TableConnect®, powered by the Inforce 6540™ SBC, is the latest multi-touch connected “table device” that provides access to millions of applications available on Android based phones and tablets, but now on a much bigger screen. So, what’s unique about the sleek plug and play device you may ask, and what are some of the use cases? For starters, the product has a super robust touch surface made out of 4mm safety glass, a projective capacitive touch sensor underneath, and an industrial HD display. Secondly, there is no specialized software to be developed or the need to learn anything new for end-users—just utilize the Android apps already available in the Google Play store. The TableConnect interactive display simply resembles your Android smartphone screen; only that it’s about 100 X larger, making it easier for a target audience to find the right information with a few taps and swipes from their fingertips. Just think of the many different places businesses could use the stylish system—it could be an interactive customer-facing information kiosk at corporate headquarters (portrait, landscape, and table-top modes) or a retail outlet, a collaboration platform in conference rooms, at events and trade shows, or perhaps as an exotic at-home coffee table with an interactive screen that brings together people to hang out and play games.
The developer community worldwide for Android apps is legion. Now, those same apps can be optimized to take advantage of a much larger screen to reach out to new customers. The TableConnect device unlocks a huge potential for newer digital signage and interactive display use cases both in the home and at businesses. When the core technology can be integrated into any kind of structure in the future, the possibilities become endless.
So, what’s really under the hood?
It was fascinating to hear from Johann Rath, TableConnect’s CEO that his smart engineers were able to quickly put together an ingenious system, thanks to the high-end processing capability and versatile connectivity of the Inforce 6540™ Single Board Computer (SBC). His team initially tried to prototype the product with a previous generation Cortex-A9 based SBC that didn’t quite have the chops or deliver the flexibility with customizing the Android OS. Once the TableConnect’s engineers gave the Inforce 6540 SBC a try, there was no turning back. The Inforce 6540 SBC is driven by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 805, one of the most powerful mobile processors that can be found in several high-end smartphones. TableConnect engineers were able to easily add new functions and adapt a few things to the open-source Android kernel provided along with the board support package (BSP) from Inforce.
Full flexibility in customizing Android OS and applications that run on the Inforce 6540 SBC
TableConnect added several new functions to the Android platform running on the Inforce 6540: Google Play Store and the ability to install 1 million apps; an HID-based interface to communicate with external smart buttons for functions such as Home, Back or orientation change; an internal and external watchdog; an interface to control external displays and active cooling systems, and the ability to change the screen orientation for HDMI devices.
The Inforce 6540 SBC drives multiple peripherals on the TableConnect, including 55- and 32-inch full HD displays, projective capacitive touch sensors with a fast response time of 5ms, 100 multi-touch points (though Android limits it to 10), and integrated stereo speakers. The Inforce 6540 SBC also provides excellent connectivity via BT4.1, dual-channel/dual-stream WiFi, and GbE. Location based apps can also be enabled by the onboard GPS/GNSS capability. The 6-DoF motion sensors (Accel, Gyro) on the SBC add to developing unique applications. TableConnect engineers are quite impressed with the performance of the Inforce 6450 SBC, which is available with the Android Lollipop (5.0.2) release and support for a 13MP Sony camera adapter card (ACC-1H30). With its native ability to capture and display 4K Ultra HD video (H.265 hardware-assisted decodes), future possibilities with the TableConnect are enormous. Here’re a couple of videos that demo the product:
Inforce Computing Desk
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Have you wondered what would it take to implement a modern embedded system design with a system-on-module (SOM) as opposed to building your entire system from scratch? What are some of the clear advantages to designing with a SOM? Are you perennially stuck in the build-vs-buy argument on whether or not to design the most time-consuming and complex compute portions of an embedded system in-house? What’s a carrier board and how to design a custom one that can be re-used by new SOMs that come down the line? Is your design going to be obsoleted because of a lack of a microprocessor roadmap from your semiconductor vendor and upward/cross-compatibility of your custom carrier boards? Are you missing your market windows and are looking for a solution that addresses time-to-market issues and cost escalations? Have you hit the limits of your current system’s compute power? Would you like to obtain access to high-performance and low-power state-of-the-art Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors without the need to license them?
Inforce Computing offers a clear path to designing embedded systems with micro-SOMs
To find out answers to the above questions and kick-start your embedded design with the latest Inforce 6501 Micro SOM, please download a whitepaper on the subject here. Should you have further questions after reading it, please reach out to us.
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