The Sleeping Giant Has Awakened…

Manolo Almagro, Weekly Columnist


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!.

2 Responses to “The Sleeping Giant Has Awakened…”

  1. Ranga Raj Says:

    I agree that this is significant. We have been betting on Adobe for some time now and developed our platform based on this – the advantage being that the ad metrics, delivery that drives the Internet and made it what it is – is predominatly if not entirely on Flash based ads. Flash now has the ability to handle video upto HD quality and with the support of STB’s (which was not seen as a consistent platform for experience according to Adobe due to the flavours of O.S as opposed to PC’s and mobile platforms), and ad measurement from the likes of doubleclick etc, the Digital OOH industry could ride on an extension / modification of what is in the internet. ARM that sits in most STB’s promising a good experience delivery of Adobe would be great! The only other thing that needs standardization is “products” – such as banner ads, scroll ads etc..

  2. Robert Grawet Says:

    If you look at EVERY industry; it always comes from the many to the few as far as technology goes.

    I really like how Manolo has brought this story out and am myself a big believer in Flash and Adobe.

    Thank you Manolo………………..May the force be with you!

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