MarketScale recently attended AIA and caught up with Anthony Cortes, Director of Sales and Marketing for Extron Electronics. The company was at the show demonstrating some of its newest and most innovative apps. Cortes spoke about one of the biggest challenges in the AV industry and how his company is looking for solutions.

When architects design spaces, they typically do not account for audio-video needs upfront, so instead, these issues become an afterthought. At Extron, its clients are predominantly corporate in education, hospitals, and courtrooms.

Attempting to come back through after the build with AV installations can be tricky. For example, the lighting could be wrong, or the client wants audio in a room in which the ceilings are too high. Cortes’ goal is to see architects come to AV companies early on to help design out front rather than continually doing retrofits. Extron wants to be involved in the planning stages to optimize the space for the client in all future needs. If the client can let the architects know their short-term and long-term plans in advance, then the AV professionals can consult and help with the design.

In terms of connectivity, according to Cortes, the holy grail is wireless. As technology is progressing, what Extron does for the client depends on the level of connectivity they want as well as their level of need in user ability and knowledge. As its end users are mostly non-residential, their AV needs vary but continue to grow.

In an educational space, for example, a typical school library, the architects often do not understand that there will be technology in this space and as such do not design the space toward that end. They create a room that is architecturally pleasing with beautiful ambient lighting and high ceilings and then when it’s time to put in technology (a projector, for example) the AV team faces challenges that could have been avoided.

Cortes believes that if they could have discussion across disciplines early on, they could let architects know the future needs, so the result is an aesthetically pleasing and AV ready space.