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Impact of COVID: Reality Take for ProAV

The Keynote address on evening of InfoComm Connected 2020 day-II – given by AVIXA’s Senior Director for Market Intelligence Sean Wargo – presented a realistic scenario of the global ProAV domain at present and near future while Samsung (Display Divison)’s Senior VP Harry Patz followed up with an ‘economic outlook’ of the industry verticals, capping it off with how those verticals have begun adapting to COVID conditions.

Hard hit by the pandemic, the ProAV fortunes will fall by a whopping 7.7 per cent globally which is worse than that of the GDP, was the first alarm rung by Wargo’s market intelligence study. Having peaked to $259 billion globally in 2019, the industry is expected to end up at $ 239 billion in 2020 which is a whopping loss of $20 billion. Taking the full year 2021 for a hard journey, the industry is expected to begin recovery only in 2022 with an estimated clocking of $269 billion- a recovery of $10 billion over 2019’s earnings.

The hard journey will mean that its earlier estimates for future will have a setback, with varied recovery rates from different regions. Owing to non-COVID crises such as oil turmoil, and other regional issues, EMEA took a deeper dent with as much as 8.9 per cent negative growth, and so would be its low recovery by 2021 with a mere five per cent positive growth.

APAC – owing to early hit and recovery by China – is taken to surge ahead with a good 9.1 per cent positive growth essentially building on a comparatively low negative growth of 6.4 per cent for 2020.

The Americas stand in between from 8 per cent losses this year to 5.6 per cent positive growth by 2021.

Hospitality, Events, Retail and Residential domains will bear the brunt of the impact with 18, 16, 14 and 12 per cent negative growth rates respectively for the year, while Transport, Energy, Media and Government domains will lead the recovery path, say the Intelligence indices.

“As the GDP recovers, so too will the ProAV,” notes Wargo. “Changing landscape will produce new opportunities, leaving behind some others which will mean that diversification will be the recovery path, with the ‘experience economy’ continuing to demand technology for newer ways of engagement.

While providing deeper insights into the industry dynamics for the crisis time, Harry Patz outlined how different verticals have been adapting to the new demands.

View the full video HERE.

7 Things You Need to Know About the Future of Workspace Design
One of the interesting sessions early in the morning was the one presented by a team of high-profile executives from the global design, architecture, engineering, and planning behemoth HOK – ‘7 Things You Need to Know About the Future of Workspace Design.

The team of three women comprising Kay Sargent Director of Workspace-Global, Pam Light, Regional Workspace Leader-Los Angeles, and Adriana Rojas, Director of Interiors-Tampa from the world’s largest architecture-engineering firm that HOK is known to be made a 15-minute fast-track analysis of what will characterize the workspace design in future.

The factors HOK executives think will determine the design of professional workspace design are:

1. Distributed, Remote work, Work from home
2. Autonomous, hands-free, voice-activated, biometrics
3. Smart work points
4. Sensors and Monitoring
5. Gathering types and Remote Access
6. Tech Assistance such as Siri, or Alexa
7. Enhanced Acoustics

In today’s multi-functional life, everyone wants to have both customised as well as integrated services that are smart enough. In the emerging scenario of a post-COVID world where workspaces would have fewer people on-site since a majority of them would work from home, there is an immense opportunity for technology to turn smarter, with fewer work points rendered smarter with more integrated services.

As the world increasingly gets integrated with multiple sensibilities and safety measures business requirements such as AV & IT, people and businesses need to think about how do they design their workspaces that address these requirements.

Meeting spaces are a big thing today, with both traditional and modern meeting spaces having different sets of technologies in place- but under one roof. With the new concept of work-from-home or remote work proving an effective alternative, it is important to ensure that everyone is engaged at the same level. According to the executives, we need to explore technology to ensure that everybody is engaged and connected in the same fashion.

The ‘hi-touch’ sensitivity that so important in modern lives would lead the world more quickly into having technical assistance, in a la Alexa, Siri way. The ability to have such a set-up in offices can deliver a whole package of services that are intelligent. Technologies like AI has a huge role to play in this regard.

Noise and acoustical privacy has always been an important factor for workspaces, but perhaps never given the importance they needed. But it’s time the aspect is addressed because the changing scenario would make it imperative.

View the full video HERE

AI Leading Video-Conferencing more Engaging than Ever: A pre-recorded presentation by Prachi Nema, Senior Analyst at technology research and consultancy major OMDIA, outlined the advancements in video-conferencing aimed at creating more engaging experiences for remote participants. The firm’s research in February this year interacting with over 200 enterprises worldwide revealed that as much as 80 per cent prefer having VC set-up as their communication tool.

While a multitude of front end functionalities has made VC set-up the most preferred communication tool for businesses, “AI-led features have raised the bar” much above the rest of the lot that the technology brings along.

