(Originally posted on the ORMMA blog)
Creating rich media takes a lot of work. Enough work so that creators are forced to justify their investments. And if you can't justify the time and money it takes, then cheaper solutions prevail. Less-rich media fills the void.
ORMMA is about doing more than just filling up ad space. It's about being able to create compelling ads – the kind that takes creative work – and getting a return on your investment. Wide ORMMA adoption means a wide-ranging audience. For truly rich media ad units. And that's a pay off for consumers as well as advertisers and publishers.
So ORMMA is not another SDK. It is a specification that any SDK can comply with to eliminate choices that limit designers. Instead it provides new choices that promote truly rich media creative on mobile.
For example, today creative development on mobile begins with choice – choices that limit your audience. Choose a platform. Will you focus on one or more of iPhone, iPad, Android devices (1.2 or 2.0), WindowsMobile, RIM, Palm? Choose a screen. 320x480, 768x1024, 480x800, landscape or portrait? Choose a technology. Webkit, Java, ObjectiveC, Flash, Silverlight?
Each one of these choices limits what you can do, where you can place your ad, and ultimately limits the time and money you invest to develop great ads. With these kinds of limits, creativity itself is limited. What else can rich media ads become except ads for the lowest common denominator?
So the first principle of ORMMA is to remove those limits. ORMMA provides designers with technology they already know – HTML5 – and a container to run it on modern mobile devices. Choosing to create rich media with ORMMA standards removes the need to choose between competing platforms, OS, or technology. Web and ad designers use the tools they already have to independently create compelling ads.
- network - device reports on its network connectivity
- orientation - device reports on orientation changes
- screen - device reports on the screen size
- heading - device reports compass direction
- location - device reports its location
- shake - device reports being shaken
- sms - device can send an SMS message
- tilt - device report any tilt changes
- phone - device can make a phone call
- email - device can compose email
- calendar - device can create a calendar entry
- camera - device can take a picture
With this level of support available to designers, the classic maze game becomes easy. And be more rich. With a shake to start over. Using the current desktop as a board. That stores a coupon in the camera roll if they win. A designer can test this on a mobile browser (there are ORMMA containers for the web, too!) and then push it out confidently to Android, iPhone, iPad, WindowsMobile without modifications.
ORMMA means that the stuff that makes mobile exciting – location and spatial awareness, on-the-go video, high-res vibrant screens, HD audio, photo gallery, calendar, email, phone and SMS – this is the stuff that everyone can use to make rich media ads exciting. It’s all built into the ORMMA specification.
It’s easy to use. Here’s the code to start up and get location-based data.
So what does it mean about investing in rich media on mobile? To me it means that the bar for the lowest common denominator has been raised. The cost to create immersive experiences that engage users has dropped. And the return on that investment has extended to a larger audience without compromise. So my question is, what rich media experience will you create with ORMMA? The work you put into it can finally pay off.
Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and many other leading Internet enablers are now all involved in an active debate on how to move forward with content authoring in the multi-platform world. The launch of the tablet device has prompted an escalating discussion on the merits of technologies like Adobe Flash versus Object C and HTML5. It has taken ridiculous proportions. While it didn’t bother anyone initially that smart phones often don’t support Flash, with the launch of the Apple iPad, many were starting to question why. I wrote a blog post on the lack of Flash on the iPhone about a year ago but Steve Job’s comments recently have really exposed the issue in a different light.
Once in possession of the device, the crazy idea of taking a golf club to it before even turning it on like Daniel Tosh did in this clip flashed through my head. But that would have been a really stupid thing to do. Minutes after using the device, it became obvious--this device stands up really well to all it was hyped to be.