Business

It’s A Wonderful, Integrated Life

It matters less where your solutions go than how they create an integrated experience.

As I write this, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently ended. By all accounts, it was another celebration of cutting-edge audiovisual technology, personal devices, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), and more. AVIXA’s own (in conjunction with CEDIA) Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) exhibition in Amsterdam, the Netherlands—a massive showcase of both commercial and residential AV, as well as smart building technologies—is about to welcome another record crowd. And, for all the early-bird-gets-the-worm types out there, registration for June’s InfoComm 2018 show in Las Vegas NV—the first InfoComm since the trade association became AVIXA last September—should be opening any day at www.infocommshow.org.

What do all of them have in common? A new reality. For years, we’ve talked about enterprise audiovisual solutions blowing out the walls of the traditional conference room to reach across corporate campuses, or offices around the world. Now, of course, they also touch the home office. Moving ahead, audiovisual experiences will be all around us and, increasingly, they will come to define a more seamless, integrated way of experiencing the world.

At CES, Carnival Corp.’s CEO, Arnold Donald, showed off what the cruise company calls the Ocean Medallion. It’s basically a wearable device that’s designed to customize the cruise experience on ships where there could be 3,500 or more passengers and up to 20 different decks, not to mention hundreds of amenities and entertainment options to keep you busy. Slip the Medallion into your pocket, or wear it around your wrist or neck. Thousands of onboard sensors and screen interfaces are integrated to help make that huge ship feel a little smaller—and more personal—through simple conveniences (keyless entry to your cabin), recommendations (the ships “learns” your preferences), wayfinding (you finding your way, and staff finding you more quickly when, for example, you order a cocktail), and more.

Carnival’s Princess Cruises line will be the first to roll out this integrated experience. AVIXA has been fortunate to work with Derrin Brown, Princess Cruises’ Manager of Production Operations, as we engage with the hospitality industry, among other end-user markets. In addition to the Ocean Medallion, Princess Cruises continues to invest in new and better AV technology—from videowalls, to immersive, 360-degree audio, to adaptive lighting—with the firm understanding that it must keep pace with the ubiquity of AV experiences in order to draw passengers and build loyalty.

“It’s a really dynamic, evolving challenge,” Brown said. “We want to provide the platforms and availability for people to use their technology on our cruise ships seamlessly.” (Read more about what Princess Cruises is doing at www.avixa.org/princess.)

This is what AVIXA calls “the Integrated Life.” It’s where commercial and residential AV intersect…where personal and public technology interoperate…where the AV that people experience at work, at home and everywhere in between starts to blend.

InfoComm 2018 in June will represent one of our first major forays into Integrated Life. Since we announced the plan to introduce programming and exhibitions devoted to this confluence of commercial, residential and personal technologies, we’ve partnered with respected research firm Parks Associates to bring the Integrated Life…well…to life. Parks Associates runs the popular CONNECTIONS Conference Series at events like CES and elsewhere, as well as summits devoted to smart energy and connected health. Its analysts have unique insight into the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected-home technologies, and they can put them into the context of commercial AV and integrated solutions.

The daylong Integrated Life program at InfoComm 2018 will be held the Tuesday before the exhibit floor opens, on June 5. The goal is to bring new voices, solutions and opportunities to InfoComm, and to get the creative juices flowing. How else can audiovisual technology make life better? Have you seen video of Samsung’s Safety Truck prototype, for example? With cameras on the front of the truck and a 2×2 videowall on the back, cars following behind the truck can see what’s ahead of it and avoid accidents. Viable? Time will tell. A potentially innovative, creative use of AV in everyday, integrated life? You bet.

The Integrated Life program that Parks Associates brings to InfoComm 2018 is still in development, but topics will include simplifying AV experiences across platforms; opportunities for building business ecosystems that span the commercial and residential markets; trends in the deployment of voice, artificial intelligence, AR/VR and more across customer applications; future developments in smart home and IoT technologies; and, of course, issues of security and privacy in an AV world that’s increasing defined by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobility.

Having spent Tuesday of InfoComm 2018 learning about the Integrated Life, you’ll be able to experience it on the show floor, where technologies not normally associated with commercial AV integration will be on display. Distinctions are falling away. There are very few boundaries left between the way you experience technology in your work life and your personal life.

In a roundtable discussion with hospitality designers and operators, seated next to Princess Cruises’ Derrin Brown, AVIXA’s CEO, David Labuskes, summed up how all of them described their strategic use of AV technology in hotels and ships, saying, “What we’re really doing is creating these microcosms of life itself…. At the center of it all is not the technology—it’s the human being.”

The industry is headed toward an exciting future. Learn, innovate and enjoy. See you in June.

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