IT/AV

Big Brother’s Projector

projector screen

We all know how important projector lamps are to the success of installed AV systems. But did you realize how the need to monitor this expensive component has helped lead AV into the brave new world of Big Data?

When projectors were initially connected to networks, back in the last century, the first practical application for this connectivity was the ability to remotely monitor lamp life and proactively schedule replacement. This helped minimize service costs and reduce facility downtime. The enthusiastic response from customers drove AV manufacturers to add more connectivity features to more hardware devices and to provide software to take advantage of the resulting data. Within a few years, IP-based room control, wireless presentation systems and a variety of other networked solutions conquered the AV world. Today, Crestron’s RoomView, Extron’s GlobalViewer and AMX’s Resource Management Suite are widely used toolsets for managing AV systems.

As AV and IT functions converge at all levels, deep connectivity has become a given for everything from displays and cameras to control systems and facility scheduling. Management platforms, such as Evertz Aspen/InSite and Crestron Fusion Cloud, are now evolving toward seamless integration with facilities management and backroom analytics systems. Not only do these platforms enable the monitoring of systems and allocation of resources, they also provide a wealth of useful data about system usage and user behavior. For example, a custom report from Fusion Cloud could show you who organized the most meetings that were canceled, and how much that cost the company in lost energy and time.

Whether end users are aware or not, networked systems are generating unprecedented amounts of data, and some of it is being used purposefully.

In web-based and digital signage marketing applications, data analytics is used to customize and improve the customer’s experience. Some signage platforms enable organizations to engage customers more deeply with the product or related content by using a combination of personal data gathered from discrete datasets and solutions such as Beacons, RFID and NFC.

How might these trends impact the path of AV/IT professionals? They may provide opportunities to add value to solutions by improving system ROI and reducing real cost of ownership. Combining knowledge of the user’s business with expertise in advanced technologies and analytic processes can put you in a great position to help clients take advantage of the convergence of big pictures and big data.

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