The year 2018 was interesting and eventful in the AV and collaboration sector. We witnessed a number of mergers and acquisitions, new technologies, product rebranding, and an avalanche of new products from both big and small entering the market.
After such an eventful year, it makes one wonder what does the new year have in store. While it is too early to make any near-accurate guesses as the major trade shows and expos are months away, we’ve decided to take a crack it using targeted guessing. Here, Actis Technologies India’s blog makes a handful of predictions about the upcoming AV Trends in 2019.
A focus on a unified solution
AV will increasingly be impacted by the trend towards consumerization and commoditization of IT. Keeping in mind high-cost and highly complex AV integration projects, the focus will be on providing an end-to-end solution. While there will still be high-profile projects with complex AV integration, the tangible growth will be in large-volume deployments of relatively low complexity.
There will be increased convergence between AV and IT by blending the techniques and tools used by IT departments. For instance, when it comes to deploying and managing a plethora of desktop and mobile devices – with the skills and know-how of professionals specifically focused on AV. As AV projects drift away from the small scale, highly complex custom room integrations to large scale, cookie cutter deployments of huddle rooms and mid-sized conference rooms. Keeping this in mind, the skill sets, tools and processes used in large scale IT deployments will be essential. At the same time, AV integrators will focus on delivering quality audio, cable management and the integration of IT systems with AV components will also be required. The winning combination of AV and IT skills and expertise will drive integrators to actively recruit or acquire skills from both the sectors.
Interactive training space technology
The Audio Visual Trends for 2019 will witness consolidation in the digital interactive whiteboard and collaboration board segment. The last two years already saw similar products such as Samsung Flip, Cisco Webex (previously Spark), Google Jamboard and much more. These collaborative tools are highly relevant in some specific applications. Interactive whiteboards are a billion dollar industry and are used in classrooms, boardrooms, engineering, coaching and the strategic planning of many types of projects.
Increased Importance of Audio
Video and collaboration products may be coveted, but meetings are doomed to fail without a quality meeting room audio system. Customers just need a little education on budgeting for audio better. Quite often, customers forget that meeting won’t take place at all without quality audio. Businesses often make the mistake of prioritizing video over audio when planning meeting rooms. Audio technology in many meeting rooms is often an afterthought. Quite often, audio dropouts, poor clarity, and intermittent snags bring meetings to a stalemate. We’ve covered this in a blog previously. The AV industry will focus on improving audio quality across the board.
LED TVs may dominate projectors
For decades business owners have used projectors for conference rooms and auditoriums. Not only were they convenient, space-saving devices; they also generated giant displays that anyone in the room could see. AV Trends in 2019 may see a paradigm shift. High-definition LED flat-panels are growing in size, shrinking in depth, and offering features not thought possible with projectors. Appreciated for their bright backlighting, LEDs don’t need specific light conditions to operate. With modern technology such as 4K UHD and HDR10, LED displays are popping up across workspaces for easy viewing anywhere.
AI Assistants, Automation & Voice Control
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have made their way into most aspects of technology. These technologies have immense potential to handle tedious and inane tasks that can easily be automated. On the enterprise technology side, companies have already been perfecting and deploying these technologies. In fact, many tech giants have already introduced products for consumer applications. One such use case is voice-controlled virtual assistants such as Alexa by Amazon, Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, Bixby by Samsung, Josh.ai and Google Assistant among others. The voice control solutions have already penetrated in the home automation segment and are moving into conference rooms and other corporate spaces. In the year 2019, your own voice will play a larger role in the control and automation of other technologies in a range of spaces and industries.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become commonplace in conference rooms. Initial uses such as auto-framing, noise suppression, active speaker tracking and image processing to improve lighting will be augmented with new capabilities such as meeting analytics, smart transcription, translation, voice controls and more. In other words, what you see in meetings today in terms of automation is just the tip of the iceberg.
Projection Mapping and Experiential Marketing
This audiovisual trend has taken the industry by storm. Projection mapping goes way beyond your everyday video projection. It involves using multiple projectors to extend images across irregular surfaces. With this technology, many images or videos can be projected on unconventional surfaces. This creates an immersive and panoramic 360° visual experience. Projection mapping is set to make its mark felt in advertising campaigns, live shows, conferences, presentations, trades show or other noteworthy events. Over the past number of years creating a unique visual experience for customers has been high on marketing managers agenda. We’re familiar with seeing video walls in the retail space nowadays and the next stage is video floors or even video tunnels.
A fully immersive experience can be achieved readily, with video floors and tunnels and messages can be displayed to shoppers from a whole new perspective. Floor to ceiling displays give innovators and ambitious brands a unique opportunity to grab the buyers attention and motivate purchases.
Do you have any interesting insights about the upcoming trends in AV in 2019? Use the comment section to share your thoughts.
(Content and Image courtesy: www.avixa.org)