AV Buddy By KoendigitalDec 01, 2021
Article written by Omar Colom and Laura Massas
“I used to carry around a folded A4 piece of paper in my pocket as an installer. It included AV Pin-Outs and notes on installing. It always ended up in the washing, so I decided to create AV Buddy…”
I wanted to start with this quote because I also use pocket-size notebooks when on a gig to keep notes of what I am doing and/or to keep track of tasks needing to be completed.
If you are newer to the industry (3 years or less), I highly recommend AV Buddy. If you are more experienced but want to help save the environment and keep yourself organized, I also recommend AV Buddy as a handy resource. It’s just the kind of tool that our AV Educate community should check out and see what kinds of solutions it can provide!
Check out the interview below.
Responses provided by Koen Digital
Q: What drove you to create the app?
A: I used to carry around a folded A4 piece of paper in my pocket as an installer. It included AV Pin-Outs and notes on installing. It always ended up in the washing, so I decided to create AV Buddy firstly for iOS then Android.
Q: What other apps have you developed?
A: I have created a pro version of AV Buddy, named AV Buddy Pro for the iPad. I have also created a 2D retro time travelling platform game named 'Tiny Time Travellers' for iOS and Android and currently creating Augmented Reality apps aimed at the Manufacturing and Engineering industries.
Q: Who are your target users?
A: AV designers, AV installers and anyone new to the AV industry.
Q: Do you work in the industry, if so, what sector and what’s your technical background?
A: My current role is 'Head of Technical Design' for an AV integrator in the UK, mainly delivering projects in the corporate sector. After studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering, I started my technical career working for a large telecommunications company throughout the UK and the Netherlands installing ISDN equipment into telephone exchanges. After 5 years in Telecommunications, I have had various roles in Audio Visual since 2008 including AV installation, AV design and commissioning in Sydney, Australia and pre-sales in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Q: How long did the total process of creating your app take?
A: Initially, I had to learn how to code in Objective-C, Java and HTML to create the first versions of AV Buddy for iOS and Android. So the process at first was time-consuming being new to programming back in 2012. I had programmed in the past but only my personal Amstrad CPC 464 and the Amiga 1200 back in the 80s and 90s. The first version on iOS back in 2012 - 2013 probably took about 6 months. I have just updated the iPhone version with the Swift programming language so I had to wrap my brain around Swift first before development for version 9. With this new version, I wanted something special for the users so I included new tools and technology such as Augmented Reality. Learning Swift, AR and then programming the new version took around 8 months to complete in my spare time in the evenings and at the weekend. My wife is now happy it's finished. ;-)
Q: Does your app work offline?
A: All tools, Calculators and reference material function off-line. The only part of the app that needs internet access is the AV job Page. So if you have no internet access AV Buddy will still work.
Q: Is your app the same thing from when you first created it or has the idea evolved?
A: It has the same functionally as the first version but over time I have added new tools and calculators. The new iOS version now includes Augmented Reality, improved code and new tools, such as the AV elevation tool and AR display tool.
Q: What platform is this app on and how should people new to your app be using it?
A: AV Buddy is available for iOS and Android. AV Buddy pinouts and calculators are easy to use and new users should firstly set their required units to be used within each calculator, for example whether the result should be in meters, centimeters, inches or feet. The AR display tool and AV elevation tool have instructions for new users. There is no need for new users to log in or register with the app.
Q: Can you break down each part of your app and what people can and can’t do with it?
A: The new version for the iPhone includes 5 sections.
Section 1 (Main)
When you open the AV Buddy you are presented with the first section named 'Main'. The main section includes pin-outs, termination guides, reference material and cable guides. The app includes video, audio and control pin-outs with connector descriptions and 3D interactive connectors. The termination guides are short videos explaining the process for connector termination. Reference material includes video resolutions, speaker wiring, audio interconnects and polar patterns. The cable guide section includes guides for Ethernet, Coax and Audio cabling with usage descriptions and 3D images for identification.
