Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Diving In - Windows 10 IoT Core for Digital Signage - Part 2, Do

Diving In - Windows 10 IoT Core for Digital Signage - Part 2, Do

In Part 1, we looked at why you might use Windows 10 IoT Core and started exploring the platform.

There are plenty of awesome things you could build with an Windows 10 IoT Core device.  If this is a hobby, a solution to to internal/personal problem or a point solution at work, you probably don't need to create a commercial device.

However, if you want to bring your solution to market-

  1. Publish your app on the Windows Store. Export a package
  2. Find a device.  Commercial devices tend to be more expensive than a Raspberry Pi, but there are some advantages
    1. Warehousing, logistics, assembly and imaging
    2. Warranty and support
    3. Certifications and other material required for some environments/countries
    4. Roadmaps and supply chain predictability
    5. Some OEMs will even build images as part of a hardware partnership
  3. Build an image.  Ask yourself some questions:
    1. What's your risk appetite for updates?
    2. What does the out of box experience look like?
    3. Do you need remote management?
    4. Will the user be able to reimage or recover the OS on the device?
    5. How will settings management be performed?
  4. Making products is hard. There's always a million little details, so don't forget to draw the rest of the owl
Even if I didn't work for an OEM, I would recommend finding an OEM partner that could help shepherd this process and provide pre-existing pieces for as much as possible.  The overall point is for you to work on all the pieces that make your solution a unique entry into the market without the hardware/OS/configuration/logistics/cat herding getting in the way.

Diving In - Windows 10 IoT Core for Digital Signage - Part 1, Explore

Diving In - Windows 10 IoT Core for Digital Signage - Part 1, Explore

Exploring a new technology stack can be really hard when you are just getting started.  However, it isn't unusual to just need a push in the right direction to start.  Based on customer questions and some common themes I see in the community, I thought I'd write up a short guide for exploring Windows 10 IoT Core, a lightweight purpose built OS for applications that blend the line between traditional embedded and general purpose computing systems.

Why Windows 10 IoT Core?

I've written a lot about Windows 10 IoT Core, Now Micro IoT Player and even made a few videos if you want to get the 30 min version.

  • A streamlined, purpose built version of Windows for running UWP apps and easy to cloud enable
  • Secure by default and regularly patched
  • Available on supportable, commercial grade hardware


  1. A UWP app you want to run.  Start with a sample if you don't have a universal app.  Or Now Micro Player if you just want to run some HTML5 content.
  2. A device-  The Raspberry Pi doesn't have hardware accelerated video, but is a great exploratory device.  If you are building a commercial product, be sure to understand your case, certification, display resolution and cost requirements.
  3. Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard - This makes finding your device's IP and some other tasks easier. The Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard also will download and image SD cards for your Raspberry Pi.

Things to Explore

  1. Remote PowerShell - PowerShell is my favorite way to automate a job away and there are a ton of commands you can run on the system.
  2. Windows Device Portal - In place of a local GUI, use Windows Device Portal to manage the device.  The CPU and GPU performance graphs are the best way to figure out if you have enough hardware for the job.
  3. Windows 10 IoT Dashboard - If you have a bunch of devices, this is the easiest way to discover them.
  4. Azure IoT Central - A SaaS management solution for IoT that is a quick setup.