The Open Hand Kitchen at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville serves about 12,000 meals a month to anyone that comes to the lunch or dinner service. We installed two digital signs in the OHK to display important partner messages, campus announcements, and the daily menu.
Asus Chromebits are used to run Google’s Chrome Sign Builder extension. The Chromebit is a stick PC running Chrome OS and plugs in to an HDMI port on the TV. Chrome Sign Builder schedules and displays the content.
Content is created using Google Slides, which feeds into Chrome Sign Builder.
Wemo Mini Smart Plugs are connected to each television and Chromebit. An IFTTT schedule runs twice daily to turn on and off the smart plugs for each meal service. Having the TVs run only during the meal service lengthens the life of the TVs and conserves energy.
The TVs are the biggest expense for this projects. Chromebits are around $90. An annual Chrome Enterprise license of $24 is required for each Chromebit so the stick can run in kiosk mode. IFTTT, Chrome Sign Builder, and Google Slides are free. Smart plugs can be had for about $25 each and are only necessary for this application because of the remote location away from my office. Wi-Fi is required for automation and to load content to the Chromebits.