A wish for change

We granted a ‘wish’ to some of the best professionals in AV to implement an automatic change in the industry. This is what they wished for.

There is no doubt that the AV industry has evolved significantly over the course of the last few years. Faced with challenges and disruptions, there was no other option but to adapt.

Videoconferencing has taken centre stage, hybrid routines have been established to enable flexible working schedules and technology has become core to how users operate.

What this means for the industry is that the fundamental basis of how AV is valued and perceived has shifted. What were once primary considerations are no longer the first things that come to mind when designing and deploying AV technology. On the flipside, new considerations are coming to the forefront and gaining importance.

Catering to the diverse and divergent needs of individuals, creating kinder and more inclusive spaces, and addressing the environmental impact of building projects are just a few examples of these new considerations.

The AV industry must continue to evolve as it provides value to clients and creates experiences that resonate with users. Fortunately, this continued need for change and evolution is recognised and accepted by the industry.

Evolution and change take time. Both require significant efforts on the parts of individuals and entities that wish to see change enacted. Thankfully, many AV professionals champion causes dear to them and are actively working on making a difference in the industry.

To get a gauge of what the industry believes to be the most pressing issues, we posed a simple thought experiment to a set of AV professionals. If they had one wish to instantly implement a change across the AV industry, what would it be? The answers we received were diverse and varied. They also highlight the considerations AV professionals have based on where in Asia Pacific they reside and work.

One of the most interesting wishes was for the AV industry to develop a more mature and proactive approach to environmental responsibilities. While regulations and building codes for green initiatives may lag behind the rest of the world in Asia Pacific, this will not always be the case. On top of this, there is an ethical component to the conversation that necessitates a better approach to the environment.

Standardisation and the development of AV as a service were also brought up as wishes. AV professionals have been hoping for a more developed approach to technology, and while it looks like advances have been made by manufacturers as the industry converges with IT, there is still a long way to go. From the conversations we have had, it seems like the industry is ready to evolve and is actively seeking the tools to do so.

The full range of insights shared with us can be found in the following pages. We hope that by kickstarting the conversation about the changes we wish to see, we can play our part in making these changes happen.

Kate Kelly
Studio Entertech

In 2024, I wish to see more artists commissioned to create content for large format displays within our urban environment.

The prevalence of large format video displays has transcended beyond their traditional use in sports stadiums or the occasional billboard. From shopping precincts to building facades, the demand for digital displays is rapidly increasing.

Nonetheless, every display installation should serve a purpose. AV designers can provide the technical solutions, but I firmly believe that the long-term success of these installations hinges on compelling content and a conscientious consideration of environmental impacts.

The Australian creative community boasts exceptional talent that adeptly responds to the everchanging landscape of technologies to enhance their storytelling. I would love to see manufacturers provide an opportunity for artists to create site-specific digital artworks. The installations we deliver can serve as vehicles for these artworks.

The environmental impact of AV designs is also a vital consideration, whether deployed indoors or outdoors. Striving for power efficiency and robustness in installations are crucial for sustainability, reducing e-waste. We also need to start addressing light pollution from outdoor displays. When executed thoughtfully, a display can enhance its location without imposing on its neighbours.

A holistic approach to enhancing our urban landscapes offers more people the opportunity to experience the arts without entering a gallery or an exclusive creative space, making it more accessible to our community — particularly when the cost of living impacts so many.

Deepak Sreenivas
Sigma AVIT

In 2024, a transformative shift that I wish to see would be specifically in the unified communications (UC) field, that is: the integration of Interoperable Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) into the AV industry. This cloud-based solution will redefine interoperability and communication strategies across a diverse range of devices and platforms.

Systems integrators like ourselves could benefit from this evolution in several ways. Firstly, CPaaS facilitates enhanced cross-platform integration by simplifying the connection with various UC platforms, fostering interoperability that strengthens unified communication. The ability to tailor feature customisation through APIs and development tools could ensure that the platform aligns precisely with user preferences and needs.

The adoption of Web 3.0 principles could also be another key aspect where CPaaS, with its real-time communication capabilities and multimedia support, becoming a forefront player in the integration of Web 3.0 in UC. While not directly incorporating secure unique identification (UID), CPaaS should ensure robust authentication and authorisation mechanisms for secure user access. CPaaS’ role as a unified common API platform could also further streamline development, offering a standardised interface for all UC systems.

In a nutshell, CPaaS could emerge as a foundational element for a unified cross-platform UC solution. Its capabilities in seamless integration, customisation, and secure communication have the potential to significantly elevate the AV industry, creating a more interconnected and adaptable landscape. This shift towards CPaaS will mark a crucial step forward in shaping the future of unified communications and helping systems integrators like us!

Yeo Yun Luo
Cushman & Wakefield

I hope to see an increased emphasis on integrating AV technology standards into interior design.

The goal is to enhance the synergy between technology and aesthetics, envisioning a future world where interior designers can easily access and implement AV standards. This would help designers create meeting spaces that not only meet technical requirements but also elevate the aesthetic appeal of such spaces from an interior design perspective.

The integration of AV technology into interior design holds the potential to spur increased demand for AV solutions, driving innovation, and market growth. I want to see more industry leaders, particularly systems integrators and consultants, step forward to mentor the next generation in this multidisciplinary approach. This would not only foster talent but contribute to the growth of industrial processes, ensuring a sustainable and vibrant future for all professions involved.

