by John Sciacca
Guessing who will potentially be a good client by looking at someone can be tough if not near impossible. Think someone is going to want to drop a bucket-load on a killer system because they're rich? Maybe. Or, maybe they suffer from a severe case of perpetual tinnitus and they hate any sound above a gentle whisper or they are color blind and the thought of watching a movie only angers up their blood. Or maybe they're of the mindset that, "Sonny! Let me tell you! I didn't get where I am today by making foolish decisions with my money! That 32-inch Xensia Brand TV will look fine for me and I'll hear nothing more of it!"
Really, all you know about someone climbing out of a six-figure Mercedes is that they like nice cars. See a man and woman wearing matching Panerai Luminors and they might just really be into giant watches, or possibly be ex-members of the Italian Marina Militare. Conversely, one of my first "big" clients constantly wore jeans and golf shirts and pulled up in a truck that would have made that beater from Bridges of Madison County look away in disgust.
Now athletes can sometimes be a lock for doing a big system, especially if they are doing it for all the right reasons: to one-up another teammate. And if some big league star pulls into your lot and jumps out of his Ferrari and says, "Some guy on my team just got X. I can't let him disrespect me like that! I need to trounce that chump and kick my system up to Z!" Well, Charlie, you've just uncovered a Golden Ticket. Enjoy your ride on the Wonkatania!
But if there is one group that seems to always trip the technology dowsing rod, it's dentists. I don't know what it is about dentists -- perhaps it's the spending inches away from people's uvula or having to listen to people talk through mouthfuls of blood and gauze or the constant vigilance genital X-ray bombardment protection - but almost to a man, every dentist that I have encountered has not only liked tech, they have loved tech.
Plus, unless you're Bill Murray from Little Shop of Horrors ("I think I need a root canal. I definitely need a long, slow root canal”), people don't generally like going to the dentist. So tricking up the dental office and making it as fun a place to visit as possible is one way to help ease the pain. That and regular brushing and flossing, but we'll have to just leave that up to the American Dental Association. This makes dental offices a potential goldmine of installation possibilities.
There are the obvious things like TVs in the waiting rooms and distributed audio throughout the operatories, but that's just scratching the surface. Show a dentist some more advanced possibilities and you might find your new best customer. How about a Kaleidescape video distribution system where every patient can choose their own movie to watch? The extended cut of Lord of the Rings can be the perfect thing to take your mind off your deep-impacted molar extraction. Wireless headphones in each room are another natural, allowing patients to play content as loud as they can stand - ideal for shutting out the insidious high-pitched whine of the drill or the shrieks of pain from adjoining rooms - without disturbing others. Or give them a way to route their oral-cam video onto a display so more adventurous patients can follow along; watching each injection and incision as if it were an installment of Saw. And based on their love for Apple's tablet, I think that all dentists are issued an iPad along with their diploma upon graduation. Suggest some lighting and thermostat and IP camera control via an iPad app and they might even give you a free cleaning!