From the somewhat unlikely locale of Puerto Rico (if I lived there I would not be hunched over indoors writing code for a living), comes another company taking the “freeconomics” approach to DS software.
According to a press release sent to me:
SAN JUAN, PR-March 31, 2008 – s3mer inc. announced today the beginning of beta testing of its digital signage software solution. The testing will be conducted in dozens of selected retail locations, and it will grow rapidly to hundreds in the following weeks.
Some of the features that will be available in the beta tests are: Mac OS X and Windows versions, live video, multiple shows with one player, podcast support and rss support.
Customers interested in participating in the second round of beta testing should visit www.s3mer.com and provide an email address in order to be contacted when the second round of testing begins.
The private beta testing will continue until April 21, 2008 when the public beta is expected to begin.
s3mer inc. aims to provide free digital signage software for small businesses that’s powerful and easy to use. The platform is based on open and widely available technologies.
The offer seems to be growing out of another company in San Juan, but it is not clear whether this is a spin-off or a staffer setting off on his own.
The web page is pretty much just a splash page for now, but it does make the rather provocative statement that this code is “Digital signage for humans.”
Which just confirms my thinking that I’ve been hanging out, for years, in this industry with a buncha monkeys.
My s3mer contact says they plan to make their money by upselling to premium services, a model similar to that of Infosigns (another freebie player).
I was thinking they should look at doing the user experience in Spanish – as almost every other software package out there, free or not, is delivered in English. And usually English only.
Turns out they have it in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Very clever.
One other note … how the hell does one say that company name???
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.