It is important to realize that the standard only covers the communication protocol on the track. As long as it is not extended further than the basic track level communications for train control, creativity will be encouraged rather than stifled.
This protocol is very basic and does not require any particular hardware. The Digitrax Complete Train Control System incorporates the DCC protocols for interoperability reasons but has not been held back by them. Digitrax has developed and marketed automatic reversing boosters, decoders with 128 speed steps and user customizable speed tables, mobile decoders with onboard functions and lighting effects, stationary decoders with sophisticated routing and control logic, transponding for layout feedback and LocoNet, our communications network for model railroads. None of these things are included in the "standard" but all are interoperable with products that use the protocol.