30 Years of Digital Signage

We all talk about digital signage systems as if they are the wave of the future, or at the very least as if they are very “now”.

To be proven wrong, you need only take a look at the Displaymaker signage system, marketed by Eastman Kodak circa 1988.

When I was at Audio Visual Systems, Inc. in the 80s,  we referred to this as the poor man’s VideoShow ( another blast from the past).  it featured 320 x 200 graphics,  with 64 colors which could be connected via a digital CGA connector or as composite video. It had three or four fonts, which were available from its soft touch chiclet keyboard. It ran from 360 K floppy disks, and had a little infrared remote control if you were using it for presentation purposes.  it could also be set to run in a loop,  driving a composite video monitor. With its soft case, and that special pen and tablet for graphics, it could set you back several thousand dollars.

No, I never sold one, nor did anyone else at the company, as we were involved heavily in the early computer interfacing and projection market. We actually brought this product in for an older salesperson who was not comfortable with computers, but I guess he couldn’t become comfortable with this either.

Unfortunately, this is yet another example of a market that was pioneered by the company we called the Great Yellow Father, far too early for the market, and with far too little marketing support from a company that couldn’t figure out how to put its digital technologies into little yellow boxes.

 

JRREastman Kodak Displaymaker