By the year 2020, 50 billion devices are projected to be connected to the Internet. Naturally that includes the obvious—the desktop, tablet and smartphone, but there’s a whole world beyond those basics that do and will comprise the connected devices of the Internet of Things (IoT). Things like door locks, lights, televisions and appliances are already in the market and appealing to consumers.
Did you forget to lock your front door? That’s an easy fix, just grab your phone. Want your lights to dim the moment your favorite TV show starts (naturally recorded by your Smart TV)? Automatically programmed. Maybe you’ve been thinking you’d like to start tracking the exact amount of water you’re consuming with a water bottle that speaks to your mobile device to send you reminder emails and calendar updates; of course all synched to your other mobile devices as well.
These are examples of the IoT in action. IoT offers opportunities to improve and integrate anything, and AV integrators have a chance to capitalize on the cost savings, risk reductions, and overall customer satisfaction it offers.
IoT and Integration
The AV-IT convergence discussion has shifted from asking, “Is it worth it?” or “Should it be done?” to the new conversation of “Now that we have converged, what’s next?” AV integration is the answer. We love our “stuff” and we want our things to like us back.
The IoT affords the end user personalized choices and customized experiences—and there’s nothing not to like about that! Humans are still running the show, but by integrating areas like AV with IoT, companies are making employees’ lives easier and saving money while they do it. The customers’ choice of preferred product is made simple: the one that does more is typically the one they want.
Watch: Steve Greenblatt discusses connected devices at CI Summit.
Convergence may not have been the sexiest topic for technology buffs, but that is not the case with IoT fans. IoT solves problems. Cars that drive themselves, machinery able to operate in spaces dangerous for a human, and the smaller luxuries like wearables that track things so that we don’t have to make IoT not only compelling, but often irresistible. The three components of IoT: the device, network and system that bridges the data between them, that fits in nicely with present AV trends. Let’s take a look.
AV and the Cloud
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is stretching its wings to the clouds. “The” Cloud, to be exact. The same cloud video conference users are turning to for collaboration needs. Just imagine the possibilities of video interacting with any other device. A microphone that detects movement. A camera that instantly provides information by emailing info sheets to a participant based on where their eyes were on the screen?
The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement is just begging AV integrators to pay attention to them. Consumers, customers and employees are happy when they see the benefits and the emerging innovation that’s geared toward devices they already have.
The AV world is about to merge with IoT in a big way. AV integration offers the chance to revamp how data is collected and managed, it allows for the creation of more personalized experiences, it allows for greater efficiencies.
And the most exciting thing? The integrators who get out in front of all that integration with IoT affords, will be well-positioned to not only serve their customers better, but also stand to develop a significant competitive advantage.