I recently had a fascinating discussion with a good friend and colleague.
As usual we “caught up” on family and friends. But, then our discussion turned to the industry and the business of system design and installation.
My friend brought to light something that I found very interesting. He made a statement that basically said that we are at a fundamental turning point in systems and designs.
His premises was that with fairly basic programming languages and some basic control hardware any piece of equipment in a system will be able to be controlled and managed by an iPad or other connected device.
He went on to explain how even with the new HDCP (High Def Copyright protection) requirements, he has designed a solution that will allow an end user to control an AV system from an iPhone, iPad, any computer that shares that network, or by remote access.
Needless to say I found the topic to be very interesting. In the past year, we’ve seen an amazing number of manufacturers switch from selling hardware to selling programming and solutions that are flexible, more software centric and deployable on every project for the simplest single projector install to campus, or network wide large scale installations.
The major premise of his argument is that hardware is becoming more and more ubiquitous. You can use one of many different kinds, styles or manufacturers projector, one of many DSP boxes or self powered speakers with DSP onboard.
The real issue for the integrator will be, can they create and give the owner a simple and familiar iPhone style GUI (graphical user interface) that can be used on multiple devices (i.e., tablet pc, mobile phone, laptop or desktop computer).
As my friend talked about the solutions, for some reason I flashed back to 10 years prior when I was presenting at a conference.