Audiovisual technology is changing the face of architecture. At InfoComm 08, which drew more than 34,500 attendees and 985 exhibitors, AV manufacturers shined. Both displays and projection are brighter, sharper, and clearer than ever before, allowing better viewing options, especially necessary given the proliferation of glass in commercial spaces.
Displays are bigger, thinner, and cheaper than they've ever been. Where once a conference room might have held CRT and projector technology, now it's possible to install a 42-inch flat panel display with high definition. Displays can be shaped horizontally, vertically, and in other configurations, and can even be rolled up, offering imaginative design options. The infrastructure to support the technology is no longer burdensome, either. Much of it uses Category 5 and fiber-optic cabling, allowing easier design, installs, and maintenance.
Audio technologies, too, are increasing in flexibility and quality, giving more freedom in speaker placement and allowing sharp, precise sound that can be heard evenly by all users of a space. Speakers are becoming prettier, too: smaller and shapelier in a range of colors.
Telepresence technologies are making a strong push into the non-residential buildings market with their higher quality and easier installs. Telepresence works closer to 3-D than does videoconferencing, communicating a sense of depth, in both audio and video, and a more realistic sense of being in the same room with those on the other side of the screen.
AV technologies are changing the way architecture is defined, built, and used. This year's AV Awards, the dominant theme of this issue of ARCHI-TECH, demonstrate how AV can make a place, overhaul a space, flex a hall, blend a wall, and take a user out of this world. Read about the winners in this issue and learn from the players involved firsthand in our highly successful AV Awards webinar series, which runs Aug. 6 through Oct. 1.What do YOU think?
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