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Linux signage vendor acquired by new media company

Aug 10, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

“New media” advertising specialist HumWare Media Corp. has agreed to acquire Audio Video Interactive (AVI), a vendor of Linux-based digital signage devices said to be used by clients that include Best Buy, Nike, Radio Shack, Samsung, and Verizon.

HumWare operates the “Boondoggle Sports Network,” which delivers sports trivia and fantasy sports entertainment to the hospitality industry via encrypted Internet tunnels. HumWare appears to sell advertising on its network, along with sports memorabilia, through its “Timeless Sports” subsidiary.

AVI appears to be best known for its “Digital Associate” (DA), a solid-state digital network signage appliance based on embedded Linux and other open source software. AVI proudly notes that the DA “uses a non-Windows operating system, which requires no expensive software licenses, unlike a PC-based application.” However, the DA's browser-based user interface appears to require Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

The Linux-powered DA device supports NTSC (U.S.) and PAL (European) video display devices, including CRTs, flat-panel LCD displays, and plasma screens. It stores digital media on CompactFlash, with a 2.5-inch hard drive optionally available. It can be configured for various sequential, looped, and scheduled playback options, AVI says.


AVI's Digital Associate ports
(Click for larger view)

Additional touted DA features include:

  • Serial port for interfacing with touchscreens, bar code readers, RFID sensors, push buttons, and other control options
  • Playback event log
  • Optional WiFi interface
  • Supports MPEG 1 and 2 and WMV video, MP3 audio, and JPEG still images
  • Composite, S-video, or VGA output
  • S/PDIF and analog audio out
  • 9.9 x 7.2 1.6 inches (251 x 184 x 42mm)
  • 2.4 pounds

Additionally, the device supports remote firmware updates via the Internet, AVI says.

HumWare CEO John Huemoeller II stated, “This merger will give us ownership of both the network and the hardware, including new kiosks and media players currently under development. We believe that when the deal is finalized, HumWare will be taking a major step towards fulfilling additional requirements for an uplisting to the American Stock Exchange.”


 
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