Category AV Events

An Internet of Things That Helps Companies

This is the second of two posts in which David Thorson takes a look at standardization and the Internet of Things (IoT). David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture. Read part one here.

With the AV/IT “convergence” well behind the industry at this point, we are on to the next buzzword: “IoT,” otherwise known as the Internet of Things. So where does programming fit into IoT? Some manufacturers are positioning themselves as an IoT provider. Using human interaction, technology and hardware, and data, they provide an entire ecosystem focused on productivity, collaboration, and automation. Others are using sensors and data to drive interactive media into retail signage and extending other types of embedded systems such as smart buildings, security systems and other sub systems.

Just because we call something IoT does not make it so. Limiting the discussion to the traditional approach of the AV industry will only allow it to be part of a bigger IoT solution or remain isolated from the rest of connected systems. For example, if we consider scheduling a meeting and walking into a conference room to share a presentation from a mobile device, we are not seeing the larger picture of an internet of things.

A few manufacturers provide a complete IoT practice to support a customer end to end. Meaning the solution reaches outside the owners’ systems and into their customers’ environment. HARMAN Connected (IoT) Services and Cisco IoT Solutions are two examples of this extension. A full-on IoT solution will connect many different workflows, processes, and data sources. A rich IoT solution may capture data from sensors, people or systems to connect a business’s customers closer to companies providing a product or solution.

Think of it this way: Does the IoT solution save the customer money or make the owner money? The solution that is forward facing for our customers — making money — will have the biggest growth potential and provide for much more dynamic and custom solutions.

Implementing connected systems, sensors, applications, data, and people requires a company culture that is willing to experiment and commit to a mindset. A system expansive enough to be a true IoT solution is a custom IT solution and not a standard out-of-the-box device or software platform.

Here is how the Internet Society defines the different types of IoT communication:

  1. Device-To-Device Communications. This is what the AV industry’s has been doing for decades. Embedded systems is all about monitoring device communications and machine state to provide a level of automation.
  2. Device-To-Cloud Communications. This is relatively new for the AV industry and we’re seeing more and more manufacturers provide this type of solution. Integrators are also providing cloud services and monitoring. See AVI-SPL’s Symphony Platform, including our video from InfoComm.
  3. Device-to-Gateway Model. This is an area where we will see more interoperability between hardware sensors and devices.
  4. Back-End Data-Sharing Model. One of the top achievements of the IoT will be the knowledge that comes from sharing data to improve the delivery of technology.

Try to keep an eye on trends outside the AV world for where technology is headed. Keeping up with coming trends will ensure the industry remains relevant as hardware becomes more agnostic to solutions, and software applications and services become more advanced.

For an in-depth review of the IoT check out:
· 2015 – The Internet of Things (IoT): An Overview
· 2014 – EUROPEAN RESEARCH CLUSTER ON The Internet of Things

Canon Projectors Win Twice at InfoComm

Canon doubled up on projector awards while at the annual InfoComm trade show last week. Industry publication AV Technology named Canon’s REALiS 4K500ST projector as one of its Best of Show winners.

Systems Contractor News named Canon’s REALiS WUX500 projector as its Most Innovative Video Display Product.

REALiS 4K500ST features include:

  • LCoS technology with AISYS enhancement
  • 5,000 lumens
  • Short throw
  • True 4K

REALiS WUX500 features:

  • LCoS with Canon lens
  • 5,000 lumens
  • Constant brightness
  • Native widescreen resolution – 1920 x 1200
  • DICOM simulation mode (D model)

Order the REALiS 4K500ST, the REALiS WUX500 and WUX500 D (DICOM compliant) at AVI-SPL’s Canon product page.

Catch Up on Our Big AV Device Monitoring News

If you’re interested in better ways to monitor the quality of AV and collaboration devices that you and your coworkers have to manage in the workplace, I encourage you to listen to rAVe’s AV Power Up podcast, episode 60.

For the first 14 minutes of this chat recorded at the Las Vegas Convention Center at last week’s annual InfoComm trade show, three of AVI-SPL’s senior executives talked about the one-touch and recording capabilities we’ve added to our Virtual Meeting Room service, and about our enhanced Symphony® device monitoring and management platform.

Through Symphony, we’re giving IT departments a way to measure the customer experience. Symphony launches a quality of experience measure that combines a user’s subjective assessment of a video call with objective reports about packet latency, bit rate, bandwidth, etc., and then ties those subjective and objective measures into a quality of experience score.

Our team also discusses an app we’ve launched called Symphony Capture, which, if you’re an AVI-SPL Symphony customer, you can download  to your Microsoft Surface Hubs in order to keep track of their health and usage.

Listen to the rAVe Publications AV Power Up podcast episode 60.

AVI-SPL Wins Integration Award at InfoComm

At last week’s InfoComm trade show in Las Vegas, Commercial Integrator presented its annual BEST awards, and I’m pleased to announce that AVI-SPL was among those singled out for recognition.

