Blog: My ‘Automation vs Control’ Pet Peeve

Buyer beware: The terms 'control' and 'automation' are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Our guest blogger explains the difference and why it matters.

Blog: My ‘Automation vs Control’ Pet Peeve
Get with the program: Control is not automation. Automation is not control. Credit: Photo courtesy of Somar International Ltd./Flickr
Blog: My ‘Automation vs Control’ Pet Peeve
Get with the program: Control is not automation. Automation is not control. Credit: Photo courtesy of Somar International Ltd./Flickr

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with a tool or tools, in this case the stick and the clutch. An automatic transmission shifts the gears without any input or control from the driver, hence it being called ‘automatic.’ The car uses a mechanism like a speedometer or RPM sensor to tell the car when to shift gears.

In a like manner, A/V companies can add great value to clients by creating automated systems that use related queues to automatically control the system without requiring the user to provide input. Using sensors to detect occupancy, light and temperature; or utilizing PC-based systems with daemons installed; or providing power management that not only powers down devices but also switch outlets to avoid phantom power draws all lend to true automation.

When talking about A/V systems, we diminish value when we confuse terminology like automation and control. We build value when we differentiate between the two. There are many systems that may never require automation, and where control will suffice. In other cases, if automation is the goal, a unique approach and component list may be necessary.  Only when we are able to explain the differences coherently can we become the true resources our clients are looking for, which helps all of our businesses in the end.



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