By Hadi Al Rifai
The digital transformation within the audiovisual industry in recent years has ushered in exciting advances in AV technology. The influx of innovative technologies such as virtual and augmented reality alongside experiential design (such as laser projectors), are redefining the AV industry.
These exciting changes spell a whole host of new opportunities for AV solutions to stand out and create memorable experiences.
Whether it’s award ceremony event management, retail, or commercial space, advancements in technology mean events and commercial spaces must adopt a range of new technologies.
So just how do you stay ahead of the curve? These five tech trends represent the differentiators within the emerging tech space in the AV industry.
Live streaming creates opportunities for broadcast and AV technologies to continue converging. The exponential growth of social media in recent years makes it a major proponent of any successful event. Live streaming affords event organizers the opportunity to engage with an audience through digital channels.
The ability to provide 4K live streaming opportunities reduces barriers to entry. Facebook Live and Instagram Stories eliminate the need for an attendee’s physical presence, increasing brand reach and growth. When utilized to full effect, this marketing tool increases demand for live streamed events, growing events to the next level.
Expect to see live streaming to grow exponentially with drone streaming technology equipped with 4K cameras.
Increased AV and IT integration
AV and IT integration may already be present in both commercial and event spaces, but 2017 sees this technology cutting its proverbial cord. As experienced AV professionals become increasingly IT-friendly, expect to see remote management and monitoring. The growing shift towards networked devices means greater access to all-in-one solutions through your mobile device.
Remote management and monitoring are not the only aspects of AV and IT integration implemented. Network security, layering, and traffic flow are also being considered to provide seamless and secure transitions to minimize servers and centralize AV equipment.
A significant advancement in project system technologies, laser projectors enable unprecedented visual experiences. Ideal for a myriad of spaces; from commercial to educational and events, laser projection provides improved picture quality, creative freedom, and product longevity.
A significant step up from lamp projectors, laser projection has a considerable service life; approximately 20,000-hour lifecycle compared to a lamp projector’s average 3,000-hour lifecycle.
Not only is its service life greatly extended, but the display ability of laser projections is more vivid colors and crisper white balance, all the while consuming less energy. A cost-effective solution for all your AV needs.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and Augmented Reality (VAR) has evolved from the pages of science fiction into the realm of AV technology. As more events increase the demand for high-value services, experienced AV professionals are utilizing VAR to create unique and immersive experiences to engage and interact with attendees and non-present attendees.
Despite its relative newness, VAR is the new frontier within the AV industry. US music festival Coachella launched a new VR app that amplified the event-going experience with 360-degree photos of previous festivals and exclusive interviews from its line-up of artists.
The Sports Technology Awards, Google’s 2016 Keynote speech, and Ford’s 2017 exhibit at the North American International Auto Show all employed VAR technology to enhance and engage attendees and non-present attendees alike.
Improved user experience
Many AV installations these days are garnered towards adaptability and an improved user experience. As a must-have solution for many verticals, AV technology is adapting to the demand for a more welcoming user experience by offering interfacing solutions. Conference room systems, collaboration technology, and digital signage are seeing a simpler, more welcoming user experience.
Apps and other features such as voice-activated control are making AV solutions easier to use than ever before. The growing focus on the user experience makes AV systems more accessible to consumers. The ability to control AV systems from your mobile device or through voice-activated commands creates a more efficient and cohesive AV experience.
The future of AV includes the application of new hardware and software that promotes engagement through interactive technology. Live streaming, VAR, and laser projection create immersive experiences that transcend event space and attendance. The growing demand for such technologies provides extensive opportunities across all major vertical markets.
MANAGING PARTNER LEVEL PRODUCTION DUBAI: HADI AL RIFAI
Hadi Al Rifai specializes in event management and audio engineering and holds a BA in business management from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut. Before settling down in Dubai to manage Level Production, Mr. Rifai has worked with leading national and multinational event management organizations in the Middle East where he honed his AV production skills. Among the notable projects he has worked with are the X Factor and Baalbek Film Festival.