Category AV Events

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.

3 Industry Trends for #AVTweeps to Watch out for at InfoComm 2016

Part 1 of 3 in our InfoComm series. Contributor: Linda Civitillo, AVI-SPL VP of UCC Solutions

As you head to InfoComm, you probably have a mental check list of the “must-see” stuff at the show this year. To help you focus your list, there are three big trends shaping the AV industry and that are driving a lot of what you’ll see and experience on the Show Floor in Las Vegas next week.

Trend #1: The Modern Workplace

Whether it’s a sleek executive boardroom, an open-concept workspace or a classroom full of college freshmen, the concept of the ‘work place’ is fundamentally changing. Walls are eroding – both physically and virtually. The new expectation for Modern Work is the idea that we can bring people together to “huddle up” spontaneously to share ideas whether they are physically in the office or working remotely. In the AV community, we’ve seen the convergence of video conferencing, unified communication and collaboration solutions for years to support these new user expectations.

Trend #2: IoT

For the first time on Super Tuesday at InfoComm this year, there is a whole day of education sessions dedicated to the Internet of Things. IoT creates massive opportunities for AV and IT teams to add more value to their business colleagues.

There are two immediate scenarios: 1) Centralized Management: When more of the devices we work with contain sensors, are connected to the network, and are sending usage and other data back to a central location, AV teams can more effectively centrally manage systems in NOCs, as an example. 2) Harness the Data from Network-Connected Devices to Make Better Business Decisions. Even more important than device management, we can now analyze the data coming in to help generate new business ideas.

Trend #3: The Convergence of AV and IT

Finally, the roles of AV and IT professionals are starting to blend based on the two trends above. We’re finding that the IT department is much more involved in decisions around solutions like digital signage, video conferencing, and AV systems than they may have been in the past. This means that the AV community has a great opportunity to educate IT on how to harness new usage scenarios as well as manage the interoperability of traditional AV systems with these new smart, networked devices. 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.

You can find out what these top 3 trends mean for you this year, if you visit our booth (N1218) or RESERVE YOUR SPOT on our Guided Collaboration Tech tour. 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.

Crestron Masters and the Architecture Session

Today’s post is part four of David Thorson’s look back at the Crestron Masters event. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture, and a recognized expert within the AV industry. Read part three of his entry here.

Crestron Architecture
The final session with Crestron was conducted by John Pavlik, Crestron Director, Architecture & Design. This session was designed to provide a deeper look at the underlying software and hardware programmers use every day. We started with talking about strategies in for efficient programming on large scale projects. Then covered multi-slot programming guidance and best practices. AVI-SPL’s Larry Kuehner walked everyone though a massive project he’s undertaking in a code-review format.

We also learned more about processor task switching to understand the underlining processor behavior in greater context. I learned that in the 3-Series processor, all the Simpl+ code is compiled to S#.

There was more information about Crestron’s Auto Update that will be extremely helpful when deploying software in the field.

We concluded the architecture session with Crestron’s .AV Framework. This topic may have been mistakenly overlooked by a lot of those that attended Crestron Masters this year. The .AV Framework is a tool to save time for programmers or can be used in simple systems as a WYSIWYG tool (What You See Is What You Get) or a configuration-based type of systems deployment. This is viewed by many programmers in the industry as encroachment on their turf. I don’t see it that way. A well-versed programmer uses any and all tools at their disposal.

The most exciting part about Crestron’s .AV Framework is it will be published in SIMPL# code. This object-oriented language is being levered to build very robust programming. Even if a programmer is not interested in using the out-of-the-box .AV Framework programming, don’t overlook this approach. The work that Crestron is doing to obscure the underlining SIMPL# code, design the classes and methods, and provide a foundation for code reuse for AV systems is a roadmap to creating the Crestron programs of the future. Those looking to bridge the knowledge gap from introduction to object-oriented programming to SIMPL# libraries or SIMPL# Pro will be well served to focus their time learning more about the underlining code in the .AV Framework.

In the fifth and final part of my Crestron Masters recap, I’ll share the conversation around programming methodologies in the AVI-SPL session that concluded the event.

Crestron Masters and the AVI-SPL Programming Awards

Today’s post is part three of David Thorson’s look at the Crestron Masters event. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture, and a recognized expert within the AV industry. Read part two of his entry here.

Programming Awards
To keep the fun rolling in this reflection on the Crestron Masters event, let’s look at the AVI-SPL programming awards. This was a first-ever event for AVI-SPL. To be fair, the categories were kept a secret up until this event. If you know any programmers, then you know they will find a way to get creative with systems to work in their favor. Manipulating data and technology is the definition of a programmer. This year’s awards went to:

Master Debugger. Keeping up with Crestron Support.

  • Tim Fauser (Calgary)
  • Albert Sottile (Seattle)

Master Commutator. Always willing to chime in and share expertise and feedback.

  • Brian Troy (Northeast-Philadelphia)

Master Behind the Curtain. Supporting others remotely in times of need.

  • Sean Kemp (Boston)

Master of Multithreading. Supporting numerous continuous projects throughout the year.

  • Larry Kuehner (Houston)

Master of Version Control. Keeping the source code repository and libraries well maintained.

  • Colin Denig (Northeast-New York)

Panel Discussion
Next up on the agenda, AVI-SPL and Creston participated in a joint panel discussion. The topics ranged from open APIs enhancing systems interoperability. Network security within an AV deployment. And Crestron Fusion adapting to the Cloud.

Participants

  • Jason Muldon Crestron Technical Director, Midwest
  • Jon Ottesen Creston Director, Cloud Solutions
  • Nic Milani Crestron Exec Director, Sales
  • Toine Leerentveld Crestron Technology Manager, Control Systems
  • David Thorson AVI-SPL Sr. Manager, Programming Architecture
  • Kerry Myers Programmer AVI-SPL TSG
  • Larry Kuehner Sr. Programmer AVI-SPL Houston

In part four of my recap of Crestron Masters 2016, I’ll look at the final session with Crestron, which looked at the underlying software and hardware programmers use every day.