The future of AV in the classroom

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gary Kayye, chief visionary at Kayye Consulting, works with dozens of colleges and universities, offering marketing consulting and training development services to the ProAV and HomeAV markets. He also is the founder of rAVe Publications and teaches a class about social media and new media marketing at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. At UBTech 2013, Kayye had some keen insights to offer about the future of AV in the higher ed classroom.

Networking all audio and video equipment together, he says, is the future, but the capability is not pervasive yet. Right now, networking capabillity is limited, so he doesn’t recommend designing a university’s entire system around the ability to network everything together because it would require changing out a substantial amount of equipment.

Over the next 18 months, there are several changes we can expect in the AV market, and it all centers around HDBaseT, Kayye says. This connectivity technology allows technicians to take legacy equipment and connect it to state-of-the-art digital technology through a single cable.

This is going to be particularly helpful with digital signage because it will allow universities to do more with their existing equipment, he says. For instance, the network that digital signage is on could also be connected to classroom projectors. With the simple addition of a 2 x 1 input VGA switcher, universities could switch the screen in the classroom to the digital signage system while the projector itself is idle. This would allow the remotely distribution of targeted messages into classrooms for the 10 or 15 minutes that students are piling in, but the projector isn’t being used.

“I now have a captive audience of, say, 25,000 eyeballs who are guaranteed to be looking at this screen four times a day for at least 10 minutes at a time,” Kayye says.

Taking it one step further, by using NFC or RFID technology in students’ ID badges, schools could automatically take attendance, and even deliver messages, class presentations or other content to students no matter where they are on campus.

And despite the industry buzz, Kayye says projectors are not dying off. In fact, he feels they will become a commodity and we can expect to see lighter, less expensive models available at retailers such as Best Buy and Staples.

For more information about the future of projectors, HDBaseT and other AV trends, watch Gary Kayye’s UBTech 2013 presentation here.