Countdown to InfoComm 2014: Michael Colburn on IT Convergence in Pro AV

Countdown to InfoComm 2014: Michael Colburn on IT Convergence in Pro AV

Preparing for InfoComm, now more than ever, means prioritizing your list of trends to ensure you see and touch those things that are most important to you. This year I’m anticipating a fuller realization of the IT convergence trend with more IT “as” AV products. Specifically, I’ll be watching to see how manufacturers are responding to the increasing push toward designing pro AV systems with IT components in place of proprietary appliances.

Software and appliance-based network collaboration is a booming area I’m looking forward to watching, with a number of traditional AV manufacturers competing against promising newer software-focused companies. In the PC versus AV-appliance dance it will be interesting to watch how AV heavyweight incumbents pivot around developments from computing heavyweights Microsoft, Google, and Apple. On the distribution front, the saga of AVB from concept to industry standard will be worth keeping an eye on. Will the “V” in AVB be better represented?

IT convergence is fully established and having so much of our content and management in the cloud is a strong argument for IT based AV components. As manufacturers, consultants, and integrators, we are faced with the responsibility of balancing the flexibility and power that IT as AV brings with the stability and uptime that appliance-based solutions can offer. Hopefully we see devices and solutions this year that allow us to offer our clients the best of both worlds.

Companies to keep an eye on and why:

  • Microsoft: Cloud-based collaboration via Lync, OneDrive, and Azure
  • SVSI: Networked AV distribution
  • Mersive: Networked collaboration software
  • Oblong: Networked collaboration system
  • AMX and Crestron: Networked collaboration appliances

Michael Colburn is senior designer at RTKL. Catch him on Google+.