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BroadSign Open Standard
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BroadSign Open Standard



There is a known, universal problem in the digital signage industry today, being the fragmentation of platforms. To build a technological innovation in this space, one must be part of a software ...

There is a known, universal problem in the digital signage industry today, being the fragmentation of platforms. To build a technological innovation in this space, one must be part of a software company, integrate many times with custom providers or develop their own platform. When everyone begins to build their own software platform, they do not communicate. In fact, they are speaking entirely different languages and getting lost in translation. This problem has been discussed at length and is directly caused by a lack of standardization.

This presentation will explain how the future of innovation is not in the creation of new software platforms but the arrival at several de facto options that will create certain standards.



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  • There is a known, universal problem in the digital signage industry today, being the fragmentation of softwareplatforms.
  • I’ve been in this industry for 10 years now, and I continue to be amazed by the proliferation of digital signage software platforms. It’s fascinating: what is it about our industry that is so special? I mean, there are very few companies out there that start off and say “let’s build our own spreadsheet program because Word is too expensive”. Yet somehow, in our industry, homegrown software still being developed, and new companies are trying to penetrate the space with new offerings.Competition is a good thing of course, but it also creates problems. If someone in the industry wants to build a technological innovation in this space, they have three options:- integrate roughly 300 times with custom providers- develop their own platform and hope to get traction. - My favorite: work at broadsign
  • When everyone begins to build their own software platform, what happens is that they do not communicate. In fact, they are speaking entirely different languages and getting lost in translation.
  • This problem has been discussed at length and people seem to understand the issue. What they might not realize, however, is that they are feeling certain pains directly caused by a lack of standardization.At BroadSign, we believe that digital signage platforms have reached a certain level of maturity. What is needed now is to focus our innovation and smart content that runs of top of the platform. Advertisers will figure out ways to air content on a screen that will directly connect with other aspects of the campaign. An example of this are digital signage campaigns integrated with social networking. If you are joining us this afternoon, you will hear more about this concept in Stephen Randall’s presentation.
  • Several solutions have been developed to address the standardization issue, yet none of them are cutting it.
  • SMIL was initially created as a w3c standard in 1997 as a way to display a powerpoint-like media presentation in a client software like real networks (yes we remember real networks?) and IE.Recently it has been promulgated by certain hardware vendors as a way to interoperate their players and CMS platforms.- At the end of the day though, SMIL is just overly simplistic and that’s why it has not seen major success. The next area of innovation is really in smart players.
  • Please allow me to talk a little bit about Flash because I believe it’s important for our industry. Despite it being almost universally reviled by most tech pundits, most, if not all interesting dynamic content is still being produced in flash. It’s cross platform and provides the closest thing our industry has to a common runtime with a certain level of guaranteed functionality. The common objections to flash boil down to three things: 1- Security. In digital signage, this is really a non-issue, even if you are running an older version of flash because YOU control the content that plays. It’s not like the web, where a mis-click can take you to a malware site. 2- Performance. Once again, in digital signage, you control the content. So if you need more performance, optimize your content. We are not talking about a scenario where you load a web page and your browser slows down because of too many flash ads. So we are seeing the the industry consolidate around Flash (several BroadSign successes with Flashinclude LocaModa and the NEC Vukunet platform). Yet despite the apparent standard, Flash alone is not good enough. Why not? Allow me to demonstrate. Say you operate a billboard on the vegas strip. To promote mobile engagement, you decide to develop a game that people can control with their smartphones. Flash would seem like a good option for this, and it is, but your game needs to be triggered to start at a specific event, and once done, tell the player to resume it’s loop. Those require platform APIs.This example really highlights the crux of the issue: Flash alone is not enough of a standard. The platform itself needs to provide a standard API smart content.
  • HTML 5 of course, provides as much of not more capability than flash. However, the runtime consistency guarantees are just not there yet due to differences in their HTML 5 implementations. These issues will eventually resolve themselves, and HTML5 can seriously displace flash in the industry. Nevertheless, the same concerns apply to HTML5 as they do to flash : that is to say, in and of itself it is not enough. There needs to be a standard API to allow the dynamic content to interact with the player itself.
  • Two or three platforms will emerge to be used by the majority of networks around the world.
  • What’s interesting is that BroadSign, with its growing market share and a mature API that many have integrated with, is in a promising position to become a de facto industry standard. We have alreadyseen early integration with companies such as Seesaw, Booking Dooh, DO Media, rVUE andVistar.
  • Either through accelerating the software migration process or by creating middleware that allows one platform to control other software, a de facto standard could be the Rosetta Stone that the digitial signage industry has been waiting for.
  • Once a de facto standard has been set, smart content will become a whole lot smarter.BroadSign offers two sets of APIs:BroadSign Open Cloud, which allows centralized, network-wide control of players using open standards such as SOAP and WSDL.BroadSign Open Player, which allows for localized control of an individual player using a simple XML-based protocol.
  • We have an API that’s on the server side, in the cloud.
  • Mediplay Connect: Able to use BroadSign Open to construct a completely self-serve doctors portal that allowed the company to scale their business without adding staff.
  • OOH Media: The Signz static booking program has been integrated with BroadSign’s platform, allowing the traditionally static advertiser to introduce digital under a common umbrella.
  • We like to think of theCreator as the poster child of what’s possible with the BroadSign Open platform in terms of building new products and apps.This kind of process can be daunting to some, so we’ve made it pure and simple. We took all the complexity of the BroadSign platform, including it’s advanced features and functionality, and streamlined it so that anyone can use Creator to build a web interface. This product is extremely powerful, while being a piece of cake to operate.
  • The Open platform does not limit itself to controlling all players macroscopically by the server and functions on a per-player basis. We’ve “opened” up the player’s behavior and functionality through a series of APIs and hooks. We call the combination of these tools the BroadSign Open Player, the foundation for smart content. Since Jody will be discussing this in his upcoming presentation, let’s go over several of the Player’s highlights.
  • Triggers, conditions, loop query and custom incidents. Geolocation – Ex. TMT Factory: GPS Bus Triggers Sensors – Ex. Asoma TV Parking: The screen will only start to deliver ads when a motion sensor is triggered by a vehicle driving into the garage. Smart Loops – Ex. Outcast: Smart targeting. Based on the viewer’s profile, the content loop is automatically redesigned to appeal to the user.Loop Control (skip, play, next, stop)Geometry control (share screen, suspend/resume)Conditions and triggers
  • In conclusion, we believe that the future of innovation for our industry lies not inmaking new platforms (these are disappearing and there will only be a few at the end). We have built this platform and now want developers to create apps on top of it. The future of innovation will be smart apps running on BroadSign’s platform.The industry has been talking about standardization for years. My personal belief is that the issue of fragmentation will not be solved until one vendor takes over. BroadSign is currently seeing a strong trend for consolidation, in that many recent wins have been conversions. The API Standard does not exist yet, but I am confident that BroadSign will be one of the few vendors/standards moving forward.

