Thank God No One Is Using the Stupid, Hackneyed Term IoT at ISE

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.

Sure, the Internet of Things is really a real thing. But, it’s a buzzword — 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.

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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 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.