Section 2 (Calculators)
The 'Calculators' section includes:
1. Projector throw distance - Calculate distance using throw ratios
2. Lumens Required - Determine the lumens based on ambient light
1. ADM calculators - Farthest viewer, Minimum image height and Maximum image resolution
2. BDM calculators - Farthest viewer, Minimum image height and Minimum % element height
3. Image Height - Required height using distance
4. Viewer Text - Required distance using text height
5. Diagonal - Using width and height
6. Farthest Viewer - Required distance using screen height
7. Width Height Ratio - Find width or height using an aspect ratio
1. Series - Impedance and power per speaker using the same impedance
2. Series - Impedance and power per speaker using different impedance
3. Parallel - Impedance and power per speaker using the same impedance
4. Parallel - Impedance and power per speaker using the different impedance
5. dB Volt - Calculate the dB ratio between two voltages
6. dB Calculator - Calculate the dB between two wattage values
7. SPL at distance - dB level at a new distance compared to a starting distance
8. PAG/NAG - Amount of dB before feedback
Ohms law calculator for power, voltage, current and resistance
Unit calculator - convert between common units
Heat Load - Used for calculating the total BTU
Rack units - Convert from RU to measurement or measurement to RU
Resistor Calculator - 4 Band, 5 Band & 6 Band
Voltage Divider - Calculate voltage out using resistors
Section 3 (Tools)
AR Displays - This tool allows you to present Augmented Reality displays into the real world for visualisation
Test Pattern - 13 test patterns are available for the user to present to a display for testing or a projection screen for alignment
Audio Testing - 12 Audio test files for speaker testing includes Brown, White, Pink, Sweep, Saw, Sine, Triangle, Square, Tone in, Tone out, Rumble in and Rumble out
Tone Generator - Generate a tone between 0Hz and 25000Hz
Elevation - This tool plots display elevations with UK or US powerpoints/ network points. An option for conduit, display bracket depth, notes and company logo are also included.
SPL meter - Used for recording the dB levels
Section 4 (Job Page)
Post and view career opportunities within AV
Section 5 (Glossary)
A handy searchable glossary for AV.
Q: How’s the feedback, the audience response, since launching your app?
A: It has been really good and I have received great feedback especially for the new version 9 on the iPhone. Users contact me requesting features that they would like to see and I'm always open to new tools and ideas.
Q: What stands out about your app compared to other options?
A: I would say the amount of AV calculators, the Elevation Tool and the AR Display tool. I have tried to align the calculators with industry standards and include the most useful ones that a designer would use on a daily basis. The elevation tool is new in version 9 on the iPhone. AV elevations can be time consuming to create, so the tool allows you to quickly generate front and side elevations for printing or sending to a client or builder. In the past, I’ve visited clients with a cardboard cutout of a screen size for visualisation. Now there is no need for the awkward cutout with the AR display tool. It allows you to display screen sizes in AR from 43" to 98" and projection screens from 119" to 235". I have included content on the AR displays that represent 'general', 'Inspection' and 'detail' images.
Q: How do they buy the app? Are there additional features?
A: AV Buddy is available in the Apple app store and the Google Play store. There are no additional features that need to be bought.
Q: What’s next for the app?
A: I'm currently updating the Android and iPad versions to include everything version 9 on the iPhone includes. I'm looking into product placement within the app for AV manufacturers and to expand the educational content for the iPad.
Well AVE community, we hope this has been helpful in introducing this app to you or shedding light on some of the capabilities if it’s something you already use!
Stay tuned for the next app highlight soon!
Have a need that an app may be able to fix? Send us a shout and we may have an app highlight that features exactly what you need!
If you would like to contact the app developer directly, here’s how:
The best email for anything regarding AV Buddy would be [email protected] .
For Social Media, follow:
Instagram at @koendigital
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