When the Chips are Down, the AV Industry Steps Up

The world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how abruptly even the world’s largest economies can grind to a halt. Thankfully this pause we’re experiencing is temporary and we will work our way back to normal – hopefully sooner rather than later.

Despite how bleak the outlook may appear today, I’m inspired by how the AV industry is responding to this crisis. We often talk about how a robust, agile AV infrastructure is critical during times of crisis – now is our moment to live up to that promise.

Case in point, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently designated four facilities in and around Manhattan to convert into temporary field hospitals to help absorb the anticipated patient surge driven by COVID-19. These facilities – which include Javits Convention Center, Westchester Convention Center, and the campuses at SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Westbury – will each house 250 hospital beds, with hundreds of federal staffers and other medical professionals tending to patients. Even temporary medical facilities like these require a robust AV infrastructure. To help with this effort, our partner and good friend Hal Scharfman at Smart Digital Solutions designed and implemented a wayfinding solution to direct patients to different areas within the Javits facility. Hal and the Smart Digital Solutions support staff generously donated their time to get the solution up and running quickly, and we’re donating BSN.cloud Content Cloud subscriptions that enable Hal to provide the field hospitals with content updates and player monitoring at no charge.

Unfortunately these temporary field hospitals are likely to become quite common in the weeks ahead, especially in the areas hardest hit by COVID-19. Just a few miles from our Silicon Valley headquarters, the Santa Clara Convention Center has been designated as a federal medical shelter. The facility will be outfitted with 250 beds intended to treat patients with conditions other than COVID-19 as local hospitals treat those battling the coronavirus. These plans are coming together quickly, and we’re working directly with the Office of Emergency Management in San Jose to donate media players that may be needed to power wayfinding solutions and other informational displays.

In the weeks and months ahead, our healthcare infrastructure will be tested like never before. This is an opportunity to rise up and put our collective expertise to work to help in any way we can.