Flexible OLEDs and Digital Canvassing- Making Sense of New AV Trends

February, 2019

The audio-visual design industry requires relentless monitoring of new technologies and project delivery options to stay current. 2019 is no exception, with some exciting new developments that will impact modes of business, from signage to collaboration. Greg Rushton, CTS-D, Vice President, Mulvey & Banani Audio Visual Inc. (MBAV) unpacks a recent webinar* with industry experts.


The Bare Bones – AV System Infrastructure

The very infrastructure of AV Systems is in transition for the better: for both base building and tenant fit-up applications, AV-over-Internet-Protocol (AVoIP) will most likely become the prevailing architecture. In a nutshell, the key benefit is that video can be streamed over the central network as opposed to having to have a separate, proprietary AV networks.


Shuffling & Tiling –Collaboration Reconfigured

Digital canvassing is the new “killer-app” of AVoIP, allowing the shuffling/ tiling of content, anywhere, anytime, across multiple screens, a trend that is sure to re-shape collaborative work and presentations. The wireless collaboration/soft conferencing/collaboration board arena is saturated with options, so 2019 will bring some consolidation to the offerings. Voice controls are being explored by many companies, however, gesture based controls are moving into the foreground as a less cumbersome alternative.


Flexible OLEDs, the New “Bendies”

It’s official, digital signage is more impactful, less invasive, apparently diverting up to 20-25% of TV advertising dollars. Cloud-based signage systems are expected to be more all-pervasive, with new releases on the way; this is particularly interesting for large scale, global brand deployments. New bendable, rollable displays can be hidden when not in use. But here’s the real nugget: ultra-thin, flexible, ambient OLED’s (LED film that sticks to back of glass) are debuting for signage, ambient lighting, and environmental effects.  Lighting and graphic art meets dynamic signage, the possibilities are endless for commercial and retail applications.

Subscriptions, financing? Possibly…

Distributers are beginning to offer financing, realizing that the business case for bridge financing and the savings that ensue with new equipment is a no-brainer. However, AVAaS (audio visual as a service) is gaining momentum (mostly in the US), which may do away with large capital expenditures altogether. Modelled on the current practice in the IT field, a customer would pay on a subscription basis for access to their complete AV solution and service. There are only a few contractors in Canada positioned to deliver projects this way, and it remains to be seen if this model will be adopted wholescale.


Who’s Your Advocate?

The battle for dominance between AV suppliers, manufacturers and integrators continues to play out in the background, every year, presenting a confusing array of options for business owners. It’s easy to be seduced by vendors and integrators promising the latest and greatest, but will they deliver a holistic solution? AV consultants remain vendor neutral, specifically to safeguard that a business’s detailed and proprietary functional and operational agenda is what drives the solution. A design process that culminates in a non-biased, neutral, specification for competitive tender is still the best weapon in the arsenal.


*“What Will Happen with AV in 2019”, lead by Gary Kayye of rAVe Publications   |  Mulvey & Banani Audio Visual Inc. is a subsidiary company of Mulvey & Banani International Inc.