We won Best Mission Critical project for integrating control room solutions for the Invenergy Control Center in Chicago. Those solutions include the Christie Phoenix control management system and Christie narrow bezel LCD displays.

Our Chicago office team, which handled the integration, was there at InfoComm to accept the award.

Find out why the Invenergy staff decided to go with Christie products, and hear them talk about working with AVI-SPL when you watch the video about the Invenergy Control Center >

Why Microsoft Surface Hub is the Hottest Demo at InfoComm This Year

Part 2 of 3 in our InfoComm series. Contributed by Linda Civitillo, AVI-SPL VP of UCC Solutions.

In the first blog post of our InfoComm series, we introduced the three trends we expect to drive much of the conversation this year: 1) The Modern Workplace, 2) The Internet of Things, and 3) The Convergence of AV and IT. At our booth, we’ll be showcasing the Microsoft Surface Hub because (both 55” and 84” versions) it’s the perfect device to illustrate the three trends we’re talking about.

Trend #1: The Modern Workplace  

New work spaces and new user expectations for how teams and groups should collaborate are shaping the investments that AV and IT departments are making in communications technologies. Today, you can look to the features of a group collaboration device like the Microsoft Surface Hub to see just how the workplace is transforming:

  • Users Expect Natural, Inviting and Collaborative Workspaces: Surface Hub illustrates this idea that teams want to be able to share ideas and create something together. The device supports not only a touchscreen, but also multi-ink capabilities with the Surface Hub pen on the digital whiteboard, meaning more than one person can write on the screen at the same time as fluidly as pen on paper. Additionally, two built-in wide angle HD cameras and motion technology work with Skype for Business so remote team members can catch all of the discussion in the room and participate in real-time collaboration, making it easier for teams to make decisions and get work done.
  • Connect Remote People and Teams: Surface Hub includes Skype for Business integration to easily connect to people virtually anywhere in the world to brainstorm with you as easily as if they were in the room. We think of the Surface Hub as a natural extension of the enterprise-wide Skype for Business implementations we are doing for clients – now that we have individual employees connected, let’s go get the conference rooms and pop-up meeting spaces connected to Skype for Business as well.
  • Quick Meeting Start: The idea of a “group huddle” is that meetings are more productive because they are more spontaneous. So, it’s important that users don’t spend 5-10 minutes getting ready to start a meeting. With Surface Hub, you can walk up and join a Skype for Business meeting with a single tap, which immediately connects all participants, and start sharing content immediately, so your time is spent connecting to people rather than technology.
  • Connected Devices: Look around any meeting room. At some point, people are sharing something on their phones or devices with the person beside them. Surface Hub allows the team to connect their mobile and personal work devices to the large screen so that they can share their content with the whole team, not just the person sitting next to them. And with pen capabilities, people can take notes directly on the digital whiteboard as the ideas flow, and share with the group after the session, too.
  • Take the Content With You: Once the team has landed on the next great idea, they can take the meeting content with them. Surface Hub ships with Microsoft OneNote to capture all the notes, data from other applications and ink. Since Surface Hub is a Windows 10 device, you can also save content from any Universal Windows application that you have running on the device. And because nothing is stored locally on Surface Hub, once you are done with your meeting the device wipes itself, keeping your data secure and preparing the space for the next meeting or informal brainstorm, with no extra effort on your end.
  • See What We’re Talking About Here:

Trend #2: IoT

There are dozens of sessions and lots of buzz this year about the Internet of Things. We think IoT creates new opportunities for AV and IT professionals to add more value in helping their business colleagues solve problems and generate new ideas. The two scenarios that we will showcase using the Surface Hub are centralized management, and harnessing data from connected devices to make better business decisions. After all, these are devices on the network that can be managed centrally by AVI-SPL through remote monitoring, management, and administration where we monitor dashboard views that include everything from alert notifications to advanced reporting on key ROI metrics like utilization rates. Then our clients can use Surface Hub to view and manipulate that data in real-time.

Trend #3: The Convergence of AV and IT

We see the continued blending of the roles of AV and IT, with IT being much more involved in decisions around AV systems. This convergence playing out in real-time with devices like the Surface Hub which includes capabilities that cross over the AV and IT spectrum. To learn more about this trend, come hear AVI-SPL’s Senior Vice President of Unified Communications and Collaboration, Joe Laezza, talk about “AV and IT: What’s Working, What Needs Improvement:” on Wed, June 8th from 8:00-10:00 AM in Room N258.

So, on that mental check list of things to see at InfoComm this year, it’s critical to add Microsoft Surface Hub to the top of the list. You can see the device in action in our booth (N1218) or at the start of our Guided Technology Tour. RESERVE YOUR SPOT on our Guided Collaboration tour and your guide will be an AVI-SPL expert taking you through the best of the show and what these top 3 trends mean for you this year.