January 15, 2019

Three Questions With Ryan Howard
"Designing and documenting workflows and processes alongside the hardware and software is … one of the ways AV is elevating its value proposition."

What are some of the latest innovations or technologies for creating immersive or interactive experiences for end users?

The trend that’s had the largest impact in recent years is the migration of audiovisual signal processing and transport from specialized hardware into software running on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. This is driving significant change within the marketplace, creating expanded technical capabilities, and economizing experiential systems. 

Looking ahead, I see the move into the web stack world accelerating because of the availability of powerful mobile chipsets, and especially because of the introduction of 5G wireless networks. The low latency and high bandwidth of 5G technology will drive the availability of voice interaction, machine vision, and other machine intelligence functionality.

How do you come up with innovative ways to engage customers/end users and how do you decide what technology to use?

Having such a rapidly expanding toolkit at our disposal, I think it’s more important than ever to approach each opportunity with an open mind and to have early and frequent conversations about business goals, the metrics that define success, the social and ethical implications, and the total system life cycle. One way I do this is by establishing a conversational framework to help guide those conversations. The framework was developed in response to diverse stakeholders using the same words (such as, “experience”) in different contexts, making it difficult to find alignment.

How do you build solutions that avoid obsolescence as technology changes and morphs?

Lifespan is a total lifecycle conversation now. Lifecycle management is a constant process because of the interconnected nature of the systems, so the systems must be built to change. The growing popularity of software as a solution  also drives the tempo up, with platform updates sometimes happening every two weeks. IT groups are already familiar with this challenge, but the AV world is having to adjust to this faster pace. Introducing content updates into the mix further expands the broader dependencies. 

Ideally, the ongoing resource requirements are as well documented as the signal flows and socialized across critical stakeholders. Designing and documenting those workflows and processes alongside the hardware and software is becoming a requirement, and it’s one of the ways AV is elevating its value proposition.