controls devices using one remote controller. And WMI, short for Windows Management Instrumentation, allows for the query and control of features from within an OS.

In your sights

Depending on which visual markets you’re interested in, Intel NUC has a range of powerful features to offer.

Kiosks: The small form factor of the Intel NUC — some models measure just 4x4 inches — takes up minimal space. Yet the devices are scalable with a range of Intel CPUs available. For speedy setup, the Intel NUC can be used off the shelf with no need for proprietary hardware or software. And these devices are qualified for 24x7 operation and, with Intel Core vPro technology, remote management and security.

One company using Intel NUC Mini PCs for powering kiosks is Symtron. Based in Buenos Aires, Symtron has standardized its entire portfolio of custom kiosks on Intel NUC.

Why? In part because Symtron’s customers want a stable platform they can stick with over time. Intel NUC provides that kind of stability. These customers also want kiosks they can afford. Intel NUC provides that, too, coming in at much lower cost than specialized industrial computers. Finally, Symtron’s customers want reliability. Intel NUC helps Symtron deliver that with its 3-year warranty and 24x7 sustained operations.

Digital signage: One Intel NUC Mini PC can power up to four 4K displays or one 8K unit. This mini-PC also has mounting options built right into the chassis.

All that made sense for SpinetiX, a Swiss supplier of digital signage systems, serve small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in telecom, retail and other verticals. SpinetiX’s SMB customers now use a platform based on the Intel NUC 8 Rugged to attract customers, advertise their wares, entertain both customers and employees, and create new revenue streams.

Computer vision: The Intel NUC is small enough to conceal near the display. Custom solutions are possible with the Intel NUC kit versions. There are also robust options for displays, storage, peripherals, and wireless connectivity.

The Ontario Regiment Museum, which holds Canada’s largest collection of operational military vehicles — tanks, trucks, personnel carriers and more, some dating back to the 1940s — is sold on NUC for computer vision. During the worst days of the pandemic, the museum greeted visitors with an animated virtual agent named Master Corporal Lana.

Virtual agent Lana

Virtual agent Lana (pictured above) was developed by a local tech provider, CloudConstable, using its Animated Virtual Agent (AVA) software. The system runs on an Intel NUC 9 Pro Mini PC.

Collaboration: Digital whiteboards and other collaboration systems can get a real boost from Intel NUC’s small footprint, ability to control up to four 4K displays, and wide range of port options for both wired and wireless connectivity (HDMI, Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet).

Banner Health, which runs nearly 30 acute-care hospitals in the western U.S., used the Intel NUC to transform nearly 1,000 hospital-room TVs into virtual care endpoints.  As part of the solution, an Intel NUC is attached to a TV, loaded with telehealth software, and augmented with a speakerphone and camera.

You could look it up

Want to learn more about Intel NUC Mini PC? You can take any of more than 30 NUC-related training courses now available on Intel Partner University as NUC Competencies. Among these courses are several covering the Intel NUC for digital signage.

Intel Partner University is a valuable part of the new Intel Partner Alliance. Not yet taking advantage of Intel’s partner program? Activate your membership or join today.

 

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