AV Expo

Articles September - October 2023


AV-ICN Expo Magazine shares a brief of latest installations from the world of pro AV in this recurring feature of AV installations. read more

Articles September - October 2023

PLAY Technologies Transforms AV Experiences at Aljamea New!

Sachin K. Jain, Principal Consultant, PLAY technologies, shares insights on the state-of-the-art facility as he recounts the installation experiences with AV-ICN Magazine. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Unwinding The Changing Dynamics of Sennheiser with Naveen Sridhara New!

During the latest 'TCC Medium' and 'TC Bar' launch, Naveen Sridhara, Director of Sales, Sennheiser, shared Sennheiser's big leap in the UC market and strategies to stimulate growth in the pro-AV segment. read more

Articles July-August 2023

PALM Expo 2023 Achieves Recognition from Global Brands New!

PALM Expo 2023 returned with its 21st edition, drawing exhibitors and at¬tendees from around the globe, simultaneously placing the Indian pro audio and lighting indus¬try on the map. read more

Articles July-August 2023

Pro AV Mass Market Momentum Emphasizes AV-ICN Expo Success New!

AV-ICN Expo 2023 took place at the BEC, Mumbai, once again marking its presence as the torchbearer for the AV industry in India. read more

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Guest Column

State of Workplace AV in 2021 – Moving Ahead

Abdul Waheed is a dynamic AV industry leader and Managing Director at EYTE

Even as we move past the unprecedented events that unfolded last year, fragments of the past still seem to linger around the workplace. Abdul Waheed, Managing Director, Eyte Technologies Pvt Ltd. provides perspective

We feel the year 2020 needs no introduction. As COVID-19 continued to create chaos in our world throughout the year, everything from schools, colleges, office and even live concerts moved virtually. With every passing day it was clear that living with the pandemic was the only way forward. After many mask mandates, lockdown relaxations, drop in COVID numbers and a COVID Vaccine being produced for the masses, here we are in 2021. As per a survey of about 720 working respondents across India – 54% of the workforce prefer working from home while 34% of respondents went further to say they would prefer working from home moving forward to. This seems to be a trend that would be prevalent in 2021 and beyond where the rise of the “Flexible” worker would take place  revealed Mavericks India’s report Covid-19 and Beyond: An Evolving Perspective.

This is also true because of  the Gen Z workforce which constitute 20% of the current work force and have already outnumbered the millennials. 

Industry experts believe that several trends including a Hybrid workforce, Digital Transformation, Digital employee Tracking, Rise in IoT technologies etc. are in the making. Companies are actively looking for a workplace solutions that would help them ease this transformation phase. We saw several COVID based solutions aimed towards the workplace but cost and feasibility seemed to have been a challenge in adoption by these companies. But one thing is true, COVID has been successful in accelerating the digitalisation of the workplaces. This new generation of digital natives has modern characteristics and ways of working, and workplace technology can help foster the right kind of an agile environment that dovetails with their particular needs. As such, the efforts towards creating an ideal work environment seem to be ongoing and we try to list down several technology trends that could potentially help the workplace.

Note: These are specific to the AV industry that caters to the workplace environment:

IoT workplace solutions:

We are witnessing a myriad of IoT based solutions designed for Social distancing scenarios like occupancy-based solutions, Screening solutions, Hot-desking solutions, employee tracking solutions, Air quality sensor solutions etc. All these solutions are cloud-based solutions requiring a subscription based arrangement with very low initial investments, making it more popular. The demand for these systems seems to be picking up in the coming days and companies are looking out for offerings that provide the right value and service.

Rise in Software based VC:

Software-based video conferencing solutions like Zoom, Teams, G-Meet, Slack, etc have seen a monumental rise during this pandemic. With ever-increasing demand to stay connected at all times it seems only obvious to opt for these solutions over traditional hardware-based VC solution that locked you onto their ecosystem. Software-based solutions have an edge over Hardware-based solutions due to thier ease of use, portability, and low cost. Due to the rise in demand, Giants like Cisco and Polycom have followed suite to incorporate these solutions in their products to stay in the game and this trend just seems to keep growing amongst manufacturers to keep up with the customer demands.

