Widgets Magazine

The Friday Five: September 11, 2015

Last week was a bit rough, all the articles I save (3-5 per day) were lost in Pocket’s meltdown, but they’ve recovered and so have I. So here you go: five articles you might have missed that you may or may not love.
My Life as a Robot
At InfoComm every summer one of the big draws are the telepresence robots. If I’m remembering correctly, they’re Beam Presence bots, but either way people love the idea of telepresence robots. We’re an industry that (rightfully so) likes to push the idea of remote collaboration, distance learning and working from home mostly because we love and sell the technology that makes these things possible. This is an interesting look at a remote worker who goes beyond the typical in terms of office presence. For instance, when I work remotely I always leave a Zoom call open that anyone at my company can join (or anyone with the right code – like AV Nation Founder Tim Albright who has done this before). This allows the people who might normally stop by my cube to ask a question, or use sneakernet to accomplish a task to still reach me. One thing I’ve yet to do is have a virtual presence bot in the office.-*Dear company of mine, if you’re reading, that’d be a nice Hanukkah gift.
Read More at Wired-*
How the Apple TV Will-*Change the AV Industry
GFOP (Good Friend of the Podcast) Heather Sidorowicz details the new features of the Apple TV in an article that is hopefully purposefully hyperbolic, although it was written-*for a resi publication, where it’s influence is bound to be greater than the commercial AV sphere. There’s no doubting the fact that consumer technology greatly influences professional AV solutions, for better or worse. I think we can all point to designs we’ve made, gear we’ve installed, or needs analyses conducted where there’s at least one piece of painfully evident consumer gear. No doubt the new Apple TV will begin to appear in designs because of the feature set, or because it’s the newest thing that executives have heard of, but either way it’s going to start appearing in requests, so read Heather’s thoughts on the newest Apple product.
Read More at Residential Systems
Redefining AV as a Service
One of the best parts of the prolonged discussion of AV and IT convergence is the realization that the more the two become one, the more AV has to learn to catch up to IT. For years IT manufacturers and IT managed services companies have done a remarkable job touting, marketing and hammering home the fact that they provide a service, they provide comfort and stability and you need this service. Services that extend between network switches, routers, category cable, patch panels, wall jacks and more. One of the ways AV can “catch up,” or at least improve it’s image outside of the small industry it occupies, is to transition the thought process, the marketing and the understanding of the industry to being a service and a solution-*not a collection of boxes that are incredibly powerful capable of-*this and that, and if you design it right and add a whole other system to control it, can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Are you in sales? Are you in service? It doesn’t matter, if you interface with people outside of your company professionally this article/whitepaper could be incredibly beneficial for you.
Read More at InfoComm
TSN: Delivering the Promise of IoT
Are you tired of hearing about the Internet of Things? I am. I’m also tired of writing about it. Unfortunately, it’s going to be here a while as this whole internet thing seems to be catching on. I like to give it grief mostly because of the asinine consumer gadgets that now connect to the Internet, but for the pro AV market it actually will yield a huge benefit. I remember someone remarking to me how ‘silly’ and ‘useless’ it was when I wanted to build my touring rig to connect to a local network to remotely monitor my DSPs and amps, but hey it paid off. Graeme Harrison, Executive Vice President at Biamp talks about how TSN, (Time Sensitive Networks) the newest iteration of AVB, will unleash the promise of the Internet of Things for the Pro AV market. He’s a lot smarter than I am (most people are) so take what he has to say to heart.
Read More at AV Network
As work goes mobile, office designs change and buildings adapt
The way we work has changed dramatically in just the last 30 years. The transition from typewriters to large desktops to small desktops to laptops and now tablets and mobile devices has been so rapid that it seems like the blink of an eye in a broader context. What does that mean for work-space designers, IT departments and AV providers? A lot, actually. In the pro AV space, it seems in just the last 10 years or so the shift from large board rooms to small huddle rooms has taken place. Three people working together around a small table with a large display is a lot more common than massive conference rooms and training spaces, especially in newer buildings. As the technology continues to adapt, the facilities which are going to be housing these pieces of technology must as well. Not only does that mean more efficient usage of office space, better office environments and remote work increasing, it also means the chances for new, cool AV installations is taking place.
Read More at Star Tribune-*

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