#ICYMI: Thank God No One Is Using the Stupid, Trying-to-Sound-Cool Term “IoT” at ISE – Ugh, But They Will at InfoComm

In 2016 some industry self-appointed pundits in the AV-industry were overusing the trite term known as the “Internet of Things” (aka IoT) way, way too much last year. I keep seeing content marketing and blogs using the term — as if we are really part of it. We aren’t.

Thank God we are in 2017 and we’re beyond that hype. But, are we?

Sure, the Internet of Things is really a real thing. But, it’s a buzzword – it means nothing — and, we’re a long way from being part of it. It reminds me of when we, as an entire industry, attempted to hijack a two-decade-old, established, protocol-based industry known as IT. We acted as if they wanted us to be part of their world by adding AV in front of it.

Really, AV/IT?

Shouldn’t it be called IT/AV? Aren’t they taking the lead here? Aren’t we trying to convince them to care about us? Aren’t they making most of the decisions here. Aren’t they in control of the budgets?

Look let’s be honest here. There is no question that we are heading the way of the network. I’ve written, extensively (and, quite honestly, maybe to the point of beating-a-dead-horse level) about how we’re — as an industry — heading towards a convergence of AV into IT. And, it didn’t start with technology or products. It started with them managing us. In the late 2000s, we saw AV departments being folded into IT departments, over and over. Or, downright being taken over by them.

Then came the gear. The Sony FX-50 was the first AV product I recall having a network port and from that point on, we’ve seen exponential growth of network ports, connectivity and control via the Ethernet and Internet.

See also Is the Microsoft Surface Hub An Overpriced Collaboration Board?
And, it’s coming fast and furious.

But, we are NOT leading this — we are the tail, they’re the dog.

We are not standards. We are analog. We have like seven test tools. We aren’t even really an “official” layer in a building’s wiring plans.

As we move closer towards the network, we will all see that we’re joining their world — their game. Their standards. Their protocols.

So, shouldn’t this really be termed IT/AV?

Yes, our “devices” will be part of the Internet of Things, but so are cars, so are J. Crew shirts, so are all Amazon.com packages, so are iPhones. Who cares?

We can use fancy terms, impressive sounding buzzwords and acronyms all we want, but as you likely already know, our clients don’t give a sh**. They just want this stuff to work.

Think about it. Isn’t it satisfying when you can wirelessly print from your iPhone — without loading any drivers, without connecting the printer to the network?

That’s how our stuff should work.

Then we can brag about being part of the stupid, hackneyed term IoT at ISE — in 2020.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..

  • Bryan

    I’m surprised some people aren’t referring to it as “Cloud of Things” since the word cloud is such an overused term for internet. Maybe CoT doesn’t look as Apple-esqued or as cool as IoT with the “i” and all…