Parallel Worlds : Sweden’s Android Powered Display – Friend or Frenemy of DOOH

Manolo Almagro, Q Division Managing Partner

This weeks Parallel Worlds is brought to you from a place known as “the land of the midnight sun” -mostly due to its seasonal phenomenon where the inhabitants experience 24 hours of daylight- during the summer months. Welcome to Sweden, the country that gave us, blond supermodels,  IKEA, Sony Ericsson, Volvo and last but not least. ABBA.

For your reading pleasure, – Here’s a product that could be either a “friend” or “frenemy” to the companies that offer proprietary DOOH software/hardware platforms.

Android Powered DisplayThe world’s first Android powered “connected” TV. Born and bred in captivity by The people of Lava, a swedish company that makes home electronics. This display comes in 3 sizes – 42″, 47″, 55″ includes a keyboard and mouse. The coolest part about this display? Its on-board processor runs the Android OS which inherently allows it to run some of the widgets and apps currently available on Google’s App Marketplace (think Apple’s App Store). Although this display not marketed as a DOOH platform, it doesn’t take a lot of forward thinking to see the potential here.

This product is the shape of things to come, and it flies squarely in the face of the leading DOOH platform providers that would rather convince you to use their product than to innovate or build your own – case in point is this recent blog article by my good friend Bill Gerba (please note: Bill is a very good friend and I respect him immensely, however we do differ in opinion when it comes to this topic).

Here’s my take. Android brings together all the things that to this day continue to cripple the rapid adoption of digital out of home. It offers 3 key things (out of the box) that our current crop of DOOH solutions can not.

(1) Open Standards and built-in device interoperability, (2) A proven, internet scalable, open-source platform and thriving developer community, (3) Built-in access to the immense power of Google’s application engines, as well as very tight integration with Google’s growing ecosystem of Android powered mobile devices.

Much like Apple’s iPad, this device is carving out a new category of personal electronics for consumers. With each new type of device, there will be new user experiences and yet another way people will expect to able to interact with public information displays in the near future. My hope is that the smart DOOH platform providers will see the potential of these type of devices and extend their platforms to exploit the power of Google and Android. If you can’t beat them, join them – I always say…

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