I’m going to take a break from my series on the K-Array install currently ongoing to talk about something that came out of left field this week. Perhaps you received an email ad for it, perhaps this is the first you are hearing of it. It is the Crestron App Market. For those of you familiar with programming Crestron systems, this market will feel very familiar. It appears to be a market interface for Crestron’s exisiting Integrated Partners Module download section. The only thing that is different is that no Crestron ID (i.e. login and password) are required. At least from what I can tell.
On this application market you will find modules listed by device type or manufacturer. These are modules you can download and insert into your Simpl Windows programs without all the time and effort it may take to write a seven or eight step process. That is a great idea. Especially for those of us who aren’t programmers every day, but are the Crestron support staff for our companies. However, Crestron has taken an already existing offering (their Integrated Partners Module section), made it public and made it better. This is where the genius comes in. You can make your own modules and sell them on the Crestron Application Market.
I will forgo the obvious Apple comparisons and move on to what makes this such a great idea. Crestron has given programmers an outlet for a new revenue stream. Instead of hitting a customer up for an outrageous amount for one custom module to make their specific gazinta work, you can charge them a nominal fee, or nothing, and recoup the costs on the Crestron App market; possibly making more than you would have with just the one-off programming job. This goes for Crestron Service Providers (formerly known as CAIPs), integrators who have their own in-house programmers, or anyone who knows how to program Crestron modules and has access to the software to do so.
Crestron has taken some heat over the last few years from some programmers. Their biggest complaint is they are making the programming “too easy” so anyone can do it. There is System Builder (their configuration tool) and Crestron Studio. However, this new revenue stream that Crestron has basically handed to professional programmers should be seen as a sign that the gang from New Jersey has not forgotten about their geeky brothers and sisters who poor out their blood, sweat, and tears every day working to make these systems work.
Crestron will need to vet these modules for best practices and quality control. Once that is done, this app store could be a busy marketplace for programmers, CSPs, and integrators. In addition, it will be a place where in-house programmers can go to get a step-up in servicing their existing systems. I know as the Crestron tech for my college, it will be one of the first stops to make when switching out a new projector or other components.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.