‘Tis the season for 2018 budgeting! When deciding where to spend and where to save, what systems or technology need updating or what can last another year, consider these five trends in commercial technology we are seeing emerge for 2018.

  1. Passive Optical Networks
  2. Low Voltage Lighting Over POE (power over ethernet) Networks
  3. Appearance Search in Video Surveillance
  4. Video Walls
  5. Video and Audio Over IP

Bandwidth requirements are greatly increasing for businesses, and the old Cat 5 and 6 cables cannot keep up with growing network needs. Category 5 and 6 cabling can only handle a certain amount of bandwidth that decreases as the workstation gets a further distance from the distribution center. This is a problem.

Fearing’s has begun installing passive optical networks that use fiber optic cabling. Fiber cabling effectiveness maintains network strength over longer distances. The fiber cable is run to a fiber optical splitter to connect high-speed networks to multiple distribution points and workstations. Passive optical networks get higher bandwidth to desktops and rooms all across a building or facility.

This is important if your employees are streaming content for their jobs or if productivity is impacted by network speed. While the networks of yesterday were measured with Mbps (megabits per second), passive optical network bandwidth is measured in Gps or gigabits per second. 10Gps networks and faster will be the new standard.

Read more about the benefits of fiber at cepro.com.

Photo of Igor lighting technology when designing and installing intelligent lighting solutions installed by Fearing's Audio Video Security in Madison WIIn 2018, we’ll begin to see the digital transformation of the lighting industry. Low voltage lighting running on POE (power over ethernet) networks will be the intelligent lighting solutions of tomorrow. The benefits of low voltage lighting over POE networks are many:

  • Low voltage lights are more efficient, requiring less energy to run. It saves you money and lowers your carbon footprint.
  • Low voltage cabling and infrastructure are more cost effective to install.
  • Low voltage lights support your efforts to become a LEED-certified building.
  • Traditional fluorescent lighting can emit a high-frequency flutter, which negatively affects some of your employees, making them tired. LED low voltage lights are consistent and keep your employees healthier and able to stay focused on your mission.
  • Intelligent technology gives you network-based control of your lighting and upgrades your lighting into a responsive, smart, money-saving feature of your facility.

Fearing’s recently made the switch to low voltage lighting over POE networks here at the main office and are very happy we did.

We use Igor lighting technology when designing and installing intelligent lighting solutions. “Igor’s innovative PoE platform enables unprecedented levels of intelligent control over LED lighting systems. Igor makes the promise of smart buildings a reality by leveraging the technology convergence of the Internet of Things with the disruption of smart lighting.” Join the lighting revolution!

3. Appearance Search in Video Surveillance

Video surveillance is being used more widely as many businesses, manufacturers, schools, government buildings, public spaces, retailers seek to increase the safety of their employees, students and customers.

Emerging in 2018, some video surveillance technology will have advanced appearance search that will dramatically change the usefulness of video surveillance and response time when needing to do specific searches.

We use Avigilon technology for our video surveillance design and installs. Recently introduced, “Avigilon Appearance Search video analytics technology is a sophisticated search engine for video data. It sorts through hours of footage with ease, to quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across an entire site. Avigilon Appearance Search technology can dramatically improve incident response time and enhance forensic investigations by allowing operators to build robust video evidence and create a powerful narrative of events.”

Instead of searching through hours of footage across multiple cameras, the Avigilon technology search engine quickly analyzes the footage from all cameras in the system to track a subject, find the exit they used, and capture evidence in a fraction of the time. The time saved can make all the difference in capturing a criminal, finding a lost child, and more.

In this day and age, many of us are considering how to make our workplaces and schools safer. This is one tool to help.

As a bonus, looking even further ahead, Avigilon is currently working on face appearance search technology. The search engine will zero in on faces, identifying dangerous individuals BEFORE they enter a building or airport and are able to do damage. Prevention is the future. See more in this YouTube video.

Many companies are taking advantage of the lowering costs and the new technology of video walls to replace video projectors for large format situations, add a stunning, bright and sometimes even interactive display to pull customers into the brand story, enhance conference and training rooms and more.

A video wall is built with a tiled array of displays or direct LED panels, so the size and resolution can be scaled to fit just about any situation. A video wall can have a larger display area and far higher resolutions than a single display or projector depending on size. Video walls can also be brighter than projectors and easier to see in high ambient light situations.

We anticipate more businesses will be making use of this technology in 2018. Take a look at this project completed in 2017.

5. Video and Audio Over IP

Video and audio over IP has been a growing trend, with more and more emerging solutions, lower prices and increased adoption over recent years.

In recent years, manufacturers of all kinds of AV system components have been incorporating audio and or video over IP solutions into their product lineups, which is bringing many new potential solutions to the table when designing an AV system. Audio can be sent campus-wide across VLANs for paging or emergency announcements. Overflow spaces can get audio and video from other rooms’ systems using existing network infrastructure. Systems can be expanded easily without completely new equipment or infrastructure. Systems can be built and scaled to customer needs without buying into large switchers or matrixes, instead, they buy encoders and decoders to meet actual system needs and simply add additional encoders and decoders when needs change. This means that the cost is also better scaled to the project.

This type of solution can leverage existing network infrastructures in some cases or put on dedicated, but managed networks, which is very appealing to the IT staff that generally has to manage AV systems. Along with this, there are many components and systems that then allow for networked and remote system and device management tools, so down time and truck rolling time can greatly be reduced.

We highly recommend incorporating audio and video over IP products into your future projects and budgets as this emerging trend is the future and now of AV system design!

Please call our experts today to get a timely quote for any or all of the above projects so you can finish up your 2018 budget. And, don’t forget Fearing’s can take care of all your audio, video, security, structure cabling, paging systems needs and more!