When you imagine the future of audio-visual technology, what do you see? Although we can’t say for certain what will happen in the years and decades to come, we can discuss some of the trends to watch. Some trends may excite you (like virtual reality and adapting architecture), while others may prove frustrating at first (like the switch to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectors). Sit back, close your eyes, and let’s imagine the future . . .
The Future of Audio-Visual Technology
IP-Based Video Distribution
You might have heard the phrase “AV over IP,” which refers to the process of sending uncompressed audio-visual signals over standard Internet Protocol (IP) platforms. Already an emerging trend, IP-based video distribution is expected to become more dominant and commonplace in years to come. It offers increased efficiency and user flexibility, reducing the amount of equipment required and simplifying the infrastructure of the transport system.
Thunderbolt 3/USB-C Connectors
When Apple released its newest line of MacBooks in 2016, many people expressed frustration and bewilderment over the company’s bold choice regarding ports and connectors. The new MacBooks only contain four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. Although this seemed crazy to some, it will likely prove to be a smart, foreshadowing move in the long run. Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connectors provide a powerful, efficient means of transport at breakneck bandwidth speeds. The future of audio-visual technology is sure to include more Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connectors and ports as designers make use of this valuable technology.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Some of the most exciting developments in the world of A-V technology, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have gained a lot of traction in the past decade. They prove especially beneficial in the design industry, as companies can use VR or AR to show their designs to clients who struggle to imagine how drawings or Revit models will look in real life. In the future, expect the demand for VR and AR to increase in numerous industries, including entertainment, retail, advertising, health care, travel, and museums.
You might soon see retinal projection as well, a video technology that combines VR/AR with Retina Projected Imaging. It projects virtual objects into our eyes so that they blend in perfectly with the real world. To see for yourself, check out this video showcasing a 3D projector from the company Magic Leap.
Eliminating Control Panels
Who needs a control panel when we have wireless devices and AV/IP technology? Using authentication methods like Bluetooth, A-V companies can now design rooms that don’t require a control panel. At the moment, smaller rooms are much better able to handle the absence of a control panel. However, this technology is expected to expand to accommodate larger rooms.
Growth of Online Video Consumption
Did you know that people now spend more time viewing digital video than social media? In fact, as of 2016, the average adult spends 76 minutes each day watching digital video (source), and one-third of all online activity is spent watching videos (source). This rapid growth is largely due to the rise of smartphones and tablets, which make it easy to watch online videos anytime, anywhere. The audiovisual industry will benefit from this popularity, helping companies display online video in new and innovative ways, such as webinars, event live streaming, and digital signage.
Architecture Adapting to AV Technology
In the past, the A-V industry has adapted to suit the architecture of spaces. Now, as companies strive to fully integrate their intelligent audiovisual systems, architecture is often adapting to the needs of technology. When these two industries work together, the A-V technology can blend in with its surroundings instead of looking “tacked on” and obtrusive. Ideally, the integration will offer flexibility for the future, so that the space can adapt to evolving technology.
What do you think about the future of audio-visual technology? If you need help buying, renting, designing, installing, or integrating any A-V technology, contact Southwest Audio-Visual today. We supply a variety of A-V products and services, including audio-visual design and integration, equipment rentals, video conferencing, and event services. To get started, please contact us online or give us a call at 417-887-4900 (Springfield) or 636-225-4327 (St. Louis). We would be happy to help you with all of your A-V needs.