Good people of the DailyDOOH, – hearken unto me as I usher in today’s announcement from Adobe Inc, – “Fear not, as I bring you all tidings of great joy” Introducing… (insert trumpet fanfare here) Adobe’s Open Screen Project bringing hope to the bleak landscape of non-conformity and zero standardization in our current world offering of DOOH platforms. As you all know, it is the lack of standardization & interoperability that has been the digital signage industry’s public enemy number one.
But with Adobe’s new mandate I imagine a world where the same platform that delivers content to my digital signage networks, is the same one as my set-top box, my mobile device and all my rich internet applications (RIA) – not to mention, this means we can now count on a common reference dataset that can offer up all the detailed analytics & metrics we’ve come to know and love about the internet and mobile applications. Ah, if only…
If I was a betting man, I’d be putting my money on mother Adobe’s enabling technologies vs POPAIs attempt to create an digital standards steering committee. Why? – the DOOH segment is still much too small of a niche, not to mention our solution providers have too much to lose, what will compel them to allow interoperability – Consider the world RIA development community of Flash, Flex and AIR, thee are the meek who will inherit the earth, trust me, its just a matter of time when they develop extension to run an Adobe Media Player based digital signage widget, combine this with a global partner like Akamai or EdgeCast and now your talking! – behold the new ecosystem of content distribution networks. You may ask “Manolo, why such angst?” truth be known, I participated in “the first” POPAI digital steering committee held in the late 90s, nothing good EVER came from that effort- this second attempt seems more like the movie “Groundhog Day” to me.
My advice to the current crop of digital signage solution providers, hedge your bets and start planning a migration path for your legacy systems to adopt Adobe’s new platform as part of your playback/delivery systems somewhere down the line. As for those shopping for solutions, 3-5 years from now, you’ll most likely want to make some changes to your enterprise roll-outs in order to take advantage of emerging technologies. You should consider a future proofing strategy that steers clear of buying proprietary playback appliances, otherwise you’ll be stuck with your software choice, stick with a computing hardware standard reference platform that gives you an upgrade path and the flexibility to switch out your software in the future. For crying out-loud, take a look at that list of partner company logos – its going to be HUGE!.