"Oh Really!" Department: World's First "Intelligent" Media Player?

May 13, 2010 by Dave Haynes

This is a reach, to put it mildly. From a press release:

AOpen America Inc.,  the world’s leading ultra small-form-factor computer system manufacturer and digital signage solution provider has entered into an OEM licensing agreement with iSIGN Media Solutions Inc to embed iSIGN’s patent-pending Bluetooth(R) interactive software technology into AOpen’s digital media players. The move has led to the creation of the world’s first multi-function media player, capable of providing content management, Bluetooth(R) message broadcasting and data logging of consumer responses into a single unit.

Fundamentally, consumers are able to interact with iSIGN-enhanced digital signs by using their mobile handsets. The new multi-function models will provide the digital signage industry with both cost savings, added smarts and convenience never before available.

“We are pleased to be working with iSIGN Media to introduce a world’s first in digital signage technology,” said Dale Tsai, President of AOpen America. “iSIGN Media provides us with much needed business intelligence functionality to help our customers achieve new cost benefits while taking advantage of the latest in digital signage innovation.” The exclusive agreement will enable AOpen to develop additional multifunction media players and digital engines available to all markets worldwide including retail, municipal and public applications.

Ok, so you get a possible pass on having a Bluetooth transmitter IN the Aopen box, but that’s about it. The more typical and very low cost option is to stick a USB transmitter dongle into the box. I checked with a Bluetooth marketing guy to confirm that.

Running the Bluetooth app on a box that also has a digital signage app running is not a biggie.

The world’s first intelligent or multi-function player assertions are just loopy, and ignore endless numbers of devices doing multiple tasks. Just one example – digital signage player PCs that run that app as well as a separate app from a different vendor for audience counting.

Intelligent also suggests the many thousands of other PC players out there are just dumb devices

Streamlining the offer is not a bad thing, but a worthwhile announcement can go sideways and just get people rolling their eyes when the vendors makes claims that can’t hold up to scrutiny. Very silly.

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