Digital Display Convergence

A lot of people have been asking about why we have gone so quiet in Rise Vision and why we can't talk about what we're building next and we knew the quantity of these inquiries would only increase with DSE next week, so we thought it was time to share a bit about where we're going. We have been watching digital signage, technology, business and consumer trends and we realized a few things:

  • Displays will no longer be passive one-way dialogue devices, within the next year or two it will be rare that you can't touch and interact with a display, they will become two-way dialogue portals, communicating in all directions, all at once.
  • Everyone will have a physical and digital life; a digital presence on one or more social networks that compliments their physical place in the world and the message needs to reach them in both places.
  • The personal display, or what we are currently calling mobile devices, will dominate and the large public format display will become a beacon seeking to draw our personal devices in to whatever message they want us to participate in.
  • The software and hardware to drive all of this is a commodity, those of us who make a living in digital signage will need to adopt products that provide a platform from which to create unique value for our clients, otherwise we are just order takers, creating nothing innovative, left with only one tactic to win business - fight on price.
  • The days of locked in, long term, heavy cancellation fee contracts are gone, no one in their right mind will accept this anymore. Our platform has to be flexible and allow our partners to come and go as needed, ramp up or contract on a moments notice.
  • Our partners need the freedom to extend what we do with no restrictions so that they can move as fast and as nimbly as they possibly can - our partners need open source solutions with extensive API's that provide them with the ability to create what they want, when they want.
  • Our partners need a forum to bring their innovative wares to market, the means of creating and selling their intellectual property on a mass basis rather than one-off customizations.
  • Simple is the order of the day. If there is demand for crazy complexity by 20% of your market that causes the remaining 80% to spend all of their time trying to remember how to use your application then don't do it. Make simple, easy to use and eloquent products. These are the web apps that will dominate tomorrow.
  • All innovation is happening on the web. Okay, maybe not all, but what is left is such a small fraction it isn't worth considering. Our platform has to leverage open web formats, formats that no one can claim ownership of or demand royalties from, we need to leverage and re-purpose what is readily available in HTML today and HTML5 tomorrow.
  • The sky is the limit for digital signage. Our market is growing by leaps and bounds and our partners need the tools to scale their businesses in an unlimited way, with no restrictions or capacity worries.

Given these inevitable trends we don't think this is about digital signage any longer, we feel the market is even bigger than we all thought and we refer to this opportunity as a digital display convergence.

To meet this convergence we realized we needed a radical new approach, and we knew we just weren't big enough to make this all happen on our own, we needed a really big lever so we borrowed the biggest one we could find - Google - and we set about creating:

  • A web platform for display management on top of the Google global network - there isn't anything bigger, more robust, reliable, or scalable.
  • An open sourced browser app that runs on almost any operating system, device, and network, and it has open API's for everything.
  • Display content based upon HTML and HTML5 - we want you to re-purpose and cross-publish web assets everywhere - and add any content you please with the Google Gadget API.

I know the above is vague and to be honest it is meant to be. We're not ready just yet to reveal all but within the next few months we will begin beta testing on a very limited basis and if all goes well we will have a full release by early summer. To all of our partners many thanks for you patience, we're hoping you'll find the wait well worth it.