It seems like lately technology is getting smaller and smaller. With the advent of smart phones, more power and features can be fit into a much smaller package. The latest innovation for digital signage to come out of this environment is the small HDMI “thumb” or “stick” player. These small players are the size of USB thumb drives, and the plug into the HDMI input on a display screen much like a thumb drive plugs into the USB drive on a computer. The ability to fit components into such a small case has allowed this devices to take off, but they are not a perfect solution.
These minuscule thumb or stick players eliminate the need for wiring and only take up a port on the display. They usually use WIFI to connect to the internet, and some even have USB hookups for a mouse and keyboard. Others function mainly as streaming devices. Though these players are extremely convenient, they do have some shortcomings. They still do not have enough power to play advanced animations or dynamic content. A lot of these devices do not offer much storage, and pull directly from the web. Many of these players that can run more advanced animations primarily stream from another device. These use the power of the other device to perform a lot of the more complex tasks.
A stick or thumb player would do very well playing JPGS or some simple videos. For a very simple application, with a good WIFI signal, a stick or thumb payers would do rather well. These players do not offer anything fancy at this time, and run off of Android distributions, so any content delivery programs built for Windows would not currently work. For those who want customizable content, dynamic feeds, or custom animations, a traditional player may be a better option.