How did we get here?
Humanity is at an inflection point, where technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. As I witness this era of exponential change throughout the Audio/Video (AV) industry, sometimes I ask myself ”how did we get here?” Just like fire transformed our ancestors’ lives, just as the internet reshaped my daughter’s upbringing, we now stand on the cusp of a new era, one where AI and AV convergence can and will redefine our world.  As we venture into this transformative era, the AV industry is no longer the silent supporting act; it’s poised to take the spotlight in bridging the chasms of human connection.

We thrive on communication, the sharing of experiences, and the warmth of human interaction. It is here that the AV industry emerges as a beacon of hope, possessing the power to amplify our most essential senses for connection – sight and sound.

Enterprises recognize the value of engaged workforces. Collaboration and communication are not merely options; they are the lifeblood of modern organizations. It’s about more than just displaying content; it’s about fostering engagement, enhancing productivity, and elevating experiences.

The current demand for personalized and immersive interactions is very strong. This is where the AV industry provides the power to harness technology for human connection. It’s about taking data and turning it into valuable insights, shaping the AV industry across various domains.

What do we need to do?  

  1. Adaptation and Evolution: To realize this vision, we must pivot from a hardware-centric approach to a versatile, agile, and software-driven architecture. This transition will enable the creation of digital twins for AV systems, streamlining design and deployment on a grand scale.
  1. Ecosystem-Based Smart Building: We must construct ecosystems around software platforms that encompass hardware, applications, creators, and systems of systems. This holistic approach allows us to offer comprehensive AV solutions that cater to diverse industry needs.
  1. Transformation with AI and Data: Audio AI that immerses us further in communication, predictive analytics that enhance user experiences, computer vision that opens new realms of content delivery, machine learning that adapts systems to user preferences, and generative AI that sparks creativity. These technologies are tools that can enhance the capabilities of AV systems, making them more intuitive, predictive, and adaptive to user needs.

Imagine collaboration spaces that anticipate your needs, educational environments that empower students, sports bars that transport you to the heart of the action, hotels that offer personalized and unforgettable stays, theme parks that blur the line between fantasy and reality, and entertainment that resonates on a profound level. This is what the AV industry, powered by AI and data, can achieve.

The question remains: Will we seize the moment?

In an era defined by exponential change, the AV industry stands at the vanguard of transformation and innovation. We can create experiences that resonate deeply and forge connections that endure. The time has come to grasp this opportunity, to embrace the transformative power of AI and AV, and to shape a future where human connection is more profound than ever before.

Consider cautionary tales like Blockbuster Video or Kodak : huge industry leaders in their prime that chose to ignore the exponential change surrounding them until it was simply too late, giving way to fearless trailblazers.  We must acknowledge our duty in AV and take an active role in crafting our own storyline, or risk having it being written by others.

Joe Pham joined QSC in 2004 as Chief Strategy and Technology Officer. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2007 and President and CEO in 2010. In 2021, he assumed his current role as Chairman and CEO. Prior to QSC, Joe was with the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, working with chief executives to develop growth strategies and improvements to operational performance.

Joe previously served as Chairman of the Board at AVIXA (formerly InfoComm International) and President of PAMA (Professional Audio Manufacturers Association). Joe holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA, specializing in adaptive signal processing and control systems, and is a former Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA. At his core, Joe is an innovator and is dedicated to delivering technology empowered human-centric experiences.​​

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