By: Erdem Soyal, Vice President of MEA Operations at Barco
In many ways, 2021 has been both the longest and fastest year many of us can remember. The global pandemic forced us to once again pivot many aspects of our personal and professional lives. Along the way, businesses embraced new and upgraded technologies to meet employee demands, close gaps, and identify new efficiencies – a trend that offers boundless opportunities in the new year.
As more organizations begin welcoming employees back to the office in some capacity, this digital evolution is becoming more evident. Large-format video walls that previously existed in the background and solely provided corporate information now are taking a more prominent and colorful position in reception areas, meeting rooms, and showrooms. Across a host of applications, business leaders see video walls as an opportunity to introduce creativity and a “wow” factor that invites employees and guests to the office and serves as a differentiator.
The close of 2021 saw more business and IT leaders evaluating potential video wall upgrades and installations, setting the tone for another busy year across the market. However, what we learned from this past turbulent year will enable success and growth in 2022. Here are just three of the ways we see a bright future ahead for the video wall space.
The rise of LED
While the video wall market will continue to offer flexible, customized solutions that suit a range of business needs, the last year has seen notable shifts in the market that should carry over into the new year.
The past year has cemented LED as the gold standard of the video wall space. Businesses that have the budget and intent are more willing to invest in displays that produce superior image quality, color vibrancy, and accurate detail. In turn, large video walls that previously were only seen in common, public spaces are becoming – and will continue to become – a standard fixture in corporate environments.
Even as LED displays extend their popularity, the market and demand for LCD video walls remain solid. While not all businesses are ready to or can afford to make substantial technology investments following a turbulent year, those seeking impactful change at a more affordable price are finding a match in LCD displays that support collaboration while delivering meaningful value.
On the other hand, while it still maintains a place in the corporate space, rear projection continues to see a reduced demand. Projection video walls have a niche in applications that require precise and continuous functionality and are less concerned with stunning, high-quality images, such as control rooms and security centers. However, among public-facing environments, we’re likely to see the tide continue to shift more to LED and LCD video walls where visual appeal plays a greater role.
The push for techoration
In 2021, the use of video wall technology to create memorable and immersive experiences in public spaces literally became an art form.
While a years-old concept, techoration – or the use of video walls and other display technologies as canvases for engaging, informative, and entertaining content – became one of the most fun and competitive innovations we saw last year. With video walls serving as a blank canvas, businesses redefined and extended their brands to public spaces through colorful and brilliant visuals, videos, and interactive experiences.
The simultaneous emergence of techoration and more powerful video walls will only foster more creativity in 2022 and beyond. Businesses now understand the challenge of creating memorable first and last impressions and regaining eyes that went elsewhere during the pandemic, and the race to techorate will drive both higher demand for video walls and first-of-their-kind applications.
The commitment to a more sustainable future
As the new year approaches, sustainability will continue to evolve from a buzzword to an essential function – even within the visual display space. Businesses are under greater pressure from stakeholders and customers to reduce their environmental impact, including a push for technologies that require less power and fewer resources to operate and maintain.
In turn, video wall manufacturers now are re-evaluating how to develop displays that deliver powerful visual accuracy and impact in a more responsible fashion. For example, we’re beginning to see displays that automatically go into “eco-mode” when not in use to conserve power.
With the potential to enliven well-traveled spaces and offer new avenues for engagement and visibility that guide decision-making, the role, and presence of video walls in business spaces is only likely to grow in the new era. The role of and demand for video walls changed like never seen before in 2021, but prepared us for success in 2022 and beyond.
There’s no doubt that technology and innovation will continue to help us survive and thrive, and I’m excited to see what’s ahead in the new year and beyond.