Thunderbolt – the potential implications to the AV industry

Let’s think now about the potential implications of Thunderbolt technology on the AV, and especially the Digital Signage industries:

Hmmmmm…. let’s see – the ability to move both very high resolution video and huge amounts of data very fast over a single low-power port. Well, just off the top of my head, my own opinion only, and in no particular order:

1. Very large displays, high-resolution and fully 3D capable, easily drivable by very small (even sub-notebook devices)

2. With that kind of data throughput, and the ability to daisy chain devices, a single Thunderbolt port will soon be able to drive 6 monitors at high-resolution. Think about it – we can buy USB graphics adapters already, although USB moves data too slowly to use many multiples. Since the technology was developed for a migration path, you have to know that external Thunderbolt graphics adapters will come to market quickly. This has huge potential implications to how we build videowalls and digital signage systems. Smaller and less expensive, computer-based source systems and controllers, for one.

3. Low power, compact devices with massive I/O and graphics power…. This is one of the platforms needed to take low-power portable devices like the iPad into the level of having notebook power and then some, including the ability to move more and better video, to synchronize faster with external storage, and to accept more kinds of peripherals while using up little physical real estate – and to PLUG AND PLAY AS DESKTOP REPLACEMENTS with a single cable connection. Tote your next generation of iPad home, plug it into a single Thunderbolt cable and deliver video to a large external monitor, connect your keyboard, mouse, 3D glasses, desktop storage and more ALL ON A SINGLE PORT.