We know that the top trends in AV Technology change as the market has a change in needs. As we enter the post pandemic landscape the needs of companies, their workers, clients, and customers have certainly shifted. So here’s what we’re seeing…
An Increase in the Need for Digital Signage
Being able to communicate health related messages quickly and efficiently is becoming increasingly important in this post pandemic landscape. Perhaps the top AV trend currently is the increased demand the industry is seeing for digital signage. Digital signage allows for mass communication across an entire facility including corporate offices, warehouses etc… and even allows companies to communicate to additional locations or buildings in real time. Digital signage can be the perfect solution for multi-location businesses, restaurants, retailers, and manufacturing companies that now need digital signage in their warehouses as part of their AV package.
Digital signage can also be used to guide employees or visitors throughout your building)s). We’ve seen everything from digital signage being used as a display screen in a hallway of a corporation, to showing wait times at concession stands at sporting events. Audio alerts can also be used in collaboration with digital signage in the workplace. Another advantage of an increased use of digital signage is being able to communicate team statistics. For instance, many sales teams will now have a portion of their staff in the office and a portion outside of the office. Digital signage can show the sales statistics of the entire team and connect your in-office staff, with those working remotely!
A Desire for Touchless Tech
Cutting down on the number of touches needed to operate a system, or pull up a presentation is on everyone’s mind in this post pandemic landscape. Minimizing touchpoints means less cleaning needs and a reduced liklihood of spreading germs.
At Bluewater we have had touch-less offerings for years, going back to our touchless storywall technology that we have installed in countless lobbies, children’s hospitals, and even museums. However, it goes beyond that now. Our friends at T1V have developed touchless displays for spaces like classrooms and corporate huddle rooms, or even conference rooms.
Other touchless trends in AV include occupancy sensors in lobbies, or sporting venues in an effort to mitigate risk by creating capacity thresholds, or telling attendees of a meeting to space out more appropriately. We are also seeing temperature scanning technology for entrance into corporate lobbies becoming the norm. Additionally, automatic input switching that can occur without touch, or leverages voice technology is becoming a hot trend amongst many corporations and innovators in their AV packages.
Lastly, and most common, we are seeing an abundant rise in “Bring your own device” (BYOD) This isn’t just true of attendees bringing their own laptops to a meeting and connecting wirelessly, but we are also now seeing contactless, individual. table microphones being used by employees, and the systems within these conference spaces and huddle rooms need to be able to accommodate a multitude of individual devices, and seamlessly toggle between users.
Requests for Simple Systems & Controls
Simplicity for many companies is becoming a hot topic as they install new AV systems. Wireless control systems are becoming more readily available and acceptable, and the price points are making them more feasible for a broader array of companies. We spoke about touchless solutions above, and occupancy sensors can even turn systems on and off, as well as automate some pieces of the control system that were manual before. Simple is now meaning automated. Things like pushing cleaning alerts for conference rooms after they’ve been in use out to a digital signage system to let employees know, or intelligent automatic connection, is becoming the norm.
This means the person in conference room or huddle space has to do very little from the moment they walk in the door; outside of perhaps logging in to their own device they brought with them and wirelessly connecting to a specific network. No matter how we analyze it we see companies wanting fewer steps, less physical touch-points, and the ability to simply connect when entering a space. Gone are the days of calling the IT specialist down to help you setup for a meeting. Those days need to be over.
Adaptability is Crucial
Adaptability can mean a whole host of things from an AV perspective. For instance the image belows shows a display that acts as a piece of art in an open lobby experience for the majority of the time. That same space however is used for this particular company’s town hall meetings. The couch is removed and the display becomes interactive. Presenters can show presentations, or even draw, or create an overlay on the screen itself. The AV technology being installed in today’s offices needs to have the flexibility to perform multiple uses.
The latest tends in AV tech teach us that we always need to to keep things simple and allow for multiple uses when we can. Standardizing the technology and the brands you use can make a world of difference in your ability to pivot, if say a global pandemic were to ever hit again.
The Ability to Support the Remote Participant is Mandatory
Lastly and certainly not least, (in fact maybe the complete opposite of that) is the trend that your AV needs to be able to support the remote participant. Bluewater offers remote work kits that are perfect not only for small huddle spaces in the office, but can also be used by remote workers. Perhaps your remote team is in need of a control device, a display, or even a really good microphone to make those Zoom or Teams calls sound a bit more professional. These kits can be customized and they’re the perfect way to connect your in-person and remote teams.