With the professional audiovisual industry expected to grow to $230 billion by 2023, we’re looking forward to seeing this evolution and expansion play out throughout this year and beyond. This growth will be driven by a myriad of factors, and the team here at Vistacom took turns sharing its thoughts on the various new trends, technologies, and processes that will impact the industry moving forward through 2019 and into the future.
Increased Managed Services
Dan Gundry, Director of Sales and Marketing
Our clients are calling out for services beyond break/fix and basic training. They are looking for proactive support through remote monitoring, a higher level of adoption services so that training is reinforced and centers around their workflow and use cases and a more manageable life cycle replacement through non-traditional models such as leasing and AV-as-a-service. These trends will continue to build as clients help move us into a better position of support for their overall business goals. It is this realignment that will drive Vistacom’s business relationships and have the most fundamental change on our client interactions this year and beyond.
Internet of Things (IoT) Focus
Tom Iasiello, Director of Managed Services
I see an Internet of Things (IoT) wave coming coming at us. Smart devices are being adopted quicker than ever, and they all provide not only technical data about the devices themselves, but also information about the users. Therefore, for the managed services sector, the question becomes: “What data do we need and what data do we disregard?” To answer questions about the systems we install, we need data acquisition and metrics; we need to accumulate and measure the results in a way that humans can easily understand.
Right now, customers are mostly looking for system information such as usage, online versus offline, what devices are used consistently and system health at a glance. But as the IoT builds itself out and every connected device in the building is sending some sort of data, we will be able to monitor and gather information like never seen before.
For example, we could obtain particular details about meeting attendance through facial recognition, such as: the number of attendees in a space, who is in the space, who reserved the room, etc. This data then provides additional insight as far as whether the design of the room is appropriate or if system updates and technology adoption are necessary.
Looking ahead, the industry will move from reactive to predictive corrections. We’ll know something is degrading and moving toward a failure before it happens; the monitoring system will alert you prior to the failure and possibly correct it by itself. As artificial intelligence (AI) is perfected and works within the world of IoT, we will have smart managed services that will be able to reroute signal flow to other devices in order to minimize any down time. With the development of AI, these systems will be able to learn and make a correction based on previous actions and data without any input from the operator.
More Usage of AVoIP
Matt Boyer, Director of Technology
AV over IP (AVoIP) is something that is really taking off in the industry and will continue to evolve in 2019. The technology has been around for a long time, though: VBrick was one of the first to demonstrate putting audiovisual signals down an Ethernet connection back in 1998. SVSi, now part of AMX by Harman via Samsung, was one of the first companies to create a video routing matrix for computer signals that ran on 1 Gbps Ethernet and they are still a major player in this market segment.
But in the last few years, things have exploded. There are a multitude of manufacturers on the market with offerings for both 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps solutions. They use video compression technology to enable a 4K video signal that starts out at 18 Gbps to fit within the 10 GB or 1Gbps Ethernet limitation. Types of technology used can be JPEG2000, VC-2, PURE3, SDVoE, MJPG, H.264, and others. The choice of compression technology can have an effect on the video quality, stream size, and latency, or the time it takes to compress and decompress the video signal.
With so many options out there, it can be a challenge to pick the right solution, but one thing is for sure: the technology is here to stay and will eventually replace current technology, such as HDBaseT, as the go-to product for video distribution.
Millennials in the Workplace
Warren Osse, Application Engineer
My thoughts consider the impact of a new generation of workers, often generalized as millennials, in the workplace and the changes due to this transformation. As a baby boomer, I witness this evolution daily and it is rapid. Trends I’m currently seeing in the industry and expect to continue include bring your own device (BYOD), video conferencing, texting, and communication via social media platforms. The new generation also prioritizes convenience, speed, and simplicity, which means spontaneous meetings occurring from various locations, quick results delivered to participants with simple and reliable technology.
Now how does this affect Vistacom’s choices for our partners to help them connect and communicate with each other? We look to deploy communication technology where it has not traditionally been located, keeping processes simple and seamless. We also aim to work with IT staff to provide secure access and delivery, with remote support that tells you if there’s an issue and explains how/when it will be resolved.
AI and Machine Learning Capabilities
Paris Orrison, Manager of Engineering
One of the biggest trends impacting the industry this year and in years to come will be AI and machine learning. This technology will become commonplace across enterprises and learning institutions. As computer systems become able to and better at performing tasks that in the past required human interaction, this trend will be enhanced and utilized more frequently. As these systems turn into the main ingest point for visual and spoken data, we will see major jumps in managed services and AV-as-a-service offerings.
It remains to be seen what benefits will be realized from the data generated by information computed from these systems or how it will be utilized far in the future. I am looking forward to the next big steps provided for this type of computing and the how it will be implemented in our day-to-day home and business lives.