From Pixels to Clouds: AV Technology Trends to Watch Out For

Cormac Rice

The Audio-Visual industry has always been an ever-growing industry, undergoing massive changes in both its hardware and software over the years. AV has been at the forefront of technology trends and innovations, as the industry is spearheaded by passionate engineers. It’s through these engineers that many of the biggest AV technological breakouts have been built and rolled out to the public and corporate sectors of the industry. From the wide availability of 4k resolution displays on the market, to the immersive worlds of Virtual Reality, to one of the most successful technological advancements, AI being implemented into the AV world.

AR and VR Technology

A big breakout in the AV Industry is the incorporation of immersive experiences, taking full advantage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). While it is still in its early stages, the use of VR and AR technology has become widely mainstream. VR Technology has allowed people to explore digital environments, such as video games, training and education simulations and even online VR hubs where people can interact virtually, as seen in the Metaverse. AR allows someone to bring digital components into everyday life. Museums and Exhibits make use of this technology to give people a more interactive experience to their tours. With VR/AR being so popular and widely accessible, what’s stopping the AV industry from incorporating VR and AR into live events, concerts and more to maximise the experience. Within the next few years, its widely believed VR/AR will be more advanced and so streamlined that it could be accessed easily by mobile phone.

Artificial Intelligence

It’s hard not to mention technology trends within the industry without talking about AI. AI has completely changed the technology landscape since it has become open-source and widely accessible to the public. AI has revolutionised the way people interact with AV systems. AI introduced ground-breaking features such as facial recognition, as well as voice commands, which brings a new level of ease and security to AV systems. The use of AI has made devices smarter, picking up of user preferences and re-occurring uses of AV technologies, being able to predict these preferences without the person having to manually input them, streamlining the process, and taking up less time.

AI has unlimited potential, being very versatile and a powerful tool. With this potential, AV professionals will continue to incorporate AI into their systems, being able to optimise performance, pre-emptively troubleshoot issues before they occur, and keep the systems as efficient as possible.

Cloud Technology

The integration of Cloud Technology into the AV industry has brought huge advantages for those working in the market and their clients. The near unlimited storage the Cloud provides relieved those working in the AV sector of the limitations that came with physical storage.  The Cloud has diminished the worry of capacity for AV engineers and professionals. The physical elements of the Cloud, or lack thereof, allow end-users and professionals to access and share resources via an internet connection, which is a massive achievement and benefit, especially from an end-user perspective. The Cloud can also provide management systems for AV equipment, being able to keep track of equipment usage, whereabouts and device health, overall streamlining maintenance for AV professionals. The Cloud’s versatility and efficiency has provided scalability and organisation to AV professionals and clientele, providing better solutions.

With Covid-19, using online meeting software for business operations became key. Today, it could be said that it is used more than in-person meetings, with no pandemic. Companies incorporated hybrid meetings in their day-to-day operations. The pandemic forced companies to adapt their technology with current affairs. The use of hybrid meeting spaces has set a new standard for modern workspaces. In a few years, technology may be able to go further and have a hologram projected version of a hybrid meeting.

LED Displays

Displays have been through an immense amount of progression since over the past couple of decades. A few years ago, it was hard, and expensive, to find a display that had 4K resolution, now it can be hard to find one that isn’t 4K. This is where 8K displays have taken the role of expensive and rare displays, making waves in the AV industry. 8K Displays can offer HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology, providing incredible visuals and amazing image clarity. As well as the software and technology of displays being advanced, the physical size and weight of displays has changed, by decreasing the weight of the displays and increasing the screen to have smaller bezzles or having none. While they are not as common today, 8K Displays will become a new standard soon, making them available commercially at an affordable price.

Interactive Displays

Not only has the resolutions and the size of displays upgraded, but the capabilities of displays have upgraded alongside. Interactive displays have been rolled out, offering people a wide range of functionality. These displays offer interaction between a person and content on the screen of display through touch and gesture controls, allowing users to swipe through channels or even write on the display with their finger. Many offices, sites, tours, and exhibits use interactive displays to display a map of the grounds, allowing people to get a view of the premises and see what there is to offer. Currently, a PC is commonly needed to have a functional interactive display but in the future, the setup and equipment used for interactive displays will be more efficient and organised, with use of possible all-in-one interactive displays.

Final Thoughts…

The AV industry is continuously evolving, with companies trying to improve the hardware and software on the market before their competitors. This kind of passion and dedication is why the AV world has experienced so many outstanding technologies being developed. Amongst these, the biggest breakouts that will continue to grow immensely and shape the AV industry are AI, VR and Cloud computing. These technologies have ushered in a new era of AV technologies, enhancing the immersive, intelligent and accessibility of AV technologies. As of now, these technologies have only scratched their potentials, and as they continue to evolve and advance, the future of the AV industry has endless possibilities, promising to give users the best experience possible.

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