BroadSign Open Standard BroadSign Open Standard Presentation Transcript

  • Daniel Parisien VP Marketing and Strategy BroadSign Open Standard
  • State of Interoperability in the Digital Signage Industry Why Standards?
  • State of the Industry: Too Many Platforms... What?! ANOTHER digital signage platform?
  • State of the Industry: ...Don’t Work Together The Tower of Babel: Each software platform has its own language
  • State of the Industry: Time for Apps, Not More Platforms From the technology standpoint, this is the time for Digital Signage apps that can run on standard platforms.
  • Limited Success Attempts at Standardization
  • Attempts at Standardization: SMIL SMIL
  • Attempts at Standardization: Adobe Flash
  • Attempts at Standardization: HTML 5?
  • One Software Platform to Rule Them All Exploring the De Facto Option
  • De Facto Standards: Cross-Network Buying Platforms
  • De Facto Standards: Multiple Export Formats
  • De Facto Standards: Two Levels of Standardization Open Cloud Macromanagement Open Player Micromanagement
  • Network-Wide Control BroadSign Open Cloud
  • BroadSign Open Cloud: Automation
  • BroadSign Open Cloud: Integration
  • BroadSign Open Cloud: Creator Creator. Content creation made easy
  • Player-Local Control BroadSign Open Player
  • BroadSign Open Player: Highlights Triggers and Synchronization Conditional Playback Loop Query Interactivity Custom Incidents Synchronization Monitor
  • Developers Wanted! BroadSign Open Platform
  • Daniel Parisien VP Marketing and Strategy daniel.parisien@broadsign.com