25 Jan 2012

by Oliver Richardson

Continuing our new-year look at new technology, the sales and marketing director at AV specialists DB Systems considers presentation innovation over the next 12 months.

One of the things I love about the AV industry is the incredible technology we get to work with. Some of the systems and equipment we deal with are real cutting edge, which are just getting better and better.

The New Year is traditionally a time to look ahead. So what can we expect from AV in 2012?

I’ve often been asked what will be the next big thing. Will it be a technology revolution or evolution? I think it will be evolutionary and expect to see more products that allow greater interaction for users.

What I mean by evolution is improved versions of existing products/technology, such as the iPad 3. The first two versions of the iPad have been a massive success among our events customers, because it is an innovative and interactive product. There’s no one practical application for the technology and it can be used in many ways.

I remember one event – a VIP party one of our client hosted for its customers – where we supplied every delegate with an iPad. Each on was pre-programmed with software that allowed delegates to rate various product designs that were exhibited around the venue. The rating system worked on a real-time basis, as the data collected on the iPads was displayed on a large plasma screen for all to see. At the end of the event, the top 10 rated designs were revealed. In addition, all data collected on the iPads was available to our client for post-show sales enquiries. There’s no reason why the iPad 3 won’t also be a success.

Touching distance

Then you’ve got the evolution of touch and multi-touch technology. Touchscreen technology is a fantastic method of interaction. People no longer want to simply look at a display system, they want to interact with the content and control it. Our DBpixelhouse division is continually evolving its ecoXpress system. This touchscreen-based system is used by exhibitors that want something more innovative, interactive and environmentally friendly than printed material and brochures on their exhibition stands.

The updates include full HD graphics, animated menus, multi-touch gestures, such as pinch zooming and swiping through pages. The system can also utilise infra-red sensors on the ecoXpress unit so that when people walk past the screen it detects them and plays sounds to attract them.

Power hungry

Playback systems, such as PCs, will have to evolve and become more advanced, because the content that is displayed on screens, such as graphics, videos and animation, is becoming more media rich, in terms of higher definition and greater resolution. Therefore, more powerful computers and sophisticated graphic cards will be required to handle and play this content.

We’re still seeing increasing demand for higher quality content and equally high-spec screens to display it on. Manufacturers are really pushing the boundaries by producing bigger LED screens (65-inch and bigger) with incredible levels of resolution. I look forward to seeing just how LED screens will get bigger and better over the coming year.

However, here comes the warning. It’s a mistake to think that any event will be an automatic success simply by using the latest and most dynamic technology available. Responsible AV professions will only advise clients that it’s not the technology you use, but how it is used that is crucial in complementing particular needs and requirements.

As shown on Meeting Review.

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