5 Pro AV Trends VARs Need to Understand
The pro AV industry is dynamic and growing, with InfoComm expecting global sales to reach $115 billion by next year.
With the North American market making up 39 percent of that, U.S.-based value-added resellers (VARs) are seeing their businesses boom. However, it’s important to stay on top of the trends in such a fast-moving market. As the pro AV industry grows, new players enter the fray every year, introducing new technologies and new trends that have the potential to be the next big thing.
As a VAR, you’re in a unique position to help your customers truly understand the pro AV market, even as it evolves and changes. For now, here are five pro AV trends that you need to know about:
1. People are on the move.
Gone are the days when people accessed online conferences, web videos and other information solely through their fixed workstation. Today, end users want to use their smartphones, tablets and laptops to communicate and interact, even through web conferencing, video learning and other pro AV outlets.
As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend continues to take hold, expect your customers to become more interested in mobile capabilities – and to have questions around their security.
2. Social media is being integrated into pro AV.
As part of the mobility trend, social media has really taken off in pro AV applications at houses of worship, concert events, conferences and more. Users are invited to upload their statuses, pictures or video from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so they can be shared with the entire audience on digital signage or a projection screen.
Not only does social media integration add interesting and dynamic content during a live event, it also helps audience members stay engaged. And your customers will love the fact that it’s a highly affordable way to reinforce their messaging.
3. Pro AV is heading to the cloud.
In the last several years, the AV industry has begun benefitting from a wide range of cloud-based services and products, especially in the education and corporate verticals. AV video-as-a-service and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings are especially taking hold because they help reduce costs across the board. In addition, today some manufacturers offer “cloud-based” displays, which enable multiple users to submit and share content.
Smaller organizations are especially well-poised to benefit from the cloud, since they can run many functions and programs from the internet, rather than having to purchase the software or even hardware for themselves.
4. WebRTC will impact the industry.
WebRTC, an API that enables browser-to-browser communications, will likely begin having an impact on the industry over the next 12 months. The API, released by Google in 2011, allows end users to join a video call from a web browser, eliminating the need for a dedicated hardware device or a program like Skype. For smaller corporate applications, WebRTC could become a bit of an equalizer. Depending on how widely accepted WebRTC becomes, it could have a significant impact on your business and the products you offer.
5. Big data analytics sets its sights on AV.
Many industry experts are starting to consider how big data analytics could serve the AV industry. Considering the amount of video, text and other data shared in conference meetings and other collaborative sessions, there is a lot of valuable information for companies to mine.
By using big data analytics, for example, a corporation could allow employees to search recorded collaboration session by keyword or speaker, which would help extend the benefits of each session for years to come.
What other pro AV trends have you seen shaping the industry? How do you stay on top of new product releases and industry news?