Saturday, May 18, 2024

Just add technology

Editorial by Martin Palicki, InPark Magazine Publisher

This summer I was invited by Just Add Power to tour their new facility outside Tampa, Florida. The company’s founder, Ed Qualls, is a former IBM employee who developed the first HDMI over IP system back in 2008. Just Add Power has focused on AV over IP ever since, and prides itself on robust, easy-to-use components that the company pledges to support with live tech-help throughout the product’s lifespan.

During the tour, Qualls shared how his initial ideas were met with skepticism and even anger by the established AV community. But his instincts were right and the relative simplicity of the system has helped usher it into the marketplace in a big way. Among some of the early adopters? Theme parks and hospitality venues. Qualls himself is a big Disney fan – the company headquarters has nods to theme parks all over the place, including a Dole pineapple whip machine in the kitchen and a Disney magic band reader in Qualls’ cigar lounge, often used for company events.

Parks and attractions have long made good proving grounds for new tech. They are always building, expanding and rebuilding to keep guests coming back. Systems need to function for long hours every day and have minimal tolerance for failure. And if something can physically break, one of the tens of thousands of people coming into the park each day is going to figure out how to do it.

AV over IP has passed all these tests, so what new technologies are parks working with now? AI is certainly on top of mind. Designers and vendors are already incorporating some of AI’s more well-known features into their work. But there’s more; you can find some answers to that question within this issue. InPark has long been a pipeline between the technology community and themed entertainment. Our reporting in every issue helps shed light on upcoming and established tech that makes the guest experience better. Just like InPark, Qualls understands intuitively why good tech is so important to visitor attractions: “If we can provide technology that the operator doesn’t need to worry about, they are free to focus their time and attention on guests and the total guest experience.”

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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