This time of year, it’s difficult not to write about the upcoming NAB event. The "Transition to Digital' e-mail box is brimming with press releases touting new products that are better, faster, brighter, shinier and less expensive than their predecessors. Displays are getting larger; hardware is getting smaller. This year’s NAB promises to be great. It always is.
On the other hand, there’s news of some highly significant technology leaps that are much greater than anything to be found in this year’s Las Vegas Convention Center exhibits. Rewind to a few short years ago, when a product rocked the broadcast industry that wasn’t officially on display at NAB. That product was the iPhone and smartphones in general.
Today, iPhones and smartphones are as ubiquitous in the pockets of broadcast engineers as tweaking screwdrivers once were. Nearly every modern piece of broadcast electronics can be accessed, controlled and tweaked with an iPhone or smart phone. They’re also handy for capturing HD video and high-resolution photos. Trips to the transmitter or studio to make a simple adjustment or change a setting are becoming old school memories. The near future promises more significant changes in the way we live and work that likely won’t be on display at this year’s NAB.