As Clear-Com celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Bob Boster, president of Clear-Com, tells APB how five decades of intercom innovation continues to connect people from across various industries, including broadcast.
Clear-Com is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. What are some of the key changes that have taken place across the pro-audio industry over the last 50 years, and what do you expect to change over the next 50?
Bob Boster: The period of creativity which sparked the development of Clear-Com 50 years ago was the beginning of an incredible era of technological advancement. Micro-electronics development allowed all kinds of interesting innovations, culminating in the invention of the Internet and mobile telephony.
These same changes created an explosion in professional audio, and now everyone has a world-class audio and video production suite at their fingertips on their phone. This has dramatically lowered the barrier to entry for all kinds of people to produce content of all sorts.
Clear-Com has focused on communications tools that allow people to intercommunicate during live productions and events. We take a lot of pride in the different kinds of events we facilitate like major news broadcasts, concerts and sporting events, and specialised real-time team collaborations of all sorts. In the next 50 years, we believe we will still be coordinating communication between people who are working together collectively to accomplish amazing things – it is just the ways in which we connect them that are likely to continue to change.
Broadcast is also one industry that Clear-Com has grown to serve over the years. Which key technology developments do you expect to have the greatest impact on what the company can offer the broadcast industry in 2018 and beyond?
Boster: The biggest areas of dynamism in our business are IP technologies and wireless. Both these areas are undergoing a lot of change – that said, it is important to point out we are still manufacturing solutions which are backwards compatible to our initial offerings 50 years ago. There are not many companies that can say that, and we take pride in that fact. These days, we find that most of our broadcast customers do not want to be experts in communications, so ultimately our biggest contribution is knowing how to deliver the kinds of capabilities they require, and serving (along with our partners) as consultants or collaborators with them in designing and deploying the solutions they need to do their jobs.