Cloud, BYOD and More – InfoComm 2013

infocomm2013-entrance-0613First let me say that InfoComm 2013 was hands down the best show I have ever attended since my beginnings in the AV industry dating back to Dallas in ’95 (great projector shootout by the way). The organization did a terrific job with its focused approach on cloud, unified communications, digital signage and especially BYOD. My own search was primarily targeted toward cloud-based solutions, mobile applications on Windows, iOS and Android  platforms and anything that I considered overall trending technology. I found some very good solutions and some very welcome surprises.

So with all the heightened publicity, just where is the industry going with cloud, BYOD and other trending technologies?

In the cloud arena, my first stop was with the videoconferencing companies. Those that provide hosted solutions as the basis of their business looked very impressive. Cloud-hosting companies are providing high end videoconferencing with quality video and voice transmission while also helping end users realize a lessened need for AV and IT management along with less concern of overall impact on network bandwidth. With the proliferation of BYOD in the enterprise, these solutions not only provide necessary collaboration and presentation capability for many devices on various platforms, they also provide the full unified communications experience with Microsoft Lync and Skype as well. In the highly trending digital signage industry, several companies offer SaaS cloud-hosted signage platforms which provide high end scalability, lower upfront costs, reduction in end user management and complete control of the signage network via any standard web browser. Interactivity continues to gain traction among end users, as we already see with more touch enabled projection and display solutions entering the market, and certain statements are being made in the digital signage industry concerning increased mobility (Smartphone shipments alone reportedly reaching over 930 million in 2013) and how such devices will interact with and affect the digital signage realm.

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Various solutions are helping to define AV and BYOD. Along with videoconferencing and digital signage, wireless presentation for mobile devices has become another rising trend in the market. The ability to bring a device to a room to present and collaborate has continued to generate great interest among end users and the methods for achieving this have continued to evolve.  Some have even built in further capabilities involving team and web-based collaboration, multi-display presentation, third-party device capture (e.g., document cameras) and more. BYOD in AV system control is also increasing in popularity and more manufacturers are designing mobile control solutions.  Such solutions will no doubt lead to maximum efficiency and flexibility in the ever-growing corporate and education environments. As BYOD applications in the AV industry continue to evolve, integrators must continue to follow these trends and thus maximize their knowledge and efforts to provide a targeted solution for end users who continue to expand on BYOD initiatives.

So just where is the industry going with cloud, BYOD and other trending technologies? All I have to say is — very far…