Episode 46: Stephen Von Takach on Integrating Workplace Experiences, Gamification, Data-Driven Features and Open Source Software

Stephen von Takach is CIO at PlaceOS. PlaceOS ties together drivers into systems by running functions on a scalable cluster of computing resources. Similar to how AWS Lambda works.

Interview Highlights

  • Constraints allow creativity to blossom.
  • Drivers can exist in multiple systems. Logic is system specific.
  • Built on Crystal-lang, similar to ruby, but type-checked. https://crystal-lang.org
  • PlaceOS started in AV integration but, because they can integrate with anything, it has evolved to focus on workplace experiences. Streamlining your day, from when a persons enters a building until they leave.
  • User actions generate data that give insight into utilization and enable features like contact tracing and gamification.
  • “Once you are integrated into every system, the experiences are only limited by your imagination.”
  • Digital twin – modelling real world systems in the digital realm.
  • Mitigating risk through partnering with IT.
  • Most stake-holder resistance concerns network security, GDPR conformance and data ownership.
  • Conference room automation is evolving to eliminate the need for a touchpanel control interface.
  • Open source removes vendor dependency and helps educate. It also helps create a cooperative driver development ecosystem.
  • Clients are looking for a wholistic solution. A single workplace app (as opposed to multiple apps with separate functionality) drives usage and discovery of what the workplace is capable of.
  • Gamification can be used to drive a behaviour, like using spaces in off-peak hours, by offering an incentive, like free coffee and gift cards.

Mentioned In This Episode

AMX, Cisco, Microsoft Teams, Project Connected Home over IP, Google, Apple, Zigbee, 

Episode 34: Robin Ford on Open Systems, Preparing for Change & Trusting Your Instincts

Today’s guest is Co-founder and VP of business development at Global Cache. Global Cache makes connectivity products that let programmers like me control and automate pretty much anything using whatever software we like.

In an industry full of propriertary solutions, this is quite the unique approach. That’s why I am really looking forward to learning a lot today from Robin Ford.

Episode 27: BYU OIT AV Services On Raspberry Pi’s, Open Source, Big Data & Security

Today’s episode is a little different. Instead of interviewing a person, we review a University project that is changing it’s traditional control systems to Raspberry Pi’s and Raspberry Pi Touchscreens. Joining us from the Brigham Young University OIT AV Services team to discuss this project are Daniel Wells: Director of AV Engineering, Brad Streeter: Chief Engineer and Joe Blodgett: Primary Developer of the open source AV control and management solution.

The project can be found here:


  • You can’t know what kind of interfaces the customer will need. Giving them an API gives them the freedom to adapt the system as their needs change.
  • Active learning classrooms can have up to 10 displays. Because commodity hardware is so affordable, BYU is able to deploy a touchscreen control systems for almost every video display.
  • Microservers running in a Docker container could be an interesting way to create cross platform device drivers.
  • The SALT stack can be used to manage policies and security updates on Linux devices.
  • The ELK stack can be used to store and visualise data.


Daniel Wells, Brad Streeter, Joe Blodgett, BYU, Raspberry Pi, Sony, Epson, ELK, Aurora Reax, C#, .net, Node.js, Golang, Docker, SALT, Linux, JWT, CCUMC, University Of Utah

Episode 26: Andrew Page on Raspberry Pi’s, Sourcing AV From Alibaba, Virtual Reality and Continuous Deployment in AV Systems

Andrew Page has been working at Cornell University for over 16 years and currently Manager of Integrated Audio and Video Engineering.

He has experience designing and delivering for unified communications, digital signage, video conferencing, web conferencing, content delivery networks, webcasting, and video platform services as well as cloud based solutions.

Highlights From This Episode

  • AV Control with a Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi Touchscreen, HTML5 and NodeRED
  • Ordering Matrix Switchers from Alibaba
  • Deciding between Contract Manufacturing and Established AV manufacturers
  • How to Manage and Scale software defined systems
  • Enterprise monitoring of AV systems

Mentioned In This Episode

Cornell University, Glyph Technologies, Cisco, Zoom, NodeRED, Javascript, Node.js, NPM, Kramer, PJLink, Amazon Alexa, Revit, Blender, Unreal Engine, David Bianchiardi, Raspberry Pi Foundation, Chromium, Angular, Alibaba, Amazon Alexa, Colin Birney