Guest Post: Tim Griffin, Userful
With the new year now in full swing, the technology industry is looking ahead to the big, broad trends that will drive video wall decisions and win over video wall budgets in the year ahead.
Here’s my countdown on the top trends will see emerge or continue in 2017:
10: Continued strong growth in video wall sector: With display costs and video wall controller costs dropping, video walls are now within reach for almost every department, project and budget. We expect the strong growth trend in video walls to continue in 2017, as more and more organizations go for bigger impact and deploy a video wall instead of the more run-of-the-mill individual digital signage displays.
9: People will expect more from their video walls: Large grid video walls just playing looped content are becoming commonplace. Companies will be working to come up with creative ways to re-capture people’s attention, with tactics like artistic layouts, interactive content, dynamic content switching and immersive experiences.
8: Rise of immersive video wall experiences: New technologies like curved displays and zero-bezel displays combined with affordable video wall controllers with unlimited scalability are creating a whole new use case for video walls that then deliver an immersive experience. A video wall can take you there for a fraction of the cost of doing the same through architecture. Think of the cost of a virtual aquarium versus a real one (and no fish to feed!) .
7: Video walls as sales tools: Sales teams for big ticket items (home builders, cars, vacation experiences, cosmetic surgery, appliances, etc.) will increasingly use the power of large video walls to position and frame their product in the best light. Salespeople will use their smartphones to drive the display. Alternatively, presence detection sensors or a touch screen nearby can be used to enhance the video wall experience for audiences and create a guided sales process even without a sales person being there.
6: Video Walls in disruptive retailers: Disruptive retailers (e.g., Tesla, Apple, Amazon) will find ways to leverage video walls to build out a powerful “retail” presences with a vastly different cost structure from conventional retailers. For example, the copious wall space in malls could house a video wall auto “show-room” at a tiny fraction of the cost of a conventional auto-dealership.
5: Formerly independent displays will be operable as a group (‘Flash mob’ style): Places with large numbers of TVs or digital signs will start hooking them up to a centralized controller so they can work from time to time in synchronicity, for vastly amplified visual impact. We call this feature ‘flash mob’ and it has 100s of use cases, from digital menu boards to sports venues to casinos to food courts. Every screen in the facility is an asset, and perfectly synchronized group operation – either as a video wall or otherwise – can be incredibly powerful tool to grab audience attention.
4: Video walls for unique & memorable experiences: Video walls will be used at retail establishments as entertainment platforms for guests, as a way to entice them to come into the store. For example, a department store might create a “red carpet” entrance, where guests walk in on a red carpet, with footage of photographers on surrounding video walls to simulate celebrity red carpet events
3: Video walls will move to the network: Video wall solutions will continue to move from proprietary cabling and connectors, onto standard network cable infrastructure—just as so many other AV solutions are now running over the network.
2: DIY video walls: It used to be that only specialized integrators would undertake video walls. But with the accessibility and affordability of high-end video wall controllers, many small-scale or high volume projects may now be brought in-house and handled by the IT department or a conventional systems integrator. Some people will even build their own home-theatre or gaming video walls.
1: Video walls connect to the cloud: While we’re still a ways away from live-streaming 8k content to a video wall, the cloud will play an increasing role in the deployment and management of video walls in 2017. Expect to see advanced cloud features for managing and integrating your video walls packaged into subscription bundles.
2017 will be all about accessibility and affordability for video walls. While you used to only see video walls in command centers or flagship retail locations, nowadays they’re popping up everywhere. The massive cost drops and toolsets that are familiar and comfortable to IT departments are meaning that many retailers are now looking to deploy video walls across all their locations.