Choosing the Right Embedded PC for Outdoor Digital Signage and Kiosks

The global digital signage market size is predicted to attain USD 45.33 billion by 2030 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 7.7%. Outdoor signage expected to account for 60% of global market share through 2021 & beyond, and outdoor would exhibit the highest CAGR of 9.7% during 2019-2026, according to ESOMAR-certified consulting firm Future Market Insights’ global signage market report.

Outdoor kiosks are not new, but they are becoming more visible of late.The global outdoor interactive kiosk market is expected to grow at a combined annual growth rate of 9.5% through 2030.

Growing Market of Outdoor Signage and Kiosks

Outdoor digital signage is growing, and we are seeing significant opportunities for high bright outdoor displays and outdoor kiosks in all manner of applications – from ski resorts, amusement parks, zoos, train stations and QSRs to stadiums and arenas, museums, cruise liners, golf courses, marinas and bar or restaurant gardens.

Outdoor digital signage displays provide you with the opportunity to increase awareness of your brand and its messages. Businesses place their digital screens in open, busy, public environments to give themselves the biggest visibility boost available. For example, it’s common to see digital kiosks in, town centers, transport hubs, car parks and outdoor event centers. 

The appeal of outdoor digital signage displays is the ability to communicate with your customers even if they are not in your store or currently viewing your website. These displays allow your business to remind your customers about your brand as they walk down the street. 

The key benefit of utilizing outdoor digital signage displays is that they can reach a much wider audience than indoor alternatives. Consumers spend roughly 70% of their time away from home, meaning outdoor signage can be the most effective method of communication with your target audience.

Challenges for Outdoor Applications

There are many fundamental considerations when choosing outdoor digital signage or kiosk:
Cooling and ventilation: Outdoor applications need to have a proper cooling system to prevent overheating of the electronic components inside the enclosure. The cooling system should be able to handle the ambient air temperature, the solar load, and the heat generated by the digital signage or kiosk itself. The cooling system should also be compatible with the NEMA rating of the enclosure, which indicates the level of protection against dust, water, and corrosion.
Weather and vandalism: Outdoor digital signage and kiosks are exposed to various weather conditions, such as rain, snow, wind, and UV rays. These can damage the hardware, software, or display of the outdoor applications. Outdoor digital signage and kiosks should be designed with durable materials, waterproof seals, anti-glare screens, and anti-theft locks to prevent weather-related or human-caused damage.
Power and connectivity: Outdoor digital signage and kiosks need to have a reliable source of power and internet connection to function properly. Depending on the location and availability of utilities, outdoor digital signage and kiosks may need to use solar panels, batteries, generators, or wireless networks to operate. These options may have additional costs or maintenance requirements.
Energy consumption: another important feature to consider when choosing outdoor digital signage and kiosks relates to energy consumption.

How to Choose Embedded PC for Outdoor Solution

As the core controller of the outdoor digital signage and kiosk, the embedded PCs plays an vital role in ensuring stable operation of outdoor applications. To choose the right embedded PC for outdoor digital signage and kiosk solutions, you need to consider several key factors:
1. Temperature Resistance: there are five major climate zones based on temperature and precipitation which are tropical, dry, temperate, cold, and polar. These main climate threats commonly cause a failure for computers when deployed outside. This is so because computers are not in a controlled environment such as an office or at home. Outdoor computers are often deployed in indoor factories where they experience extreme temperatures.

As such, you want to make sure your computer is resistant to a wide temperature range. Some of the great outdoor computers operating temperature range can reach from lowest heat -40℃ up to highest heat 85℃. Wide temperature resistance indicates great computer durability during deployment in cold winter or hot summer climate situations.
2. Fanless Design: Having a fanless design is incredibly beneficial for outdoor computers. With a passive thermal cooling system, the fanless design reduces the failure rate and makes the device running with noise-free and dustproof. Semi-industrial PC adopting fanless design usually use fins to dissipate heat.
3. Low power consumption: Embedded PCs for outdoor digital signage and kiosks should have low power consumption, high efficiency, and long battery life to reduce the operational expenses and environmental impact of the kiosk.
4. Multiple connectivity: Embedded PCs for outdoor digital signage and kiosks should have multiple connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G/5G, Ethernet, or GPS, to ensure stable and secure data transmission and remote management of the application.
5. Long-term availability and support: Choose a reputable manufacturer or supplier that provides long-term availability of the embedded PC, along with reliable technical support and warranty services.

 Giada's New Semi-industrial Solution 

As a brand who has focused on embedded computer solutions for over 20 years, Giada takes care of these considerations for our clients.
Giada recently has released a new semi-industrial computer, powered by Intel's 13th Gen. Core processors. The computer, AE613, supports wide temperature (-20°C ~60°C) and voltage (12~24V) range. The rugged device is an ideal choice for outdoor digital signage, Kiosk and semi-industrial applications.
Our engineers can also advise you on the best embedded computers for your outdoor application, and in some cases even build a custom solution that checks all factors. Welcome to contact us!

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