Remember back to the heady days of the 1990s, when anybody with a business plan could conjure up millions of dollars of investment capital seemingly out of thin air. Back then, it was a sure sign that a technology or market or whatever had come of age when companies and organizations that seemingly had nothing to do with technology suddenly announced a brand new, state-of-the-art product. Marketing firms suddenly came out with technology products. Manufacturers became telecom companies. Everybody seemed to ride one wave after the next of technology fads made possible by the newly-popularized Internet. It seems that the time may have come for digital signage. I was taken somewhat by surprise by this announcement
from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
, describing their new product for... of all things... digital signage. Apparently the need for distance learning technology was so great at this institution, that they decided to build some high-end jukebox software on top of Windows XP. Obviously they didn't read my previous rant
about the build vs buy. Speaking of build vs. buy, after writing that article, I was contacted by somebody over at Progeny
, a company that makes customized Linux platforms. They're apparently looking at digital signage and self-service applications like interactive kiosks as new targets to provide Linux platforms for. While WireSpring's
(and specifically, FireCast OS
, our Linux-based operating system) will continue to be built in-house, I'm happy to see a company that's willing to take on some of the hardest (and often least rewarding) parts of OS development, leaving customers to focus on their core differentiators, like market-specific features. This sort of thing certainly makes this technology more accessible to companies that would like to provide an appliance-like experience, but lack the technical skills in-house to customize the very low-level portions of the Linux kernel.