Interactivity is one of those new trends in the audio-visual space that is expected to really explode in the next few years. From interactive whiteboards to digital signage, 3-D displays and even iBeacons, the opportunity for users to closely engage with technology is popping up everywhere. No wonder customers in retail, hospitality, healthcare and the business world are clamoring for more interactivity—now.
For value-added resellers (VARs) who work in the pro AV space, a close understanding of new interactive display technology will help to differentiate your business from all the others that are starting to offer similar devices.
Of course, it’s important to be able to “sell” the many benefits of interactive displays. While customer engagement is a clear advantage of interactivity in the retail and hospitality verticals, the role of these devices in the workplace might be a bit harder to define. With interactivity, it’s all about workplace collaboration—bringing employees together through technology to be more efficient and more effective.
Let’s take a look at the three ways in which interactive displays can strengthen workplace collaboration:
1. By letting workers use their own devices.
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is here to stay, and a growing number of workplaces are embracing the use of their employees’ own smart phones, tablets and laptops. By integrating BYOD capabilities into devices like interactive whiteboards, projection systems and digital displays, you can help your customers more easily leverage the possibilities of BYOD, which has been shown to improve collaboration.
How? The vast majority of the corporate workforce already has their own smart phone, tablet or laptop. In fact, many people have several of these mobile devices. (A recent Cisco study found that we’re currently averaging about 1.4 devices per person.)
Rather than going to work and using an entirely new set of devices, a growing number of employees prefer to use their own technology for work functions such as email, texting, video chat and other collaborative functions. By embracing this natural inclination, businesses will make workplace collaboration more seamless—both within the office and for their remote and mobile employees.
2. By providing entirely new ways to collaborate.
Emerging interactive technologies, such as touchscreens, interactive whiteboards and kiosks, have created entirely new ways in which workers can collaborate, significantly improving the effectiveness of teamwork and meetings. These tools can now be used for training (and re-training), in daily departmental briefings and board meetings, to gather confidential feedback and more—all of which improve workplace collaboration and enable better management.
3. By automating processes in order to free up resources.
Employees who are less crunched by tight deadlines and the drudgery of repetitive tasks are free to better collaborate and communicate. Interactive displays help by automating certain processes, such as helping visitors get to where they’re going or training new employees. A virtual receptionist, wayfinding kiosk or other interactive display can eliminate these tasks, enabling employees to focus on other work and maximize workplace collaboration—while also helping companies to realize operational savings.
4. By ensuring that everyone participates.
As InfoComm International points out, “interactivity is a human instinct.” And thanks to the proliferation of “smart” and touchscreen devices around the world, people simply expect to encounter interactivity in their day-to-day lives.
Any meeting that uses interactive technology is naturally more engaging and interesting than, for example, a lecture in which the audience listens passively. Devices such as interactive whiteboards and touchscreen displays help corporations capture and maintain listeners’ interest, making them more of a collaborator than traditional AV technology can.
Has your company experienced an increase in interest for interactive displays? How are your corporate customers using interactivity in their everyday tasks?