Get Ready for a Brave New World

Last week, I wrote a column that basically asserted that things had changed. Well, things have changed since then, too. In that time, many parts of the country have gone from “social distancing” to full lockdown, including my own state. So the message from my last column, which was essentially to get out there and […]

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Quarantined

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article that talked about protecting your staff from the current epidemic. A lot has changed. Obviously, the virus becoming a worldwide pandemic has thrown the industry into a tailspin. As an industry, we have spent a lot of time in the tailspin condition, as we are an […]

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Going Viral

There is an old saw about the Chinese character for crisis being a combination of the characters for danger and opportunity. Friends who speak Mandarin tell me that this is not true, but it is so convenient that I wanted to use it here. Please consider it quoted. Linguistic folklore or not, I believe that […]

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AVaaS for Rentals: The R&D Factor

For many years, the joke in the rental and staging industry has been that we exist as the unpaid (and uncredited) research and development arm of the manufacturers that we buy from. Often, we are the first buyers of new technologies for a number of reasons. First, because of the technological pressure to stay ahead […]

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The Techinator

Last month, we talked about AI and robotics, how they were affecting our current electronics world and how they could affect the future of the audiovisual industry. Elon Musk recently pointed out that AI could take over the world, producing an unkillable AI global dictator and could literally spell the end of our species. He […]

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Oculus Connect 5 – The Experience

Last month, we discussed the Oculus Connect Developers Convention, a meeting I had recently attended in virtual reality. This month, I thought we would address the effectiveness of meeting in virtual reality. First, let’s discuss the event itself, which was the annual conference for Oculus virtual reality developers. For those of you who have been […]

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AV=Actual/Virtual

Last week, I attended Oculus Connect, the conference for Facebook/Oculus virtual reality developers. It was one of the best glimpses I have yet seen into the uses of a new technology that will change the way we do business in industries with events or communication and collaboration with remote people (rental and staging, collaboration, education, […]

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The Oldest Profession

Like many of you who are in the electronics business, I am an Amazon Prime subscriber. I’m somebody who has always searched through multiple stores to find the particular model of what it was I needed. Amazon now saves me lots of time, gets me the exact model I wanted and has it here the […]

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Speechless

Those of you who know me know that I loathe most social media, especially Twitter. I feel that Twitter has done significant damage to our language, to the point that I now get email without punctuation or complete sentences. Our universities seem to have eliminated the essay in favor of the Tweet. I actually heard […]

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Mobile Apps for AV Rental and Staging

This week, I was really excited to see a new documentary, “Love Notes to Newton.” I was a die-hard fan of the very early and much-maligned Apple Personal Digital Assistant. I still have three different models of the Newton, all of which still work. The Newton was a groundbreaking product, unfortunately maybe too far ahead […]

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Searching for Internet Cheese

In my day job, I answer a lot of people’s questions about audiovisual and virtual reality technology. In fact, lately, that’s really all I seem to be doing. And to find those answers quickly, especially when it comes to determining things like part numbers and dimensions, I turn to the source that most people use: […]

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InfoComm: A Wild Kingdom

When I was a kid, “family television” meant television to be watched by the family, and not television about families rehearsing for their court date or climbing over each other’s bodies to get to the throne. No, “family television” meant “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” hosted by noted zoologist Marlin Perkins. Each week, the show […]

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When Every Shot Is a Selfie

In politics and economics, a Potemkin village is any construction built solely to deceive others into thinking that something is better than it really is. The term comes from stories of a fake portable village built solely to impress Russian Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great) by Grigory Potemkin; the structures would be disassembled after […]

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Defining AVaaS for Stagers

Over the last year or two, I have been reading with increasing frequency about AVaaS, or “Audio Visual as a Service.” In particular, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the writings of my friend Gary Kayye. Gary is one of the best I have ever met at analyzing a product in our industry […]

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AV Rental Equipment: a Potential Vector for Disease?

