Widgets Magazine

You Are Not In the AV Business

During InfoComm 2015 I, like many other publications, had the opportunity to sit down with InfoComm chief David Labuskes. During our conversation he made the statement we are in the “technology industry”. This is not the first time I’ve heard this focusing of our industry. Randy Klein from Crestron made that statement on AVWeek a few years ago and a number of other industry leaders have said as much.
What does that mean? Is InfoComm going to become an industry advocacy group for the “technology industry”? Not exactly. What these industry leaders are trying to communicate is that we are a part of a larger discipline; technology. We have been used to being the “AV geeks” who run the film projectors, know what contrast ratio is, and are able to do ohm’s law calculations in our heads. We call something programming and expect the outside world not to know what that is.
We are in the technology industry, though. Labuskes makes the correlation-*between technology and the medical field. Medicine is an overarching discipline. There are surgeons, general practitioners, and brain specialists. There are even those who still sell the occasional snake oil. In technology, there are IT experts, AV professionals, and app developers. Yes, there are still those who still attempt to sell snake oil here as well.
This realization is actually quite freeing and empowering. We are not the weird kid stuck in the corner any longer. More and more AV devices are being controlled by various IT-centric languages like HTML, Python, and C#. Not only does this give us the ability to talk to databases and sources of information like weather, traffic, and news, it allows us to recruit people from other parts of technology to our group. Think of it as a resident moving from ear, nose, and throat to orthopedics. As someone who is constantly looking for new programming talent, that is quite exciting.
It does not mean we are going the way of the buffalo any time soon. As evidenced by this year’s 39,000 plus attendance, the InfoComm Show is headed into rarefied air and those of us in this industry are along for the ride. We just need to change how we look at ourselves and how we present what we do to others.
That’s all for this week. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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