Voice-Controlled solutions:

Voice controlled meeting rooms have been around for some time now but mostly in the consumer segment. Now it makes more sense than ever to implement them. With concerns over hygiene and sanitation when using traditional touch panels to control AV equipment, voice control looks like a good alternative. Although currently not all aspects of a meeting room are being controlled using voice, if demand persists, we can expect manufacturers to provide more functionality for voice-based control commands and other features. Few of the manufacturers have already taken lead in this direction.

BYOD Controlled solutions:

BYOD based devices like smartphones, tablets, smartwatches can be expected to be used as a control system in the coming days. They not only offer convenience of use but are personalise devices to be used by individuals avoiding the risk of others using it from a hygiene point of view.  If manufacturers succeed in implementing a secure and smooth way of interacting with AV devices that are operational in the corporate LAN it would make it much easier to integrate solutions safely without the need for extra sanitation. Devices that connect to the local control touch panel securely and reliably via corporate network and then being able to use the control system from their phone is a trend that can be looked upon.

Touchless solutions:

Touchless solutions like an App that with the help of various IoT sensors like occupancy detection, facial recognition, employee health scanning can be used to pre-book and sanitize meeting rooms even before the meetings begin can be used to avoid device contact altogether. Social distancing norms can be configured within the app environment and rooms can be treated by the service staff after every meeting. Once users enter a pre-scheduled meeting room, the sensors can detect human presence and start the meeting by recognising the face identity. Systems similar to these are available in the market and we can only expect an upward trend hereafter.

Increased Analytics:

With an increased focus on data-driven decisions and large space requirements adhering to social distancing norms in the workplace, analytics would play a key role. Employers are keen to know energy consumption levels and make sure that their investments are being utilized properly then ever before. Also, analytics provides a great tool for IT managers to learn more about their systems in depth. And in a post COVID world like now, having this real-time data would help maintain norms in the workplace. Having analytics in the workplace brings the company huge benefits in terms of having a clear picture about the workplace utilisation and taking decisions based on it, in real-time information, while providing a better experience for all of its users.

Asset Management and Centralised Control:

Reducing the human interface while having the complete control of the systems installed in the entire office is the need of the hour. An Administrator can remotely manage the AV system, get utilization of System, Health Monitoring, and can have reduced service calls which otherwise need physical attention. Having the complete inventory of assets along with their health, lamp hours burn, utilisation status and real-time support is available with centralised control. They not only release the real estate in the meeting rooms and offices but provides clutter-free meeting spaces using share devices. This will be another dimension to the technological trends being observer post COVID.

Advanced Health & Hygiene solutions:

Health is becoming extremely important criteria for the corporates, which does not limit to employees working at the workplace but the visitors coming for the meetings. There could be a potential growth in the demand for health monitoring devices. This includes temperature monitors and thermal sensors and going forward monitoring the stress levels of individuals. Connecting to this will be cleaning solutions without human contact. These systems could be integrated with meeting room systems so that they can sanitize the room once the meeting is adjourned. This could ramp up the cleaning process and provide a consistently better output. These solutions could include cleaning robots, UV disinfecting solutions, air purification devices amongst other devices.

Smart Building, Campus, City:

 Moving with the above concepts ahead from offices to the entire office building, entire Campus and then Cities  being developed with a similar thought process. the digitalisation of cities is on the priority list of the government and this Pandemic has triggered the acceleration process for these concepts. The speed of digitalisation could be seen through the number of government tenders during this pandemic when corporates were on complete halt.

As the vaccine rollout progresses and more people start to enter back into the offices, educational institutes and other workplaces. it is crucial for  technology companies to be well prepared for these scenario by carefully planning  office layouts, thinking about the technology needed going forward, workspaces that makes users feel valued, creating  safe and engaging environments, helping them lead productive working lives to move forward overcoming the unprecedented events to a well-thought-out future.

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