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Posted by: Paul Weatherhead

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The year 2017 was quite the whirlwind year for audio visual news. There were innovations in LED technology and AV over IP that have been changing how technicians approach AV solutions. These trends are not isolated to 2017, however, and are continuing to evolve after the new year. As is to be expected of a technology-driven industry, even the first weeks of 2018 are proving to be interesting for leading trends.

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We’ve gathered together three of the most influential trends already gathering momentum for 2018 for you to consider. AV companies that want to remain at the top of their game will want to stay tuned for our audio visual news roundup!


1. Open-Source Versus Proprietary Platforms

Up until now, the AV industry has been known for its delineated approach to programming and designing system components. Interoperability has often suffered as a result since competition among various AV brands has made most AV products difficult to effectively integrate. World-class AV companies Extron and QSC want to change the status quo.

Leaders of these companies are advocating for a “common language” for programming and configuration in AV. The goal is to create a robust and evolving open-source platform that can spur on creative problem solving, makes implementation easier, and improves the long-term viability for AV systems. Extron is already working on developing this open-source platform, basing it in Python.

If this venture does take off, it could mean more available talent could be sourced from adjacent markets to AV, such as IT. Technology used in AV systems would be more scalable as well, meaning less need for constant updates to clients’ systems.


2. AI Is Arriving

I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Amazon Alexa will soon be used in the office and that automation of both office and home is on the rise. In 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to become one of the biggest innovations driving AV solutions. People want more voice control in their lives to relieve their multitasking woes and give their eyes and hands a rest from endless direct interfacing with technology.

AI assistants like Alexa, Cortana, and Siri are offering a touchless user interface that promotes a more natural and convenient way for people to live in a digital world. Many media-related markets, including AV and IT, are in a war for people’s time, which is being stretched to its limits. AI offers a way to both capture clients’ attention and give them productive tools to reclaim their schedules.

Of course, AI isn’t an umbrella solution for AV challenges—some tasks lend themselves better to touch-based interfaces, like editing presentations or sound clips. Regardless, you’re sure to hear a lot about AI and how it affects user experience (UX) throughout 2018 and beyond.


3. AV Converges with IT

What you might’ve noticed about all the trends discussed so far for early 2018’s audio visual news is that it’s technology-focused. That’s because AV is no longer treating IT as just an adjacent (or even rival) industry. This will be the year AV professionals partner with IT professionals to ensure the infrastructure that underpins cutting-edge AV systems keeps improving.

Moving forward, AV decision makers want to be in the know about APIs, analytics, best practices for device management, and proficient UX. While the AV industry and the IT industry will always have differing end goals, the barriers that were previously preventing fruitful partnerships are breaking down.

There will be an emphasis on developing a mode of communication that will be clear and effective for both industries, hence the growing need for the kind of open-source platform that Extron and QSC are striving for.

Keeping abreast of audio visual news is part of an AV project manager’s survival guide in 2018. Don’t underestimate the power of being aware of cutting-edge trends that could be key to your clients’ AV solutions.


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Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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