The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus was famous for his belief that change is a fundamental essence of the universe. “The path up and down are one and the same” and “there is nothing permanent except change” are two of his observations on the state of human existence.
Fast forward 2,500 years or so and he just as well may have been referring to today’s pro AV industry, which is unrivaled in its ability to adapt to meet the constantly changing demands of users. To drive this point home, consider that most of the pro AV technology used just 16 years ago is either no longer used today or has evolved to meet customer demand.
Touch screen displays fall into the “evolved” category. The technology has been commercially available since at least the early 1980s but has recently become popular with widespread use in the retail vertical and the huge surge in popularity of smartphones and handheld tablets.
Today, touchscreen displays are helping boost the pro AV industry in many previously unforeseen ways.
Bringing home the bacon
According to InfoComm International’s 2014 Global AV Market Definition and Strategy Study, the worldwide market for pro AV products and services grew to $91 billion in 2014 from $75.5 billion in 2012, an increase of 11 percent annually. It is projected to hit $114.2 billion by the end of 2016, a projected increase of 12.2 percent from 2014.
The touch screen display market alone is expected to be worth nearly $15 billion by 2020. That’s a lot of revenue that’s expected to circulate among installers, manufacturers, solution providers and other pro AV players.
Allowing for Greater Market Share in Previously Elusive Verticals
The phenomenal growth of the touch screen display market is being fueled by two primary growth engines:
1. Global economic emergence from the Great Recession
2. Rapid adoption by atypical market verticals
Former no-shows are now rediscovering the touch screen market with rapid adoption of interactive displays taking place within hospitality, healthcare, education, government and corporate verticals, to name a few.
In the education market, touch screens are transforming pro AV on college campuses into a must-have in order to attract students. In the healthcare vertical, touch screens are being widely adopted to speed up the patient intake process.
In the corporate vertical, the influence of consumer products is changing employee expectations of pro AV technology in the workplace. Employees are using technologies like touch screens in their everyday lives, and that’s driving corporations to invest in similar technology solutions in the workplace.
Enabling the rise in popularity of kiosks
Today’s digital touch screen kiosks are showing up everywhere from train stations and airports to retail stores and restaurants. They are even being deployed to pay dreaded property taxes in some locations.
A growing number of kiosks in the retail vertical are being deployed to attract customers in addition to other touch-screen-enabled technologies like point-of-sale systems and standard digital signage.
Touch screen kiosks are highly desirable by customers who don’t like to wait in lines or are short on time. Oh, and they’re also highly regarded in the pro AV industry, as they are expected to bring in $73.35 billion by 2020.
If the revenue estimates are accurate, touch screen displays are here to stay and will be a major force of change in the pro AV industry for years to come.