Himblick: Raspberry Pi as a digital signage box

Goal: set up a Raspberry Pi 4B as a digital signage box, together with Ulrike.

We called the project Himblick, from Himbeere (raspberry) and Blick (view / gaze).

From the point of view of the underlying debian/raspbian setup, the idea is to make it as solid and reproducible as possible, so that if we're ever asked to set up and maintain 100 of 1000 of them, it will be ok.

A box should be created with a script, not by hand, and should require as little maintenance as possible.

This is the first of a series of posts with the notes taken during development.

The code is at https://github.com/himblick/himblick

Example use cases

The museum ceiling

A museum deploys a Himblick media player and a screen attached to the ceiling of a very high exhibition room.

Nobody wants to have to climb all the way up to do maintenance on the Himblick box, ever.

The museum rooms

A museum deploys 4 screens with a Himblick media player in each of their 6 common rooms, showing a slideshow about their next exhibitions.

When the exhibitions change, they want to perform the slideshow update once, not 24 times, and it cannot be expected that the museum staff performs complicated technical tasks.

The kindergarden entrance

A little kindergarden deploys a screen with a Himblick media player next to the reception, where they publish slideshows with last month's kids' drawings.

If they do not want to bother with setting up WiFi, they can just copy the pictures directly into the Himblick SD card.

Deploying a thousand displays

Himblick works really well! Everyone wants us to set up Himblick for them, and we find ourselves needing to setup 1000 RaspberryPi devices.

This should be something to celebrate, not something to dread because setting one up is so much work that setting up a thousand becomes unthinkable.