The drastic global reaction to COVID has undoubtedly altered the world forever, and it is only natural that the audiovisual industry also underwent a transformation. While the initial shock of the pandemic has waned, audiovisual technology continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of educational institutions, transportation hubs, expansive corporate offices, and businesses of all sizes. Granted, the shift to increased digitization was underway well before the pandemic struck, but the global reach of these events has increased the urgency and speed at which technological advancements have occurred.
As a result, the use of video conferencing technology has become the new normal. Employees have abandoned commuting to the office for remote work opportunities while students complete their schoolwork from a laptop. When people are at the airport or the doctor's office, they eschew face-to-face contact favoring digital signage, interactive screens, and touchless technology. Furthermore, buildings in numerous sectors now utilize the latest occupancy and air-quality monitoring sensors.
No matter what industry you are a part of, the integration of advanced audiovisual technology is crucial to the safety of everyone within your organization. If you're ready to step into the Digital Age, audiovisual integration specialists can help you find the best solutions to meet your needs. While each organization's needs are unique, here are five top innovations becoming the new standard in AV technology post-COVID.
1. Video Conferencing
To reduce face-to-face interaction, video conferencing has become an everyday occurrence, particularly in the workplace. Currently, 76% of employees use video conferencing technology for long-distance meetings, client communications, or remote work. However, conferences with many participants or persistent ambient noise can make it difficult for companies to maintain engagement throughout the meeting.
Advanced audiovisual integration can help increase the engagement of all participants. Cutting-edge companies are encouraged to use high-quality video conferencing systems with HD images and advanced audio capabilities. With this technology, video conferencing communication improves, while distracting background noise is eliminated.
Advanced video conferencing technology also has had an impact that extends beyond the corporate world. Many healthcare organizations have received an influx of patients who are choosing to undergo assessments with video conferencing technology instead of in-office visits. Furthermore, education institutions have allowed students to continue their education online, while video conferencing technology replaces the connection that students and educators previously formed in person. In all of these instances, high-quality AV solutions provide a professional level of service that helps providers connect with patients, students, and clients across the board.
2. Remote Work
Many companies decided to use a work from the home business model to remain compliant with social distancing regulations. Although some companies intend to keep their office remote indefinitely, many have chosen to utilize a hybrid work model where employees work from the office on certain days and from home on others. As a result, the layout within many offices has been redesigned to accommodate a more flexible work style. These workspaces are complete with high-resolution digital displays, huddle rooms for video conferencing, and improved audio.
These updates are sound investments, as it appears that the remote work model is here to stay. The Limeade Institute's Employee Care Report 3.0 uncovered data stating that 100% of employees who previously worked in-office were "anxious" about returning to work, and 77% said they were concerned about exposure to COVID-19. Employees now prefer and even expect a hybrid or remote work model, making advanced audiovisual technology necessary to facilitate a pleasant and efficient work environment.
3. Digital Signage and Interactive Screens
In the wake of social distancing regulations, advanced digital signage has become an integral part of presenting information within the workplace, the doctor's office, at school, or out and about. Typically, digital signage may display information related to health guidelines, company messaging, or wayfinding.
It is only natural that digital signage rose to precedence as one of the primary tools to decrease face-to-face communication, and is known to increase customer satisfaction by 46%. In addition to displaying critical information, digital signage can simplify necessary interactions like sign-in and registration. Visitors can also receive fundamental information like occupancy limits or room availability.
To avoid face-to-face exchanges, interactive screens allow customers or visitors to use kiosks to pull up directions, view product options, or seek answers to frequently asked questions. In educational institutions, interactive screens enable educators to create an engaging learning experience by facilitating quick file sharing and the gamification of lesson plans while following social distancing regulations. With so many potential uses, it is no wonder that the Interactive Display Market predicts that the interactive screen global market will expand to $29.19 billion by 2026.
4. Touchless Technology
In an effort to reduce the spread of germs, touchless technology has become more prevalent than ever before. In 2020, the global touchless market was valued at $6.8 billion and was projected to grow to $15.3 billion by 2025. No matter the situation, touchless technology allows users to meet their needs hygienically. Surveys have shown that 8 in 10 participants considered touchscreen technology unhygienic, and the majority would prefer to use touchless technology.
As our daily interactions become more digital, you may find touchless technology at building entryways, conference rooms, and offices. To prevent the spread of bacteria, touchless technology may come in the form of voice commands, facial recognition, or proximity technology. Furthermore, audiovisual apps allow users to interact with the world around them using their mobile devices to facilitate optimal safety.
5. Occupancy, Environmental, and Health Sensors
Since the onset of the pandemic, the general public has grown accustomed to the increased sanitization of surfaces, social distancing, and getting their temperature taken. To simplify this process, sensors are utilized throughout buildings to reduce the responsibilities of employees. Modern audiovisual solutions allow occupancy sensors to open or close doors when visitors enter a building, while entrance kiosks screen each person's temperature. Utilization sensors can record whether desks or meeting spaces are available for use and in need of sanitization.
Furthermore, studies have shown that monitoring indoor air quality is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Although we currently lack the technology to detect COVID-19 in the air, environmental sensors are capable of measuring the risk factors that may lead to the spread of illnesses, including temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels. Working with professionals to install occupancy and air quality sensors enables organizations to analyze correlations between indoor air quality and the behavior of those present in the building.