Q&A: Harman Talks Voice Control, AI and Industry Growth 

AMX, by Harman Professional Division, is known for its development of innovative technologies, which it displayed at this year’s Total Tech Summit.

The company delivered its philosophy of simplifying the world through tech directly to guests during intimate boardroom sessions and one-on-one meetings at the event.

Being such a major name in the A/V industry, Harman had plenty of insider knowledge to deliver to guests of the Total Tech Summit, especially to those catering to the residential market. Adam Gershon, residential product manager for AMX by Harman, spoke with the Total Tech team following a boardroom session to discuss where he sees the industry heading. Among the hot topics up for debate was voice control.

logo-amx_byharman_rsWhat do you think are going to be the biggest industry trends over the next few years, both for Harman and the industry as a whole?

Voice control, obviously, is going to become a big part of the industry. IoT, in general, will also continue to grow through sensors, advancements in data and more.

As voice control advances, what comes next in terms of control? When will artificial intelligence start to play a role?  

[AI] will definitely be a part of it. In my mind, it’s a natural progression from voice control. It’s the ability to not only recognize what somebody said but what they mean. That’s what makes it different. That’s what makes it better. It’s the ability of knowing specific phrases in order to control things in a more complicated way.

Will all this growth eventually mean the death of the remote control or apps?

No. The remote control is not going to go away. The tablet app is not going to go away. But there are certain circumstances where voice control will play a huge role, like with music.

In what other circumstances would voice control be crucial?

We often compare it to a kitchen scenario. You’re cooking in the kitchen, but you don’t want to touch a tablet or a remote, because you’ve got raw chicken on your hands. Here is where voice control becomes important. You can say, “Read me the recipe. What’s the next step? Set me a timer, so I know when the baking is finished.” Scenarios like this will continue to drive the potential of voice control.

AMX is dedicated to integrating A/V solutions for the IT world and features an array of premium brands amongst its customer segments—JBL, DigiTech and Soundcraft, just to name a few. The company also works with hundreds of manufacturers through industry partnerships that ensure product interoperability. This alliance includes major names such as Carrier, Honeywell, JVC, Lutron, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.