Ask the Board – September 14, 2020 | MIKE WHITE


“How do you determine the right hardware to use based on initial conversations, before content needs are finalized?”

The COVID crisis has impacted our lives significantly and has modified what an integrator might recommend for hardware. Just a few short months ago, it was considered great design to incorporate touch-driven interactivity, but that is certainly not true today.  While I am confident that this too shall pass, there is a “no fly zone” that has been created by the COVID crisis, which means that our hardware recommendations will forever have a new consideration – is it possible that the recommended hardware can be a conduit to transmit COVID?

Our hardware recommendations must always be directed toward maximum ROI and ROO, but they now must also incorporate social responsibility. While touchscreens are not going to go away, their use will be temporarily slowed and replaced by interactive tools that are non-touch. Thankfully, there are many alternatives. That means the integrator now has the additional responsibility of recommending technology that supports high-level engagement without requiring users to actually touch a common surface.  

So where does that leave us? Well, there will still be projectors, flat panels, direct-view LED and other exciting technologies like Holographic Imaging. Now we have to work closely with CMS companies that are focused on how to succeed in spite of COVID. Going forward, interactivity with digital signage will be based on our smartphones. Scanning QR codes will once again become common. Non-touch triggering appliances that use cameras and motion detectors to change (trigger) content will increase.    

It is safe to say, if you are working with an integrator and they are not asking questions about interactivity alternatives without touch, you are likely working with the wrong person. Going forward, we will always have to consider the basics like viewing distance and dwell times, which dictate the size of the display enabling the message to be clearly delivered, and there are many great hardware choices. However, the integrator’s focus must be on a value recommendation that complements the technology and accommodates the customers’ budget. In our world of projectors, flat panels (of all types), LED displays, and Holographic Imaging appliances, we must always recommend the best technology that the customer’s budget can support. 

About Author

Senior Solutions Specialist
Unified Technology Systems, A Solutionz, Inc. Company

Pro AV Council

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