Category AV Events

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.

Crestron Masters and the Spaghetti Challenge

Today’s post is part two 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 one of his entry here.

This year at Crestron Masters, AVI-SPL extended the momentum to bring all of AVI-SPL’s 32 Crestron Certified programmers together. The time together consisted of team building, programming awards, panel discussion, targeted Crestron training, and AVI-SPL specific topics and an open discussion.

We kicked things off just after the Crestron Masters closing ceremony. As programmers we’re queuing up for their Crestron give away AVI-SPL was just getting started.

Team building
To break up the classroom overload that we just survived, we started with a fun teambuilding activity: the Spaghetti Tower Challenge! If you’re not familiar with this activity, let me set the scene. Each team consisted of three programmers, one Crestron technical director and 30 minutes on the clock. Each team had to gather the following supplies and given a limited set of instructions.

Supplies

  • 20 sticks of spaghetti
  • One yard of tape
  • One toothpick (flagpole)
  • One piece of paper (flag)

Instructions

  • Build the tallest tower
  • Create team flag
  • Tallest tower wins

Each team gave their best shot at building the tallest tower. We saw a lot of creativity and ingenuity. As the clock approached the deadline teams were still feverishly working. A few did not hold up to test, others pushed the rules, and the majority constructed a tower to be measured. The winners of this challenge went to:

  • Kevin Rusch (AVI-SPL Detroit)
  • Mario Roman (AVI-SPL Detroit)
  • Stan Pawlowski (AVI-SPL TSG Crestron Developer)
  • Jason Moulden (Technical Director Crestron Midwest)

So why a tower made of dry spaghetti? This exercise was more than just way to bring people together. This was about building something fast. Demonstrating that it’s important to learn from mistakes early. And proving that continuous iteration to improve a solution pays off.

In part 3 of my recap of Crestron Masters 2016, we’ll look at the winners of the first-ever AVI-SPL programming awards, and touch on the joint discussion panel between Crestron and AVI-SPL.

April 27 Webinar: Workplace Transformation

Still not sure what workplace transformation means or how it applies to your organization? Hear experts from Cisco and AMX discuss this timely topic Wednesday, April 27 at 1 p.m. EST.

Cisco’s John Franklin will explain what’s changed in the workplace in terms of collaboration, workloads, and the technology that brings people together to work on projects. Bob Sharp of AMX will offer his insight into the control systems that streamline and automate meeting functions like room scheduling and setup. He’ll look at the value of the enterprise IT network in managing an array of workplace source devices and endpoints.

Some of the topics to be addressed include:

  • Challenges to collaboration
  • Factors driving workplace change
  • Why you need to care about workplace challenges
  • Benefits of Cisco and AMX solutions in fostering positive change

Register for “Workplace Transformation with Cisco and AMX by Harman.”