To actualise this vision, launching a mentorship programme in APAC — spearheaded by reputable companies and organisations — would be a great initiative for the AV industry. This programme could facilitate knowledge exchange, accelerate skill development and offer valuable industry insights to mentees. The structured mentorship setup can provide a platform for networking, connecting aspiring professionals with established industry figures and fostering collaboration. Moreover, mentors can provide personalised career guidance, aiding mentees in setting goals and overcoming challenges. Implementing such a programme in APAC would contribute to the professional growth and development of individuals in the AV sector, creating a supportive and knowledge-rich community.

Ben Lovell
Vega Global

In the rapidly evolving AV industry, we are facing a critical contradiction; technological advancements are at odds with our increasing environmental responsibilities and our clients’ sustainability goals. While exciting, the annual cycle of tech upgrades brings substantial challenges in waste management, resource utilisation, and carbon emissions.

As we look towards 2024, it becomes evident that a significant shift towards sustainable technologies and practices is desirable and essential for the long-term health of our industry and the planet. The industry is already making strides in eco-conscious innovation in response to these challenges. Energy-efficient equipment like LED lighting and OLED displays are setting new standards for low power consumption. There is a growing focus on developing AV products using recyclable and biodegradable materials. Moreover, the emphasis on extending product lifecycles through durability and upgradability minimises the frequency of replacements. These efforts are complemented by the rise of remote collaboration technologies which reduce travel needs and carbon footprints, and smart systems for building energy management — leading to significant reductions in energy usage.

At Vega Global, we recognise the urgency and importance of leading this transition — positioning us at the forefront of driving sustainable AV solutions. This involves a comprehensive approach, from thoughtful implementation and streamlined logistics to responsible disposal. As we navigate this crucial period of transformation, it is clear that the trajectory towards more sustainable AV practices is both necessary and supported by evolving market trends and regulatory shifts. This change, while challenging, presents an opportunity for our industry to innovate and grow responsibly.

Kane Zhang
EZpro

As technology continues to advance and teleconferencing requirements evolve, the conventional concept of ‘camera tracking’ falls short in meeting today’s demands. In 2024, I wish to see an ‘intelligent director’ system come to life. I envision a precise integration of cameras, a DSP processor, and a space positioner — empowering the intelligent system to execute smooth yet precise zooms, pans, and cuts akin to a real-life film director.

The system’s effectiveness would be rooted in three key components. Firstly, the DSP processor utilises auto threshold sensing (ATS) for swift and accurate microphone recognition. Secondly, leveraging ultra-wideband (UWB) positioning — an advanced indoor positioning technology — can accurately identify the speaker’s location in a space.

This could be achieved through the attachment of a spatial coordinates emitter to a microphone. Finally, to fine-tune the final image, state-of-the-art image recognition and tracking technologies come into play. Such technologies are integral to modern “AI cameras” and effectively optimise angles, positions, and sizes of subjects in the video — intelligently deciding whether to use close-up or wide-angle views.

In a conference room setting, the system detects the activated microphone through the DSP channel recognition. Utilising image recognition and tracking, the cameras focus on the speaker to ensure they remain centrally positioned. In scenarios with multiple individuals, space recognition complements camera-based tracking, facilitating smoother and more precise position identification. This development could push the boundaries of teleconferencing comfort.

Nomo Prasetiyo
Intav Prima Solusindo

Despite the significant advancements in AV, there remains considerable work to be done.

Looking ahead to 2024, a crucial focus has to be on standardisation — particularly for systems integrators and companies involved in audio, visual, and multimedia services. I believe Inavate can become a central reference hub for users, aiding them in selecting partners offering top-tier post-sales solutions and services.

To achieve this, a dedicated portal could showcase the best AV technology companies, providing valuable recommendations. This platform would also serve as a complaint portal for customers, enabling them to report instances of deception or harm. The process would involve stringent verification of evidence, leading to the blacklisting of offending companies — safeguarding customer interests, and alerting others.

Collaboration, knowledge sharing, and leveraging expertise among principals, distributors, and dealers are pivotal for accelerating progress in the AV industry. This collective effort not only unveils new possibilities but also maintains a high level of exclusivity for AV professionals, spanning technology, service quality, and offering a definitive warranty. By fostering cooperation and transparency, the industry can navigate towards a future marked by enhanced reliability and innovation, ensuring the satisfaction of both providers and consumers alike.

Peter Hunt
Hewshott Australia

USB-C is a system that is here to stay, and manufacturers have successfully engineered it into traditional AV systems just as HDMI had been many years ago. Now, USB-C has been imposed on the AV market but does that mean it’s right? Far from it.

However, it is a signal of things to come and we should expect more changes. The real question is: what influence does the AV industry really have over its destiny?

Those of us with long memories remember the imposition that HDMI had on us. In traditional ingenious fashion, our industry rose to the challenge, overcame it, and learned to work within it. But USB-C is not the panacea, and it is not perfect by any means.

The wider issue is that traditional AV has largely been sidelined. Have plug-and-play solutions diluted experiences within the corporate AV market? Well, yes and no. MTR and Zoom meeting rooms are so affordable now, why wouldn’t one roll them out? But to get the best solution, the implementation has to be viewed through two lenses, and the second view is often overlooked.

AV is about creating a user experience. Technology is a vehicle to achieving that, but it is just one component. Many other elements go into creating a user experience, some of which do not have a connector at all or even require power. These are largely forgotten about. My wish for 2024 is that the user experience is reinstated as a critical requirement, in concert with continued developments in technology.

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