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Top Five Coolest Technology Items I've Ever Worked With by Chris Garvin

Hi, my name is Chris and I am the Technology Coordinator for NCI.  My job is to find the required technology needed to support the solutions we provide to our customers.  During my time with NCI, I have come across a lot of interesting gadgets and gizmos – some work well and some not so well. Below is my list of the top 5 coolest technologies I have worked with and customized for our customers. 

Technology #5: Wireless HDMI.  Great for both temporary and permanent installs, commercial grade wireless HDMI technology is the answer for when it is not practical to provide a hardwired solution. What is nice about commercial grade HDMI wireless devices is that their transmission distances are scalable.  They can reach up to a couple of hundred feet and are powerful enough to go through up to 6” of concrete.  These devices can transmit UHD resolutions (4K video) and HD sound.

Technology #4: IP Door Access Control (DAC). I love IP Door Access Control because our customers no longer have to rely on bulky door access controllers taking up unnecessary wall space with thick multi-wire cables running from the controller to every card reader, lock and accessory – now, with IP DAC, we eliminate the need for a separate bulky controller because each door card reader has one built in (with on board memory) and is connected (via pigtail) to the lock and any accessories (REX/Buzzer/Motion/Etc.).  Only one CAT 5e/6 Ethernet cable needs to be pulled to each door for LAN/WAN connectivity and power (PoE).  Door access can now be managed from any PC, tablet or smart phone. NCI provides two leading brands of IP DAC systems: Isonas and Paxton.

Technology #3 Audio Video over Network (AVoN). Before AVoN, in order to distribute AV, it required you to run separate audio and video cables to each location and employ both an audio and video matrix switch with multiple source hook-ups for the different medias your trying to broadcast.  With AVoN, now all you need to do is put your media on a PC, install an AV network switch and run a single CAT5e/6 or fiberoptic cable to each display. The cable then connects to an IP/TCIP AV module (with media converter when using fiber optics).  This setup allows you to send multiple AV broadcasts to any number or combination of displays while managing its distribution from any enabled PC or tablet.

Technology #2 Wireless Network Routing.  With the increase in quantity and quality of cellular wireless networks, wireless network routing is a valuable piece of technology in NCI’s toolbox. Wireless Network Routers provide you access to your ISP from any location that has a cellular wireless signal, making it the perfect application for many solutions.  Some of those applications include: a temporary circuit prior to hardwired installation, a fail-over (redundant) circuit to back up an installed primary circuit, or a temporary circuit that can be used for impermanent set ups (trade shows, outdoor training events and remote location for IP surveillance cameras/security systems).  NCI is a proud partner with CradlePoint - the industry leader in Wireless Network Routing.

Technology #1 RF Automation Control.  My favorite technology is a control platform that can be applied to audio, video, lighting and various electronic appliances.  By using RF (radio frequency) protocol via a controller, you can control multiple enabled devices from a single user interface.  You can further enhance your control capabilities by use of a “macro” – a preprogrammed set of commands that execute sequential tasks when a single event is initiated, or an internal trigger is activated, automating the entire process.  An example of an automation solution I installed allowed the customer to use a hand-held tablet to control all the audio and video devices in their conference room.  With one touch of an icon on the tablet’s screen, the user was able to simultaneously activate the conference room’s ceiling speakers and wireless microphone, turned on the ceiling projector and dropped down the motorized projector screen. With the audio icon, the user was able to control the audio source (projector, microphone and/or background music), its volume and muting.  With the video icon, the user was able to select/change the video source to display.  By using this automation technology, the customer was able to seamlessly control all audio and video aspects of their presentation for a very polished and professional event. NCI is a certified installer and solution provider of the Control4 automation brand.

I am so grateful to have worked with and experienced these cool technologies throughout my NCI career!  As you all know, the technology field is forever expanding, and I cannot wait to see what innovative technologies the future has in store for Network Connections!  If any of the technologies listed are of interest to you, please feel free to contact NCI for more information – have a good one!!

Chris Garvin

Kristen Pierce