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Exclusive: Covid-led innovations in corporate AV

Allen Pestell, head of product marketing at Optoma, on pandemic upsides

The Covid-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for the corporate AV industry with the sudden global shift to working from home for so many, forcing AV projects to be put on hold, delayed or even cancelled entirely. Like so many other industries and companies, corporate AV brands were forced to re-evaluate and shift their strategies to better serve their customers in this new climate, and despite chip shortages, supply chain issues, and other disruptive events, the pandemic has spurred mass innovation across the board. From remote technologies that help with corporate operations and distance learning, to improvements in video conferencing and collaboration tools to support flexible working, the corporate AV industry has adapted both creatively and swiftly to best serve its customers during the past two years.

During the pandemic, we witnessed a massive shift towards products and solutions that support remote work and learning as many businesses and schools transitioned to remote, and now hybrid, settings. As a result of the collaborative hybrid learning environment, interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs) are anticipated to grow at a rate of 8.6% CAGR over five years, according to FutureSurce (Futuresource Q3 2021 Global IFPD/IWB market volume). As solution providers, it’s important to embrace these fundamental shifts in the corporate and education sectors to refine our product strategies moving forward.  

Over the past two years, we’ve also seen a heightened focus and need for more solution-based services to accompany existing hardware and support day-to-day operations of businesses and schools with little to no disruption. With the convergence of AV and IT, software has taken centre stage, emphasising the importance of full-service enterprise solutions that allow for efficient device control, cloud connectivity and improved collaboration. 

As the nature of corporate AV continues to evolve amidst the pandemic, we anticipate that companies and schools will continue to prioritise brands that can provide intuitive, all-in-one integrated solutions that combine hardware, software and supporting services to unite onsite and remote teams and students as they navigate their changing markets. 

While much of the industry’s focus has been placed on corporate and education solutions, we’ve also seen a huge increase in demand for immersive and entertainment projection solutions.

As we’ve seen with the popular Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience exhibition, which has drawn in millions of global visitors, larger-than-life digital experiences are gaining mass appeal, providing visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in famous artworks and escape to other imaginary worlds in a safe setting – all through the magic of projection technology. Short throw and ultra short throw projectors are cost-effective, flexible solutions to create these immersive experiences.

As the state of the world remains in flux while the pandemic continues, much may change in the coming months and years. At Optoma, alongside our industry peers, we remain committed to continued innovation to support our corporate customers, providing them with the AV solutions they need to ensure their businesses continue to thrive in 2022 and beyond.