Overview

Spark is a software platform that installs on the hardware devices that control your screens, such as embedded computers in tablets or external players for televisions.

The files that get installed are collectively called Spark Player. Once installed, Spark Player is controlled from the web-based Spark CMS on any computer.


Minimum Specs

The system requirements for Spark Player are:

Android 4.4+  (Windows support coming soon)

2GB

WiFi or Ethernet, only required for setup and content updates (Spark can function offline)

Operating System

RAM

Connectivity

 

Note that you may require additional specs depending on the interactive or media content you intend to present with Spark. The RAM, storage, GPU, and CPU all benefit playback performance of HD videos and apps.

 

Screen resolution and orientation

Spark supports both landscape and portrait orientations in any resolution. In the Spark CMS, simply adjust the interface resolution when Creating an Interface to match your screen. Interface resolution can be edited at any time.


Sourcing Hardware

Using your existing hardware

Spark Player can install on your existing hardware, provided it meets the minimum specs. To install Spark Player, you will need to provide the Android platform key* or have a rooted device**, which support system-level privileges and security functions.

Get in touch to discuss integrating with your existing hardware.

 

* Every Android device has a platform key assigned to system apps, which allows Spark Player to access important privileges such as putting your screen into kiosk mode. The platform key is paired to the ROM issued by the manufacturer. If the same ROM is being used across multiple devices, the same platform key will apply to all devices.

** Rooting your device may void the manufacturer's warranty, and may not enable all of Spark's features.

 

Getting new hardware

We're happy to coordinate your hardware purchase through trusted manufacturing partners. Please enquire for best rates.

If you have an existing display such as a television, Spark Plug is a lightweight and affordable minicomputer that comes preloaded with Spark Player. It connects to your display using the HDMI port.


Installation

Installation with Spark Plug

Spark Plug (a minicomputer) comes preloaded with Spark Player software. Simply plug the device into the HDMI port of your display and a 120V power source, and pair it with your WiFi network. Go to Device Registration below.

Spark Plugs come with a printed installation manual.

 

Installation on other hardware

Following a successful billing, Spark Player will be deployed to you with email instructions and a secure digital download link.

Open the link on each of your devices to download and install the Spark Player files. Alternatively you can download Spark Player to a portable USB device and distribute the software manually. Go to Device Registration below.

 

Device registration

Launch the installed Admin App to run Spark Player. You will prompted to login with your Spark CMS account. That's it - you can now use the Spark CMS to assign an interface to your device. See Publishing an Interface for more info.


Remote Management

See Publishing an Interface for details on how to put your interface on a screen device.

Brightness and volume

In the Spark CMS, go to the applicable interface, select Interface Settings in the toolbar, and adjust your settings in the bottom menu. See Creating an Interface for more.

Power on / off

We are currently developing HDMI Consumer Electronics Controls (CEC) integrations, which allow further abilities such as auto-scheduled shut downs and reboots.

Remote controls

Spark does not currently integrate with television remotes. Please enquire about a custom development project if this is a mandatory requirement for your installation.


Peripherals

Apps launched within Spark may connect with attached peripheral devices such as cameras and physical keyboards, and key searches can launch the onboard digital keyboard.

Spark's own widgets do not integrate with peripheral devices at this time.


Troubleshooting

Installation or device registration failure

If you have followed all of the steps in installation and have purchased enough device licenses, and are still encountering an error, please get in touch so we can help you out.

New content isn't syncing to the device

  • Make sure Spark Player is running.
  • Make sure you've saved your interface in the Spark CMS.
  • Make sure your device has a live network connection; if the Spark CMS cannot communicate with your device, it will bank the content update for the next connection.
  • Make sure your license is current.
  • Syncs will occur every 30 seconds; make sure you wait for it.
  • If the problem persists, try "Perform Content Sync" within the Admin Panel below.
  • If the problem still persists, try "Reboot Spark Software" within the Admin Panel.

Admin Panel

Within Spark Player, the Admin Panel is a privileged options menu to set up, debug, and edit a device, using touchscreen or mouse input. When launched using a secret process we give you, the menu takes up the full screen. It should be accessed only by your staff, and is not meant for public use.

The menu is scrollable list of options:

  • Device Info - displays Spark Software version and general information about the device.
  • Change PIN - change PIN number assigned during registration. Note: This can only be used with Spark CMS credentials.
  • Enable / Disable Kiosk Mode - shows / hides Android GUI elements to enable or disable Android launcher access. Kiosk mode should always be enabled for public usage of the device.
  • Wipe Local Cache - clears all files and data on the device, and clears all Spark platform connections, returning the device to its default state. Note that app caches (ie. internet browser form field data) will clear automatically when a user exits the respective app and returns to the kiosk menu.
  • Reboot Device - will reboot the device and return it to the Spark interface.
  • Perform Content Sync - forces an immediate content sync with the last-saved interface that has been assigned to the device.
  • Restart Spark Software - closes and restarts the Lobby and Admin apps.

Note you will be prompted to log in with your Spark CMS credentials or PIN number (PIN number is assigned during the registration process).

To exit the menu, click the Android back button on the bottom of the screen.