09.01.12

Crestron aims for the clouds with Connected initiative

Fred Bargetzi comments further on Crestron's ambitions in the Cloud, and with its Connected initiative.

In what was the first major announcement from the big control and switching players on cloud technology for pro AV applications, Crestron has said it is collaborating with manufacturers of electronics devices to embed its control platform intelligence in a wide selection of sources and displays.

Whist this is clearly very early days, this remains an extremely important announcement. It gives us the first peak at the direction that Crestron will be taking at is respond to the emergence of the cloud as one of the key technologies of the next decade.

It does however raise a couple of questions. If vendors sign up to Crestron Connected, are they allowed to sign up to equivalent schemes from everyone else? Will they be able to? Is it going to be as simple as a firmware upgrade when AMX or Extron inevitably develop something similar? Also, when will these devices become available? Is there going to be additional cost to the customer for buying a Crestron Connected device.

UPDATE: Since this article was first written we have finally managed to get some time on the phone with Fred Bargetzi, Crestron’s VP of technology.

He explained that much of the onboard intelligence for these devices has already been developed over the course of a partnership with Texas Instruments. Indeed, he went on to explain that there are some 1.2m devices already on the market, which include the Crestron Connected technology.

In his own words, Crestron has back-doored much of this intelligence. You’ve probably got it somewhere whether you know it or not.

The cloud too has been a long term game for Crestron according to Bargetzi. “With respect to “going to the cloud”, I should mention that our 3-Series control system (launched February 2011) is .NET based. Development of the 3-Series platform began in 2009, and as you might imagine, creating a cloud based system had an influence on the choice to go with a .NET based architecture – so in short, we were thinking cloud back in 2009.”