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  • Jamie Horner

The AV Industry Is More Important Than EVER

This post examines the major trends and influences that are driving the digital transformation of AV environments. The global pandemic has changed how we work and attend school and as a result the AV industry is more important than ever in helping meet these new challenges

Hybrid Workspaces/Classrooms

The new hybrid work model, or the proposed strategy to not bring everyone back to the office or classroom at the same time, drives a big demand for AV upgrades. Less travelling also means more virtual interactions with customers and students. These fundamental alterations drive the importance and reliance companies have on their audiovisual systems. Remote work/class means more video and audio must be streamed than ever before, therefore, reliability and security are critical requirements. Plus, for communication to not suffer, the AV systems must offer the highest quality possible. More mission critical decisions will need to be made based on communication shared over a network, this will also increase the importance of security to maintain confidentiality throughout.

Reimagined Spaces

Changes to how spaces are being utilized will also need to be reimagined, as an example, small huddle spaces may no longer be practical due to social distancing requirements. A need for a greater number of medium size meeting spaces to allow team members to meet face to face but allow them to remain socially distant could be the new optimal room. Spaces that host large groups will need to be re-engineered, like training rooms, classrooms, and multi-purpose rooms. These layout changes could force the need for different technology to be deployed or more technology to be used. Changes to sight lines as an example might drive the need for large display canvases or a greater number of displays. Distance from microphones and speakers may require additional audio devices to be utilized as well. Reimagining the spaces will require careful design work which includes new techniques never tried before, best to tap an experienced AV design consultant to ensure things go smoothly.

Destinations for Collaboration

Another trend we could start to see, is where businesses and schools look to attract their employees and students to return to the office and classroom by creating a new and better “AV” experience. Using higher quality video products like larger display canvases, higher definition cameras with tracking, better lighting plus more sophisticated audio technology like beam finding and noise suppression would entice reluctant team members back to the office. The use of professional quality AV hardware and software ultimately will make the workplace and classroom a destination for those looking for the best collaboration experience. Almost all meetings and classes will now include remote participants, therefore the rooms must include technology that treats remote members as if they were there, making it seamless for collaboration with members working from home. This all creates unique challenges and a rethinking of the technology used.

Change Is Good

Transitioning all spaces to utilizing a network-based video and audio topology is instrumental in providing the needed flexibility to support the changes and upgrades discussed. Organizations that upgraded to IP before the pandemic will find these upgrades are less painful, while those companies utilizing older technology may find they need a forklift upgrade. Network based systems ultimately are easier to manage with tools that can be more easily deployed to help automate tasks, such as managing reliability, quality, and security. By utilizing a network-based topology and taking advantage of streaming media, more can be achieved, and greater overall quality of experience can be maintained. Many organizations can benefit from adding professional AV into their spaces to help create environments where the organization's culture can continue to shine and teams can continue to collaborate and flourish in the new normal.

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