ClearOne’s Derek Graham on AV Predictions for 2024

Published: December 29, 2023
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Derek Graham, CEO of ClearOne, discusses his predictions on the future of the AV industry for 2024. Here, Graham underlines the rising trend of generative AI while noting the persistent challenge of talent shortage in the industry.

Overall, in his predictions, Graham remains optimistic about the progress of the industry. Read on to see the predictions for the AV industry in 2024!

Commercial Integrator: Hybrid work seems to be ‘in limbo’ as many global businesses begin to demand more in-person work. How will the AV industry accelerate innovation in 2024 to support this shift?

Derek Graham headshot

Photo courtesy: Derek Graham.

Derek Graham: I don’t think “limbo” is the right word to describe the state of hybrid work right now because that implies the entire concept of hybrid work is in an uncertain state and might eventually go away. I think “transition” is a better word. I agree that many global businesses are demanding more in-person work, but from what I have read and seen, most businesses will operate with some amount of hybrid work in 2024. However, the number of work hours in the office will increase compared to the number of remote work hours that we saw in 2023.

I think you will see the AV industry provide more solutions that make it easier for workers to use the same device for their remote work that they use for their in-office work in a group meeting. For example, if an employee works at home using a Microsoft Surface or an iPad, they should be able to bring that same device into a conference room in the office, connect to the conferencing system in the room using a wired or wireless connection, and share content with local and remote meeting participants. That can be done today, but there are some rough edges that can make meetings less seamless than they should be.

I also think you will see the AV industry provide more solutions that support the need to bring your own meeting. For example, many companies are investing in Microsoft Teams Room systems for their conference rooms. If the group with a Teams Room system needs to join a Zoom or Google Meet session in that room, a solution is needed. There are ways to do that today, but I think you will see more solutions that simplify that process in the coming year.

CI: Do you anticipate a greater implementation of generative AI into AV solutions in 2024? If so, what solutions will see significant development as a result?

Graham: Yes. Zoom has an AI companion that leverages generative AI to help improve the efficiency of meetings. Zoom has announced that they are adding additional AI based features in 2024. Microsoft and OpenAI announced a partnership that will result in generative AI features being added to several Microsoft products, including Teams. Google Meet has a feature called Duet AI that I expect will continue to be enhanced in 2024. Webex also has a generative AI feature called the Webex Assistant for Meetings that I anticipate will continue to be developed into 2024.

CI: How do you expect customer demands to change in the new year, if at all? Did you experience any surprising shifts in this regard in 2023?

Graham: I expect to see less demand for audio devices with only analog interfaces or both digital and analog interfaces and more demand for devices with only digital interfaces. We did not experience any surprising shifts in 2023, just continuations of trends that we had seen in previous years.

I also believe that the need for hybrid work and learning solutions is here to stay. Given the pressure for more in-office work hours, the relative levels of investment in the AV industry may shift a little more towards in-office solutions versus solutions for remote workers.

CI: What trends do you think will be most impactful in the new year, and how will the AV industry evolve as a result?

Graham: I think the trend of including generative AI into communication and collaboration products will be the most impactful in the new year. While today, those features are somewhat of a novelty, I think the AV industry will evolve to expect those types of features as a normal part of doing business.

CI: Where do you see the most growth potential and what challenges do you anticipate for AV commercial integrators and the AV industry as a whole, in the new year?

Graham: The industry data I have seen points to growth potential in the live venues and events market sector as well as growth potential for AV in the transportation sector, for example, digital signage and audio distribution.

Finding experienced staff has historically been an issue for the AV industry, I expect that will continue to be a challenge in the new year.  Incorporating AI into our collaboration and communication products in a way that maintains data privacy will also be a challenge.

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