Trends We’re Watching in 2011

As the industry continues to evolve — with 2011 bringing new and exciting challenges — the AV industry is making strides to accommodate client concerns over tighter budgets, smaller staffs and increased operational demands. With these factors in mind, AVI-SPL has researched essential AV trends to watch in 2011. Curious to know what’s new, improved and emerging? Keep reading to find out more.

Are Tablets Becoming the New Control Panel?

At 2011’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas, the endless unveiling of newer, faster and flashier tablets stole the show. Strong contenders against Apple’s iPad include the Toshiba Tablet and Motorola Xoom, among others. So how does the latest run of tablet trending affect the AV industry? Look no further than a user-friendly way to access and manage your AV system technology. In light of the “iPad Era,” AV manufacturers are making new strides with customizable apps.

As evidence of this latest trend, one of the leading control manufacturers, Crestron, has achieved a top grossing app in the iTunes Store. It’s also the only industry manufacturer to reach the top 100 with its Mobile Pro G iPad app. Other manufacturers jumping on the tablet app bandwagon include AMX, Bosch Communications and Savant, to name a few.

3D in the Classroom, an Eye-Opening Experience

Today’s tech-savvy students are fully engaged in multimedia-rich activities, whether using social media outlets like Facebook to catch up on hot gossip, “tweeting” at record speeds, or scrolling through the latest android phones for reviews, ratings and more. From K-12 environments to university settings, audiovisual technology has helped teachers keep pace, connecting with their students through the versatility of interactive whiteboards and response systems among the most popular classroom technologies, all the while increasing learning and retention.

Now, the world of 3D technology has emerged to quickly gain the student “wow” factor. This exciting new trend captures the attention and imagination of students, making 3D not just for the movie-goers’ experience anymore. The newest models of 3D-ready projectors allow for an immersive presentation of materials that feature crisp imagery, stunning colors and graphics that seem to fly, rotate and magnify in midair — all to the delight of today’s students.

Texas Instruments (TI) was responsible for the development of the DLP chip technology that now allows 2D projectors to play 3D content. Inspired by the success of 2009’s blockbuster movie Avatar, in which the technology was used, TI sought ways to help translate that appeal to the education market.

HD Desktop Video Conferencing Makes its Mark

“Video will become a commonplace content type and interaction model for most users, and by 2013, more than 25% of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio.” These statistics — provided by leading independent research firm Gartner — are wise words to take keep in mind when planning your organization’s technology budget.

Consumers and businesses alike will enjoy that this emerging technology offers all the advantages of larger video communication systems, but in a more compact size, with reduced bandwidth requirements and at a fraction of the cost of a full-sized system. These key factors may help drive the growth and popularity of HD desktop video conferencing systems in 2011.

Security Systems Gain a New Perspective

In capturing the latest AV trends, look no further than the rise of integrated security systems. Video surveillance and access control systems have become important tools in modern-day physical security. Primary advantages include the protection against litigation, asset protection and employee theft.

It all comes down to convergence. As an example, a reliable and affordable single- or multi-camera system can seamlessly feed through an organization’s secure local network. In addition, digital technology can provide extended visual recording capabilities for new or existing surveillance cameras.

Getting Interactive: The Next Generation of Projectors

The benefits of interactive whiteboards have always been marketed towards corporate, education and government settings alike. In 2011, it looks like a new, lower-cost alternative is emerging in the form of interactive projectors.

Just like interactive whiteboards, the key benefits of interactive projectors include the ability to engage and collaborate across audiences. Equipped with an electric pen, these user-friendly innovations allow you to simply write or draw over presentation material. As a technology game changer, this means that material can be presented without needing to purchase a board, and at about half the price.

What’s Your Take?

And there you have it, our top trends to watch for 2011. Do you agree? Disagree? Tell us what trends you’re keeping your eyes on!

4 Comments Trends We’re Watching in 2011

  1. Rodman Forbes January 12, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I have been reading up on the interactive projectors, and we have decided to purchase two on a trial basis, I am facinated by what I have read and I am looking forward to testing out the technology out later this month.

    It is interesting that you have mentioned it here in the trends we are looking at for 2011, keeping up with technology is always facinating.


  2. Steven January 12, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Good technology picks!

    What are the advantages over a Samsung Interactive White board(650TS Video touch display 1920 X 1080)
    and an Interactive Video projector?
    Which concept represents the best value and over all application(s) value(s)?


  3. Poly Endrasik Jr January 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Interactive projectors, hmmm, maybe for some applications but you also may have tablet PCs connected to regular projectors for a lower price-point and mobile solution (could be used during video conferencing as well). That’s my 2 cents that’s probably worth less than half that!!


  4. CClarke January 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Steven,

    Thanks for your response! Here’s what our AVI-SPL product manager, Joel Hosner, had to say:

    The biggest advantage that an interactive projector has over Samsung’s Touch Screen LCD Display is a significantly lower cost.

    Samsung’s Touch Screen LCD Display offers the benefit of a premium quality, high-definition picture that is difficult for competitors to match. Also, many prefer using a touch screen instead of an interactive projector because touch screens do not produce shadows when users touch the screen or stand very close image.

    On the other hand, an interactive projector can provide many of the same features of a touch screen at a fraction of the cost. Interactive projectors are being produced with very short throw distances, which significantly reduce shadows on the board. Interactive projectors can also be set up to display very large images, which LCD’s cannot provide at a similar price point.

    Joel Hosner, CTS

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