Many of my readers will have heard the news that Microsoft will be attending the InfoComm tradeshow this year. Some of us have been talking about the convergence of AV and IT for years and Tim Albright rightly points out the importance of the news in his blog on AVNation.
This year’s InfoComm will mark the end of the Convergence Era and the beginning of a new era of Software-driven AV – where the value of software in AV is recognized and we stop distinguishing software from AV. In this new era, providing audio-visual technologies (the things we see, listen to, and interact with) represents an amazing opportunity for software companies. After all, what is your home television set without a Roku, streaming video, or the Netflix app? What would a video teleconference session be without clever room scheduling, calendaring, and file sharing software? And what would your conference room display be without Solstice software for media sharing and collaboration (wink)?
We’ve been attending InfoComm for years now, so I’ve seen the transition the industry has been going through — from looking at us cross-eyed, “Hey, I think they may have left your booth up when CES was taken down” — to gradual acceptance, “Interesting, software that manages and even enables display installations” — to outright enthusiasm for software “Software-defined displays are something we want!” As great as it is to be the leading (and maybe the only) company at the show that is using software to enable the control, sharing, and distribution of media on the display – it is great that we won’t be quite as lonely this year.
For years it has seemed we were the only software company on the InfoComm floor. So what do I think about the fact that Microsoft didn’t attend CES, but will have one of the largest booths on the floor at InfoComm? It means they are following our lead!