View the full video HERE

New / Enhanced Solution Highlights

Christie Introduces the Griffyn 4K32-RGB all-in-one RGB Pure Laser Projector
The new Christie Griffyn 4K32-RGB delivers unmatched purpose-built projection technology for theme parks, indoor and outdoor sports venues, and other environments where there’s no time for downtime. With 360-degree orientation capabilities, and the ruggedness rental and staging customers demand, the Griffyn 4K32-RGB includes patented next-generation Trulife+ all-in-one electronics for a blur-free experience, and unrestricted connectivity to eliminate the time and hassle of removable option cards.

The Griffyn 4K32-RGB is Christie’s first projector to offer new digital convergence giving users the ability to select Red, Green, or Blue individually and adjust each colour by remote control, for easy picture-perfect image alignment that saves time and money. Griffyn 4K32-RGB produces an exceptionally wide colour gamut, achieving greater than 96% of the Rec. 2020 colour space—more than twice the colour of Rec. 709 and 50% more than DCI-P3-capable projectors—for a richer, more memorable audience experience. It also features optional high frame rate (HFR) capability to achieve 120Hz at 4K resolution or up to 480Hz with HD resolution for lifelike images. Users can achieve up to 34,000 lumens while operating at less than 50dB at full brightness.

To view the video about the Christie Griffyn 4K32-RGB laser projector HERE.

Shure Launches MXA710 Linear Array Microphone
This new model is designed for high-quality audio capture in premium AV conferencing environments. Whether it’s under or next to a wall-mounted display, suspended from the ceiling or flush mounted in a table, the low-profile form factor of the MXA710 subtly blends into any meeting room aesthetic without sacrificing audio quality. It is an ideal alternative for spaces where the MXA910 or MXA310 might not be the best option.

Patented Steerable Coverage technology captures audio anywhere in the room, featuring four lobes with the 2-foot array, and eight lobes with 4-foot array.

With onboard IntelliMix DSP, the MXA710 provides Automatic Mixing, Acoustic Echo Cancellation, Noise Reduction, and Automatic Gain Control, providing all the processing needed for echo and noise-free audio, ensuring end users experience a high-quality, unifying AV conference experience. Autofocus™ technology fine-tunes each lobe position in real-time, adjusting for meeting participant movements.

Using Designer System Configuration software for deployment, room coverage templates enable quick and easy lobe optimization specifically for wall, ceiling, or table installations.

Also being introduced alongside the MXA710 Linear Array is the MXA Network Mute Button, a configurable PoE-powered mute button accessory designed for mute/unmuting of Shure networked systems products, including all MXA Arrays, as well as the IntelliMix P300 and IntelliMix Room DSPs and ANIUSB-MATRIX Audio Network Interface. It provides simple, programming-free mute functionality for one or many networked devices in a room and is also compatible with third-party control systems via command strings.

MXA710 will be available globally later this year.

For detailed product specification click HERE.

CyberLink FaceMe Facial Recognition Engineer
FaceMe by CyberLink is an industry-leading cross-platform facial recognition engine. It is offered as an SDK (software development kit) for customized deployment across any device or use case, and as a turn-key software solution named FaceMe Security, for surveillance and people identification. It can detect faces, recognize people, and identify attributes such as age, gender, emotions, and face orientation. FaceMe can transform retail by delivering personalized shopping experiences to loyalty program members as well as non-registered customers, by enabling several contactless interactive shopping and payment use cases, and by collecting precise demographic statistics. It can also enhance security in areas such as access control, attendance, people of interest identification, loss prevention, and behavioral analysis. The engine offers a 99.7% accuracy rate, ranking it amongst the most precise solutions in the market. FaceMe’s edge-based architecture makes it faster and more affordable than cloud-based solutions. With no need to send data to the clod or to store face pictures or videos, it ensures superior records and privacy protection. FaceMe is optimized for any IoT device, PC, or server and supports multiple operating systems to deliver the best combination of accuracy, speed, and database size for any use case and hardware configuration.

Exhibitor Presentations

Mersive: Era of Innovation: Technology in the Post-Pandemic Workplace
Presented by Christopher Jaynes, Founder and CTO of Mersive, this was an interesting presentation. The 20 minutes just flew by. We highly recommend watching this presentation.

Christopher breezes through some key moments in life that helped instigate innovation. His view is that the AV industry was already in a disruptive phase before COVID-19 and the situation will accelerate the process. He shares Mersive’s vision and we particularly liked the AI aspect on productivity and past trends analysis.

View the presentation HERE.

CISCO: Beyond the Video Conference – the Intelligent Workspace Experience
CISCO presents its new flagship solution – the Webex Room Panorama. Click the link below and see how it will look in a room. We were taken by surprise as to the “storage” space behind the screen – we think that is pretty clever. But of course, the key takeaway is how the Panorama adds value and productivity to your meeting.

View the presentation HERE