info-beamer

Integrating with Touch Screen Totem

We require the ability to have a scheduled player setup and integration with a totem display with touch input.

We have successfully created touch screen setup, but we require video adverts to be played according to a playlist/schedule and then when a user touches the screen have an external live webpage accessible.

Maybe even having a code embed option would be good, so that external booking forms could be used.

We would also want a timeout option, so that after a period of inactivity the display would revert back to playing the video adverts.

Is this achievable, and if so would it be complex to setup?

Uh oh. That sounds like quite a challenge. This needs at least:

  • info-beamer running in the foreground, but having the ability to pause playback during interactive use.
  • Having a browser running in the background.
    • This browser needs to support interactive usage
    • Not leak personal data across sessions
    • Must be locked down, so users don’t visit random sites
  • An on screen keyboard I guess?
  • Some process that coordinates all of that

In theory all that is possible, but not with any available packages. And it would require quite a bit of custom development to get all this running in a reliable way.

Yeah, I thought it would be a bit of a challenge! :slight_smile:

This would be a fantastic addition though, as it having the ability to combine both advertising and interactive abilities would be very useful.

My only other thought was that having two devices connected to the same screen, with an electronic HDMI switcher that could switch input to the device responsible for the interactive aspects, which keeps that input active as long as inputs are detected within 60 seconds or so.

This could even be a PC or whatever, that just has a preconfigured browser running to allow people to interact with a web page or booking form.

And then when no touch activity has been detected for 60 secs it switches the HDMI input back to a Pi running the scheduled player setup.

Of course I don’t know if such a device exists!

Would there be any way to use a Pi, running the touch screen setup that could be used to provide a switching signal to a device such as this:
https://www.rcblogic.co.uk/product/kramer-vs-211h2-4k-60hz-444-2x1-auto-hdmi-standby-switcher-pixel-clock-sensing?st=12

Probably using the GPIOs, but I’m not a hardware person, so I cannot give any reliable answer.

I found this article, which is pretty much what I was referring to: https://automateeverythingsite.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/automating-hdmi-input-switching/

And more info here: https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/99823/using-pi-to-control-a-button-on-a-hdmi-switcher

If the info-beamer touch package could be used to simply detect a Touch input from the touchscreen usb data cable ( which it already does ), and then ‘HOLD’ the HDMI input switcher to one of it’s outputs whenever a touch input is detected, and keep it there for a pre-determined time, say 30 secs before switching the HDMI switch to the other input if no further input is detected for 30 secs.

This would allow the built-in ( or any other android device ) to use one of the many ‘Kiosk mode’ apps to take care of the complicated stuff of restricting urls, on screen keyboards etc, and then use another Pi to serve the advertising when ‘idle’.

This would allow anyone with a touchscreen to combine info-beamer with an Android based kiosk mode system.

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