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Interactivity in the AV industry

When you think of interactivity, the first thing that springs to mind is likely to be a touchscreen. However, true interactivity is much more than this, to the point where often the user has no idea they are interacting.

AV installations can interact with absolutely anyone, whether those physically near it or remotely. Using many technologies multiple people can engage with a piece of AV, likewise, AV can interact with people, especially in the analytics area.

No matter the scenario, however, the overarching aim of interactivity is likely to be to share information, aid communication and encourage engagement, whether with a teacher in a classroom situation, or a brand in a commercial or retail environment.

And this is one of the great things about interactive technology, it can be used in a wide range of environments and brings true benefit to them all.

Take a school, college or university, for example. In training and teaching spaces it is imperative that any information being shared can be easily understood and digested by students, while tutors must be able to present comfortably without having to spend time configuring devices or being wary of the technology that is supposed to be helping them. Here, connectivity devices such as AirTame can be useful, enabling wireless collaboration, encouraging interaction at the touch of a button and fast switching between presenters and therefore more time focusing on learning.

Not only that, but interactive learning has repeatedly been shown to improve student performance, boost social skills and enhance decision making and problem-solving abilities. Teachers can also benefit from being able to introduce new learning techniques and have more variety in their lessons thanks to interactive tools. So games, interactive brainstorming, role play and Q&A sessions can all be implemented quickly and easily to suit both the subject being taught and the pupils themselves.

In the workspace, the goal is to enable communication and collaboration both between employees and with internal and external stakeholders. In this environment, interactivity tools such as Mersive Solstice Pod can have a major impact enabling multiple participants to share content from their own devices, discuss, annotate and reach decisions. In this environment reliability and a consistent user experience are essential if uptake is going to be strong – these tools should aid decision making and communication, not hinder people, so always consider what they will be used for in order to design the best solution for your individual needs.

When it comes to meeting and presentation spaces an organisation can benefit from off-the-shelf solutions from manufacturers such as Clevertouch or Promethean who offer a number of products specifically for the corporate environment. Interactive displays that integrate with existing technology can be a cost-effective option, while the ability to store and share information in the cloud can be much more useful than scribbled notes.

When it comes to interacting with customers, visitors and other external stakeholders, tools to enable users to identify themselves to gain a bespoke experience, such as schedules and way finding can provide a useful USP. In retail this could include recognition tools that offer personalised offers or advice, encouraging interaction over social media.

Interactive tools will continue to develop in the coming months and years; there are already many products and services available that can deliver data on age, gender, linger times, viewing times and the like, and this use of data is likely to grow. If used well it can create an amazing immersive interactive piece, that the user may be completely unaware they are part of, as well as enabling interactivity between signage, content and PoS equipment.

VR/AR is likely to be seen more in this field too, initially to create wow experiences before likely moving into the mainstream. And, as voice recognition becomes more common in the home environment, expect this to enter into many verticals in the near future.



Author: Jon Booth, Solutions Architect
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