This is part one of two posts in which David Thorson takes a thoughtful look at issues related to standardization and the Internet of Things. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture.
Hardware assimilation and what the future may hold for the “AV” Industry
Some thoughts inspired by InfoComm 2016
The industry trend of assimilation continues and is picking up speed. We are witnessing this again and again as more features are embedded into a single device and manufacturers compete to provide a breadth of technology. One of the driving factors behind this trend starts with the technology sourced by manufacturers to build their products. (See “One chip to rule them all.”) So what will the industry look like when hardware becomes commonplace and the installation is down to a few devices? Software and application interoperability will be where specialization and ingenuity thrive.
Look no further than the iPhone as an example of where the industry is headed. The chips shrunk, more features were crammed into one device, and everyone started saying “there’s an APP for that.”
Here are some examples of industry trends fueling this assimilation:
- Crestron continuing to fill their audio portfolio with a line of digital signal processors.
- Biamp unveiling the networked 4K video.
- QSC launching AV-to-USB bridging solution.
- Cisco providing in-room control to interface with embedded control systems.
- Harman is moving the SVSI technology closer into the AMX product family.
The IT fellowship of the AV industry often views the standardized approach to technology at the protocol and hardware level. Adoption of standards at the hardware level and aligning with a smaller number of vendors will improve standardization from a design perspective. But whether that will that improve the experience of end users, I’m not so sure. Think about your personal experience with a typical information technology group. Do you have a lot of options and rich features to choose from? Likely not. We are in the midst of such a rapid growth of collaborative technology and software that it’s challenging for most businesses to keep pace with providing standards and approved solutions to their workforce.
When evaluating technology, it’s important to consider the end user experience as early as possible. An installed solution that allows for customization at the application level will allow for the richest and most intuitive experience.
In my next post, I’ll look at one of the main topics at last week’s InfoComm: the Internet of Things (IoT) and what it means for AV programmers and the customers we serve.