AV Futures?


Last week the Integrate Expo took place in Melbourne, Australia and one thing seemed to stand out, according to rAVe, which was LG’s OLED Wallpaper (below). Is this indeed the future of AV? Is it the future of display technology? You can be the judge, I do have my own thoughts.

There was more – Extron featured their Quantum Ultra 4K Video Wall Processor, IDK Corporation showcased Its IP-Ninjar 4K Video Over IP Solution With AptoVision, Epson talked about the importance of screen size in education applications and more.

With what we see at the trade shows like this, ISE and InfoComm in the U.S., as well as what we read and hear about – what is AV at this point? Is it really a melded part of an acronym or does it simply stand on its own as a technology entity? Is it time to consider it in essence as a true subset of a bigger picture?

When we talk about collaboration, can we separately categorize hardware, software and cloud – for example the videoconferencing hardware that Logitech provides which then becomes a complimentary component to the solutions in their partner environment which are cloud and software?  Is this the true answer to conferencing in small conference and huddle spaces which have become a main focus today?

What about such solutions as the InFocus Mondopad or the Microsoft Surface Hub, is this AV or have we crossed over to a whole other realm of technology with these? Look at all of the solutions that InFocus has to offer for collaboration and this becomes evident. Is Prysm technology just display-based? How about Oblong Mezzanine? The Nureva Span system provided a whole new way of looking at collaboration through ideation. AV? Maybe the projectors, that’s about all I can see with this award winning solution (rAVe’s #1 at InfoComm 2015). Don’t tire me out with SMART Board discussion or comparisons to please – that’s an over and done subject already.

How about control and automation? This may just need to be separated from standard AV discussion once and for all as today there are a multitude of ways to do this – over the network, via the cloud as well as proximity-based. There are more ways to do it with minimal or even no programming at all as with the new Kramer Control, leveraging the latest in cloud and software technologies. In a recent discussion a known industry executive stated that he would like to refer to them as software developers, and face it we live in a world that continues to grow and drive in terms of software and cloud solutions.

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When discussing hardware – projectors, displays, audio, plates – this may be where the true AV discussion lies at this point. Hardware room installs will still occur for those who continue to subscribe to this conversation, and maybe InfoComm needs an AV Pavilion where these technologies have their own area at the show. The other Pavilions dedicated to UCC, Digital Signage, IoT will exist, but how about adding a Software and Cloud Pavilion? Now that may drive further software and cloud solutions development within the industry.

Drones? I don’t think so. Augmented reality? Could be a near-future possibility. Virtual reality? There are some real possibilities in this technology realm, I don’t see them as near future necessarily, however in time the industry may be ready to take full advantage of what this realm has to offer the end user.

As for education and certification, that conversation continues and really never ends. I know many of the educators in the industry, who truly do an amazing job keeping the industry up to speed on latest technology developments. I’ve gotten to know the people at AQAV with their dedication to quality and education in the industry that speaks volumes.

Will customers in time get only the best of what every integrator has to give? There are numerous APEx integrators out there, they need to be the example of what to emulate as they have certainly achieved a status with it. More should familiarize themselves with AQAV AV9000, I believe this statement from AQAV’s homepage is a very telling factor here:

With AV technology moving from the eclectic to the mainstream of our corporate and educational cultures, the cost of technology exceeds $80B and is steadily growing worldwide. The estimates on the cost of poor quality, defects, lost hours, rework, etc. exceed $15B.

With more certified professionals, fully educated and determined to make quality a primary goal – can we indeed see more of the successes and less of the crashes? Or should I say the next time you encounter that newly installed rack of spaghetti mess cabling. That would certainly work for the customer, the most important person in the chain every time.

Maybe the new realm that includes IT will be defined in a whole different way, and those that follow along with this will help to create a future that exists without an acronym –- finally. In short, there would be no need to be concerned about convergence, as one would never really have existed in the first place when discussing the ongoing road to this industry’s future.

It’s not about AV or AV/IT – it’s about technology, and the customer experience.