I woke up early this morning to the news that there was a massive outbreak of influenza taking place in North America, and that it was of a particularly virulent type. This brought to mind my experience with the peerless health care system in Singapore. I was due to attend a pre-convention meeting. I arrived very […]

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Higher Resolutions

Each year at this time, it is a Western tradition to examine our lives and to make New Year’s resolutions to improve them. Right. In previous years, I have attempted to give my readers a guide to making effective (or at least painless) New Year’s resolutions. My favorite New Year’s resolution technique, the “gimme,” involves […]

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It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Maintenance…

“’twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shop not an order is stirring so let’s get out the mop…” Yes, the holidays are upon us again. And with the exception of holiday parties and events, many of us can find ourselves looking for things to do. Having spent a few years working in […]

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Losing Our Lunch

This morning I was involved in testing two of the new virtual reality conferencing environments. As most of you will be painfully aware, the conferencing industry has gone through a number of revolutions in the past decade, from videoconferencing to telepresence to collaboration and now on to VR. At each of them, we tout the […]

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Can AV Pull Off a 360?

The onslaught If you have been to any of the major electronics shows this year, or even if you have only been looking at websites for the advance sales for the holiday season, it is pretty obvious that this year’s hot holiday gift will be VR equipment. All of the major gaming manufacturers, the major […]

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Are You the Keymaster?

In the original movie Ghostbusters, Rick Moranis (in his immortal role as Vince Tully, CPA) is taken over by an evil spirit from another dimension and transformed into the Keymaster, the minion who will enable Gozer the Gozerian to enter our plane of existence and destroy the world. First, if you don’t understand that reference, […]

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State of the, Um, Art

If you move back in history, the human race progresses from crude tool to artform along a predictable path. For instance, once humans learned to break rocks, that path began. We progressed from using the rocks to break each other to turning the broken rocks into crude tools and then to using the crude tools […]

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Collaboration: What’s Next?

Over my last couple of columns, we have talked about the trend in meetings towards group collaboration, and the equipment and setups that will be necessary to accommodate this trend, as collaboration (and extended collaboration through social media) become the norm in public meetings. This led several of you to ask the question, “what is […]

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Inventory for Collaboration in the Rental Market

Last month, we talked about the market’s trend toward collaborative meetings and how that will presumably affect the rental and staging company and its employees. I thought then, and I still do, that the most important aspect of this change was one of familiarizing our employees with the concepts and techniques of collaborative meetings. This […]

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Safety On Deck

Well, once again January has come around. Time to close out 2016, to send out all those final invoices that you forgot about and to make some dynamic resolutions for improving your organization in 2017. With my personal resolutions, I tend to set myself easy goals so that I will not be disappointed by my […]

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Joel’s Magic 8 Ball: 2017 Predictions for the Rental and Staging Industry

Last month, I confessed to all of you that I really enjoy the holiday season. It seems that as the season approaches, all you remember about it are the good things. However, over the last couple of weeks, I have been reminded of a few of the negative sides of the holidays. For instance, today […]

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A Season of Understanding

I love the holidays. Even though they often come as a mixed blessing, combining some welcome time away from the office with seeing the relatives that I didn’t necessarily want to see. I really enjoy this time when people make an effort to smile a little more, to contact old friends and, frankly, just to […]

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Surviving the 4K Temple of Doom

In a cold, punishing rain, only the brilliant flashes of lightning illuminate our hero, who stands at the entrance to the mysterious, forbidden jungle temple. Rain streams steadily from the brim of his battered leather hat and his fingers twitch on the handle of the bullwhip that hangs from his belt. Is it the guy […]

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The Future is Here, Part II

Last month, my column spoke about the changing role of the AV rental and staging company in the client’s technical universe. As I stated in the article, one of the things that I have always enjoyed about being in the rental industry was that we were a very early purveyor of new technologies. As such, […]

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The Future Is Here

Over the last couple of months, a lot of the articles here on rAVePubs have had to do with new technology adoption, and the costs involved with being either too early or too late with any new technology. I am a long-suffering “Innovator” (for those of you who have read Crossing the Chasm, something I […]

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Shooting the Messenger

Last night, I was watching the Republican convention from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. I will admit up front that I tend to watch political conventions more as theater than for their political content, as these have always been the most scripted events in our world. They are also among the most lavishly equipped […]

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All Ticked Off

Just a couple of days ago, I was working with a colleague in the UK to troubleshoot a conferencing system with a client in a third location. We got together on a call for a few minutes before we dialed the client in order to make sure we were on the same page with regard […]

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Political Rentals

Well, things are heating up in the quadrennial political circus: Our presidential election in the United States has begun. We are approaching the time when the public portion of the circus really cranks up, with lots of rallies and events that will need massive audiovisual support. I have done a lot of political events in […]

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