InfoComm: What I Learned About IoT at the InfoComm Keynote

IC15_Keynote-300x199-0715By Brad Grimes
InfoComm International

Great seeing all of you packed into the opening keynote panel, Tuesday afternoon of InfoComm 2015 in Orlando. As you know (and for those of you who weren’t there, you may have heard), the topic was the Internet of Things. Seems a little far afield for an AV industry confab. But no. Everyone on the IoT panel, which included executives from AV mainstays Samsung, Crestron, Harman and Cisco, agreed that IoT could mean big things for the industry.

Some notes:

Drones. Right out of the gate, IoT led to drones, which are enjoying their own sorta coming-out party in the AV industry this year, thanks to the show’s new Unmanned Systems and Drone Pavilion. Panelists envisioned autonomous drones and “swarms” of them at live events. Cool. Kevin Hague of Harman imagined drones fitted with directional microphones for audio capture (so much of drone application currently focuses on video). Interesting, but might that make people feel uncomfortable? Being listened to by things in the sky? Which led to issues of…

Privacy. The IoT includes lots of sensors. What are we giving up when we let these sensors do their thing? Crestron’s Fred Bargetzi likened today’s IoT networks to the automated toll systems that have been active for years. “We sacrifice our privacy every day for convenience,” he told the audience. Is that a good thing? How will customers react? Heck, customers may want the IoT specifically to track people. Mike Walker of Cisco talked about using the IoT to observe how employees move around the workplace — not necessarily to keep tab, but to improve how people collaborate and boost productivity, such as…

Simplified meetings. Hague sees the time when a network of things will help a conference get started with little or no human intervention. “It knows what conference call you want to make,” he said. Samsung’s Ron Gazzola said he expects the smartphones and smart watches that more and more people carry to be their “signature,” indicating to systems — at work or in retail stores — how to customize an experience. Of course, all of this will require…

The cloud. The processing of sensor data, the applications that make use of it…all of it will be in the cloud. As it is, the panelists agreed, the companies taking best advantage of the Internet of Things operate powerful clouds.

How’s your cloud expertise?

This blog was reprinted with permission from InfoComm International and originally appeared here.