With 2015 right around the corner, here are five trends that Crestron has on the radar for the New Year.
1. Architectural trends like open floor plans and office hoteling drive projects to have more rooms, but smaller rooms than our industry is used to serving. To be successful, integrators need to offer simple-to-use, rapidly-deployable, highly-repeatable solutions that offer a consistent user interface across an entire enterprise (even if different integrators installed equipment in different states or countries). This means spending less time on custom programming and more on simple configuration of rooms based on capabilities.
2. AV devices are essentially network appliances today, and it’s time the industry started treating them that way. A technology manager wouldn’t deploy hundreds of wireless access points or printers without centralized monitoring, management, and update capabilities, and we expect to see these as firm requirements for AV technology – right out of the box.
3. Decisions about AV technology can now be truly data driven. Reporting capabilities from enterprise management platforms like Crestron Fusion enable using metrics about room occupancy and technology usage to make best use of budgets moving forward. Integrators who lead their proposals with these offerings will have a step up on the competition.
4. Bandwidth will continue to increase with higher resolutions, whether it’s 4K broadcast video or laptops with resolutions above the 2K barrier such as 3200x1800. Streaming will become more and more important, both for linking rooms across an enterprise and for integration with native H.264 sources and displays.
5. Unified communications and collaboration will continue to increase in importance. There will continue to be a need to make these solutions a seamless part of integrated systems.
Tom Barnett has 15 years of experience in the custom A/V business, with experience in installation, design, programming, and product management for companies including SeaWorld, Kaleidescape, ControlWorks, and Crestron. He is a Crestron Certified Programmer, holds an MBA from Cleveland State University, and has served on the Independent Programmer’s Council for InfoComm, where he co-authored the white paper Roadmap to Control.