POV: Exploring AV Megatrends

Albert Einstein once said, “I never think of the future—it comes fast enough.” There are few among us who are disciplined enough to put aside the concerns of today to ponder the opportunitie 7/15/2009 8:00 AM Eastern

POV: Exploring AV Megatrends

Jul 15, 2009 12:00 PM, By Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D.

Albert Einstein once said, “I never think of the future—it comes fast enough.” There are few among us who are disciplined enough to put aside the concerns of today to ponder the opportunities of tomorrow. And yet innovation, the hallmark of the AV industry, requires all of us to think about the future, how people may communicate in five years, and how technology might help with the exchange of information.

In April, 100 top thought leaders in the audiovisual industry took time away from their day-to-day business to consider the future of the industry and InfoComm International. This InfoComm 100 event, which was put together by InfoComm’s Leadership Development Committee, included a day dedicated to considering trends and developing ideas that will feed into organizations’ strategic planning. I am sure you will find the conclusions of the group enlightening.

As we listened to the group and considered the trends they identified, I was reminded of two classic 1980s books that looked at the big issues transforming society. Megatrends by John Naisbitt and The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler looked at the transformation from the Industrial Age to the Information Age and how future enterprises would be dependent on the ability to collect, organize, understand, and make decisions with information. The audiovisual industry matured with this shift and played a significant role in the way we communicate. Today, a client’s content is delivered via the network, and we see it, hear it, and manipulate it in a world of unified communications.

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The AV megatrend continues. We are at the heart of a cultural and business preference for visual and aural information. At InfoComm 100, industry leaders identified the AV megatrend and saw its expression in many forms, including the newest social media tools and 3D displays, complete with the accompanying client demand for information that is available anywhere and anytime. While we should not always jump to the conclusion that today’s newest tool will determine our future, there is a long line of scholarly research that points to the effectiveness of visual communication.

What are the opportunities and implications of the AV megatrend? I have put together a paper, along with InfoComm Senior Market Research Analyst Mary Baehr, CTS, PRC, to examine this exact question. I hope you will take time away from your day-to-day business, consider the paper’s conclusions, and think about the future of your own organization.

More than 29,000 people got to see the AV megatrend up-close at InfoComm 09 in Orlando, Fla. If you were not one of them, please review SVC’s and InfoComm’s write-ups of the show to get a better feel of what’s next for the industry. And mark your calendar for next year’s show, June 9-11, 2010, in Las Vegas so you don’t miss out on the latest technology and where the industry is headed.

Copies of both the InfoComm 100 report and AV megatrends can be found at

Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., is executive director of InfoComm International.

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