I recently saw an announcement on the InfoComm site about its launch into IoT with the “IoT Pavilion” at the big show coming up in June.
With the full weight of Crestron and Samsung behind them, InfoComm is moving into an unchartered territory for AV, as the Internet of Things has been a mere buzzword to the industry but is in no way something that integrators are utilizing to drive revenue or higher performing technology environments.
InfoComm is hosting a pair of events it’s calling IoT Insights today in Santa Clara, Calif., and during InfoComm 2016 as part of its effort to educate those in AV on this emerging trend.
First, before I comment on the preparedness of the industry, let me say that I think this is an infinitely better technology for AV to invest in than Drones. Not to say that drones won’t impact that landscape of VR, 3D and Video Capture; this is merely my sentiment as to the ability of the industry to capitalize on new technology.
Internet of Things isn’t new at all, which is a good thing because overall I think we struggle as an industry to adapt to new things. I mean, we are still talking about convergence and that happened about 15 years ago.
But, what has happened in the last year is the Internet of Things moved from novelty (connected appliances) to a practical set of sensors, wearables and connected devices that can change the way we live, work and consume the world around us.
So, is AV ready for this? If it is, how can we succeed with the platform?
AV’s Approach to IoT
I think we need to be somewhat realistic about how AV will impact the IoT use case in the enterprise. In Crestron’s video, they do a great job of painting a picture of the connected life.
The video explains how sensors, integrated schedules and our mobile devices can communicate to the world and bring us into the right room or the right meeting by analyzing data from our emails, room sensors or location data.
This is all massively important as it creates a seamless experience that we can intertwine into our everyday life that doesn’t require any extra steps. (Note: that is very important).
In the end, what IoT can really do is aggregate the data of what we are wearing and using, as well as the environments that we are in and translate that into a better experience.
The challenge that I see is something we have long struggled with, and that is that we are going to be dependent on upstream integration of building management systems, cloud and IT software solutions and that crazy BYOD policy to properly maximize the power of IoT.
This is because almost all of the value in terms of driving the AV technology and the smarter meetings that IoT can help power is based upon the ability to aggregate data from systems outside of the AV integrators locus of control.
This doesn’t mean that AV cannot utilize IoT to fuel better solutions and stay on the front edge of what customers are looking for as they seek to integrate big data, mobility, cloud and other technologies to drive a more seamless experience.
It does mean, however, that once again, the integration industry is going to need to accelerate its learning pace to understand how these disparate systems that many know little about are able to work together to become a monetizable play for the integrator. However, if you are up for the challenge, the power of IoT could change the game for your firm.
I applaud InfoComm for leading the charge here and I can’t wait to see how the industry responds.