Category Archives: Innovation & New Technology

New Tools for Your Toolbox?

On August 23rd, at 2 PM the Technology Manager’s Council of InfoComm will hold a quarterly conference call.  This call is particularly interesting because we have invited the Independent Technical Service Providers Council (ITSP) to join us in the call. Several of us in the planning sub-committee had a conference call with them last week and are very excited about how this council can work together with ours. Continue reading New Tools for Your Toolbox?

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InfoComm 2012 Part 1 – The Toys

Like many of you I spent the middle of last month in Vegas at InfoComm. I’m going to take a stab at blogging about the experience.

I think I may get three posts out of it. This is the first – the tech one. In the next I’ll talk about the classes, the events, the alcohol, any good dirt or gossip I can remember, and the alcohol. The third – if the blue helicopters don’t whisk me away before I finish it – will be a post-InfoComm revisit of the whole Extron situation. Continue reading InfoComm 2012 Part 1 – The Toys

Surely You Gesture

Integrated Systems Europe 2012 was held two weeks ago in Amsterdam. One of the more interesting items to come out of it was a demo by Crestron that showed a Microsoft Kinect integrated with a control system – in this case controlling the PowerPoint and lighting. Here is the link. Go watch it. I’ll wait….

http://www.commercialintegrator.com/article/crestron_demos_microsoft_kinect_gesture_control

Cool huh? Sure it’s pretty basic, but could this be the predecessor of our future control systems? It is Crestron dabbling in this after all; I don’t think that’s insignificant.

One advantage I have heard mentioned is no more gunky touch screens. (Do you really have people who clean them periodically?)

A gesture based system may allow for control from a wider range of locations. I am assuming, like mine, your faculty relate to AV control locations the way cats relate to patio doors: the other side would be better.

Many of us have wondered where touch-sensitive monitors are going. Are they going to take over for interactive whiteboards and give us something easier to integrate into an auditorium? If gesture control develops fast enough could it steal some of that thunder and let us turn any image into an interactive whiteboard? I think that level of annotation and interaction, coupled with the ability to wander around the teaching area, might just be the “killer app.”

Voice control? I don’t know. Siri seems to be having quite a bit of trouble with accents. I’m sure the algorithms will get better, but most of our campuses are quite the eclectic mix of nationalities. I can’t help but think we will be a difficult application to master. Besides, how much error-free consistency do you want to see in a control system before you install it in a room? With voice control the first one they yell at is the system, and you know who the second is….

I think it’s intriguing. I think it’s something we are going to see more of. I think it has some great potential. What do you think? Is this the (ahem) wave of the future.

Class Capture

I have been working with the new Crestron Capture HD. So far, I am very impressed. What I like most about it is that there is not huge backend required to use it. A simple USB thumb drive will suffice. Therefore, the initial cost is much lower than anything else on the market. What I am not nuts about is that it records in .ts. This format is a real pain to work with. So far, all I have really found that plays nice with .ts is VLC.

Report from InfoCOMM 2011

Orlando, FL. While attending InfoCOMM 2011, we asked key industry insiders to speak directly to the AV-1 community and to share their views of the most critical issues ahead. The following articles include brief video clips from individuals possessing uncommon insight, intuition and experience.

While this is by no means an exhaustive report, we hope that you find these views useful to your due diligence and decision-making.

[Editor’s note: Interviews are provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement. Neither AV-1, nor the author have received any form of compensation in exchange for these posts.]

This list is shown in last-in-first-out (LIFO) order. In the coming weeks, additional interviews and articles will be posted to the top of this list.

Table of Contents


Mark Valenti, The Sextant Group, discusses the up-side of a down economy as an inspiration for outside-the-box tech planning.

Ernie Bailey, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, speaks about the importance of cross-training to get the best out of AV and IT support staff.

 
Jody Forehand, Luidia, on the cost-effective approach of adding components as-needed.

Jackie Deluna, AMX on the importance of social proof for mission-critical technologies.

John Heffelfinger, Crestron, on the value of end-to-end technology solutions. 

Andrew Edwards, President of Extron, on the zen of simplification and support.

Andrew J. Milne, PhD, Tidebreak CEO, on the meaning and impact of collaborative learning environments. 

Mario Maltese, Audio Visual Resources CEO, on the impact of the AV9000 Standard and the future of zero-defect projects.

What’s your view? Are we seeing the big picture? Leave a reply below or discuss it with fellow AV-1 members on the AV-1 List.

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Luidia

This interview is part of AV-1’s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

The folks at Luidia built their business around the nifty eBeam whiteboard capture device. Seems oh-so-simple now… stick it to any whiteboard and record your board notes straight to the computer… but when they started out, the general consensus was that you needed a big honking piece of dedicated equipment to get the job done. Continue reading Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Luidia

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Sextant Group

This interview is part of AV-1’s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

16-years ago, Mark Valenti left a good gig in broadcasting to start the AV design firm, The Sextant Group. The idea was simple: bring broadcast-quality precision and production values to the broader market. Twice recognized as one of the best places to work, the firm has made a name for itself in high-profile tech planning and design projects despite being not-the-lowest-price proposal on the table. Continue reading Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Sextant Group