In our forever changed, post-pandemic world, audio visual technology now stands in higher regard and importance than ever before. In our hybrid world, AV conferencing technology leapt to the top tier of hybrid work strategies. In an office trends survey, 76% of respondents named enhanced video conferencing a top priority and 44% consider it a number one priority.*
The latest advancements in AV technology are making it possible to create more immersive experiences for every kind of audience. From large-scale events to small-scale presentations, audio visual communications is playing an increasingly important role in the way we share information and communicate.
With that said, it may be time to take a look at the numerous technological breakthroughs and innovations shaping the modern AV landscape.
Spatial audio: Spatial audio technology, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, enables sound to be rendered in a three-dimensional space creating an immersive audio experience that envelops the listener. Home theater, cinema, and even headphones have adopted this technology. When spatial audio is incorporated, listeners experience an improved sense of focus and concentration. Spatial audio improves attentiveness, reduces fatigue, and enables users to focus on meeting content.
Wireless speakers and headphones: This seems obvious to us today, but wireless is a game changer in AV. Wireless audio technology has made it easier than ever to enjoy high-quality sound without the constraints of cables. Wireless audio solutions are rapidly becoming the norm, from Bluetooth speakers to Wi-Fi-enabled multiroom audio systems.
Smart speakers: Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, opened up a world of previously unheard of possibilities for voice-controlled audio experiences. With simple voice commands, users can access music, news, podcasts, and more. This "assistive technology" is rapidly making its way into meeting platforms via "Hey WebEx" and other meeting artificial intelligence applications, allowing users to automate note taking, or creating to do lists from the meeting content.
Along with audio advancements, the world of visual technology has witnessed many innovations driven by the demand for higher resolutions, more vibrant colors, and greater interactivity. Some key visual technologies include:
4K and 8K displays: Ultra-high-definition (UHD) displays, such as 4K and 8K TVs and monitors, offer incredibly detailed and lifelike visuals, making them an essential component of any high-quality AV configuration.
OLED and QLED displays: OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and QLED (Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode) technologies represent the next generation, offering superior color reproduction, contrast, and energy efficiency compared to traditional LCDs while also keeping equipment temperature lower.
HDR (High Dynamic Range): HDR technology enables displays to reproduce a broader range of colors and contrast levels resulting in more lifelike and vibrant visuals. HDR is increasingly becoming a standard feature in modern TVs and monitors, which helps the eyes and lowers visual exhaustion.
Interactive displays and touchscreens: The rise of interactive exhibits and touchscreens has transformed how we interact with AV content, making it more engaging and collaborative. From large-scale video walls to portable touch-enabled projectors, applications for interactive displays are finding homes in various settings, including education, business, and entertainment.
Virtual and augmented reality: The emergence of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) has revolutionized how we experience audio-visual content, creating immersive environments that blur the line between the virtual and real worlds.
Software is critical in modern AV equipment, enabling greater flexibility, customization, and control over audio-visual experiences. In addition, several cutting-edge AV innovations depend on software solutions, from content creation and management to signal processing and transmission.
Software-based signal processing and transmission solutions, such as audio digital signal processors (DSPs) and video-over-IP systems, offer greater flexibility and scalability than traditional hardware-based solutions. By leveraging the power of software, AV professionals can quickly adapt their setups to accommodate changing requirements and new technologies.
Software monitoring and management has also made the move to the cloud, allowing for management as a service for your AV environment to be easier, more scalable, and less expensive.
The world of audio-visual technology is constantly evolving, driven by technological advancements, changing user preferences, and the ongoing pursuit of innovation. Here are important technologies that are driving the AV landscape now.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): Integrating AI and ML into AV equipment is revolutionizing how we create, manage, and experience audio-visual content from intelligent content recommendations to automated video editing and creation.
5G and the Internet of Things (IoT): These two technologies are changing everything everywhere enabling faster, more reliable, and more seamless audiovisual experiences across a broad spectrum of devices and platforms.
Sustainability and energy efficiency: As environmental concerns become increasingly important, expect to see a greater emphasis on sustainable and energy-efficient AV equipment, including displays, projectors, and audio systems that consume less power and generate less waste.
Increased personalization and customization: As AV technology becomes more advanced and versatile, users are demanding greater personalization and customization options. Examples include equipment tailored to individual preferences and content dynamically adapted to the user's environment, preferences, and needs.
Choosing the right equipment for your needs can be daunting with so many different audio-visual equipment options. To help you make the right choice, here are some tips:
Assess your requirements: Clearly defining your needs and objectives is essential before selecting any AV equipment. Consider factors such as the size and layout of the space, the type of content you plan to display, and the desired level of interactivity and user engagement.
Prioritize quality and performance: While opting for the cheapest AV equipment may be tempting, prioritizing quality and performance will ultimately lead to a better experience and a more reliable setup. Look for equipment from reputable brands, and be bold and invest in higher-quality components that will stand the test of time.
Ensure compatibility and integration: Seamless integration and compatibility are crucial for a successful AV application. Ensure your chosen equipment is compatible with your existing infrastructure and integrates easily with other components.
Consider scalability and future-proofing: When selecting AV equipment, consider whether the solution can be easily scaled or upgraded to accommodate future needs and technological advancements. In addition, opt for equipment that supports open standards and interoperable platforms to ensure maximum flexibility.
Consult with professionals: If you need help deciding what AV equipment to choose or how to configure your application, consulting with AV professionals can be invaluable. They can provide expert advice, recommendations, and assistance in selecting and installing the right equipment for your needs.
Hopefully these terms and technologies will help you move today's rapidly evolving audio-visual environment and the incredible opportunities if offers.
If you're thinking about adopting the latest AV technologies and are looking for a navigator, Black Box can help. To explore your options, contact us at blackbox.com or 855-324-9909.
For more information on AV, see our Audio Visual Integrations page.
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*Spring 2022 U.S. Office Occupier Sentiment Survey