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What Will the Next Five Years Reveal in AV?

  • The year 2020 seems an incredibly distant prospect, especially with technologies seeming to have a very short shelf life before obsolescence. But it’s possible to chart a path based on the knowledge you have at present—just be careful to find the happy medium and stick with it.

“Don’t be a follower, but don’t be bleeding-edge, because you’ll just be teaching everyone else how to make money,” advised Julian Phillips, EVP of Whitlock Group at the Destination 2020 - Future Trends in AV and Electronic Systems panel discussion.

Part of the InfoComm Training offerings, the 2020 session was led by Brad Grimes, director of editorial series for InfoComm, with panelists that included Phillips and Frank Sheehan, director of technology at Visual Acuity, Robert Simpson, founder director of Electrosonic, Florian Rotberg, managing director of Invidis Consulting. Attempting to conjure the future from what we know now, discussion topics spanned videoconferencing and 4K all the way through to drones and holograms. At the end of the 90-minute session, which included much audience participation, it was determined as a group that the Top Five Trends to Come Out of ISE this year will be: Intelligent devices; IPV6 and 5G networks; consumerization; software as a service; and remote engagement.

Together, that list adds up to intuitive operation of collaborative AV systems. That may sound like a lot of buzzwords, but as many sessions have already indicated at ISE 2015, the future is not about a piece of hardware so much as it is about user experience.

Maybe the only prediction we can make is the disappearance of the “system” in favor of the “smart environment,” described concisely by an integrator in the audience, Amir Kolahzadeh of IT Works in Dubai, U.A.E.: “I believe user interfaces will go away, and the room knows who I am, sees the meeting on the schedule, reaches out to the cloud, pulls my files, and has them on the screen when I arrive.”

Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.