“Touch and Collaborate – The Interactive Display Comes of Age” was the topic of the IMCCA panel I was asked to speak on at this year’s InfoComm show. Heading into InfoComm I was excited to speak on this topic without even realizing that all the buzz at the show would be about interactive display products. I had just recently contributed to an article in the latest IT/AV Report for Sound & Communications entitled “Box Solutions Good or Bad?,” which debated the topic of how off-the-shelf box solutions were changing the audio visual (A/V) industry. I articulated in the article my strong belief that off-the-shelf box solutions, such as interactive display products, will be quite transformational for the industry and will undoubtedly be very good for end users and the businesses they work for. I knew this firsthand because AGT just deployed 60 interactive touch displays for Brenau University and saw how they greatly improved the university’s ability to deliver a quality education to their students. I concluded in the article that, in my opinion, it was undisputable that these solutions would transform the A/V industry, however the pace and degree to which the industry would be impacted was still to be determined. I went on to say that “we haven’t seen many truly disruptive technologies yet….although certainly we expect them to come.”

Fast forward just a few weeks to InfoComm 2015, and the show was absolutely buzzing from all the new releases and product announcements in interactive display and touch technologies. At our booth, it didn’t matter if I was speaking to end users, integrators, manufacturers, analysts or media, they were all talking about these technologies. From Microsoft’s entry into the space with the Surface Hub and other newcomers such as Nureva and Oblong with cool new products, to industry staples such as InFocus with the Mondopad 2.0 and Smart Technologies with the SmartKapp IQ, it seemed apparent that we were seeing the arrival of some truly disruptive technologies in the visual collaboration space. We spent a great deal of time discussing this topic and fielding questions from the audience at the IMCCA “Touch and Collaborate” panel discussion. The conclusion was collectively drawn from the panel discussion of end users, manufacturers and integrators that interactive display and touch technologies are at the beginning of a nice intersection point of functionality, usability and cost. We could all see this new market beginning to take shape and developing a launching pad to accelerate from.

Looking over the horizon, we can see many good solutions in the market or coming to market soon that address a wide range of business requirements and end user applications for collaboration. These solutions are coming in all types of different form factors, which are suitable for a variety of room sizes and for meeting spaces. With greater functionality, more intuitive interfaces and tightly integrated software applications, these new interactive display and touch products will be powerful tools for collaboration. At AGT, we are embracing and welcoming these new collaboration technologies and are helping our customers understand which of these solutions best fits their business needs.

Stay tuned for part two of this blog series for more insight on these solutions and to read some of our recommendations on deployment, training and overall adoption. Until then…