Firstly, I would like to wish all of our Blog readers a Happy New Year. TouchIT Technologies has some exciting things planned for 2020 that we can’t wait to share with you all. In this blog post we are going to take a look at the Interactive LED Market in 2020 and what you should expect to see.
Goodbye to HD Resolution
I know this might seem as something a little obvious, HD resolution is going away if it has not already done so. All of the panel manufactures have stopped their large format HD screens in favour of 4K.
As a company, TouchIT Technologies finished our HD line in 2018 as supply was not good. Anyone that is offering cut price HD screens now you should beware. The chances are they have sat in a warehouse for a long time and are old stock.
Goodbye to 70″ and 80″ Screens
It may seem a little odd to say goodbye to particular sizes, but the 70″ and 80″ were made by Sharp and only Sharp. They decided not to continue on that size. So what does that mean. Well, it means that anyone that is offering 70″ and 80″ screens into the market is also offering old stock. Beware of cut price panel deals on these sizes, we have seen them!
Goodbye to Interactive Flat Panels under 65″
This is not so much as a cease of production like the 70s and 80s we’ve just spoken about; this is more about customer demand. Over the years, the trend has always been “bigger is better”.
What has normally constrained the demand has been price. The fact that a 75″ has come down in price is having a direct effect on the demand for the smaller sizes. We stopped again in 2018 the supply of 55″ screens as the panel supply was getting un-reliable. Also, the demand had dropped.
I think in 2020 we are not going to see interactive flat panels under 65″ being offered on the market. This of course is different from the 24″ touch monitors which are designed to be desk top devices, rather than front of class or front of board room devices.
Goodbye to Interactive LEDs that don’t have an onboard Android OS
I know that we push heavily our TouchIT Rapide LED with Onboard Android 8 OS. That is because it is the fastest chipset on the market and presents a whole host of benefits to the user. This is by far the first Interactive Flat Panel that we can say is “computer replacing technology”.
So why will all Interactive LEDs come with onboard Android of some description? The answer is quite simple – marketing and hardware. The first point is what we call “keeping up with the jones'” – the fact that company A is offering this means that Company B has to at least follow suit.
The second is hardware related. The AD Board, is the input board on the Interactive LED. This is the component that does all the clever stuff to process your inputs. These AD boards are available from a select number of manufactures and these guys are all including Android.
They are doing this as to them, the cost difference is negligible but the benefits and sales points to manufactures like us is huge. In short, it is not worth creating and marketing an AD Board without onboard Android.
Rise in larger LEDs on the market
We touched on this a little earlier in this blog post, the market is always going for “bigger is better” and this is no different in 2020. The availability of larger panels on the market is nothing new. In terms of popularity, we’ve seen trends move from 55″ right through to 75″ being our most popular size in 2019. We are expecting 86″ to become more popular in 2020.
What about larger than that? We have available a 100″ and you will have seen I am sure manufactures pushing larger TV sizes like 108″, 110″ and 120″. There are a couple of “problems” with these sizes. Once you get above 100″ how are you going to reach the top of the screen.
There is a huge amount of real estate as I call it to cover. Reaching the top of the screen is a problem. You can’t mount it lower as the bottom of the screen will not be visible from the back of the room. It just gets too big.
Therefore, my prediction is that there will not be an insurgence of screen s that are larger than 100″ simply because they are too big. That is also ignoring the huge cost that these screens attract. Yes, they will come down slowly, but I don’t see huge drops happening.
This is because of two things. Mother Glass and Demand. What do I mean by mother glass. This is the sheet of glass that is used to create the layer of pixels. What happens is that the yield to get a good 120″ is low. If you have a couple of bad pixels on the glass, it can’t be used. What happens then. Well, you cut it into 4 pieces of smaller sized panel and throw away the part with the bad pixels.
The low yield holds up the cost. This is then directly related to the next point which is demand. Most of us do not have homes that are large enough for a 120″ screen. It is the home TV market that drives the demand on the sizes and if the home users are not buying the big size, this is not going to bring the prices down enough for the interactive market.
8K is not going to make an appearance in 2020
I am going to make the bold statement that 8K resolution is not going to make an appearance in the Interactive Flat Panel market in 2020. You may see the odd manufacturer offering this, but honestly, you do not need this on a touch screen. Firstly, there is no benefit as there is a lack of content for 8K. This was the same argument initially for 4K if you remember when that was fist launched.
Also, 4K is more than sufficient for touch screens. Most people are running their Interactive Flat panels at a lower resolution that then can deal with. This is either because their computer cannot output the 4K resolution or that it is just too small of a font size to be useful.
Food for thought.
Rise in Multi-functional use of Interactive LEDs
One of the team emailed me a picture over the holidays of him having dinner in a restaurant that was using a touch screen on the wall as a fire place. Now, I don’t think for a minute this is going to be the next big thing in the touchscreen market, but I do think that people are looking to do more.
By more, I mean things like use the screen for Digital Signage when it is not being used as a touchscreen. Interactive messaging, signage, way finding, info-boards are all uses for a touchscreen when it is not being used as a front of class or front of boardroom display.
2020 is going to see more of this kind of multi-purpose usage as users look to maximise their investments.
Greater Integrations between Hardware and Software
I think the best company that I can use as an example of a marriage between hardware and software is of course Apple. They have done a fantastic job of making hardware work seamlessly with their software ecosystem.
For 2020 and the Interactive Flat Panel Market, I am not saying that we are all going down the proprietary software and formats route (Contribute Cloud from TouchIT is quite the opposite). What I am saying is that software is going to become increasingly important with the Interactive Flat Panels.
There are a number of manufacturers that just offer cheap Interactive Flat Panels. Whey I am asked by customers how we compare against these, I always say “what are you going to do on your IFPD?” – The “what” is always software dependant and if the manufacturer is not combining hardware AND software, the overall experience is not going to be a good one.
More Collaboration between the Interactive LED and Other Devices
Our customers are always asking to be able to do more in terms of collaboration which is why we continue to develop Contribute Cloud Software. I think this demand for collaboration will only increase in 2020. There are 100os of Interactive Flat Panels in the market now and the users are becoming better educated over time on how to use them.
Once you have mastered the basics, you will be looking to do more and the doing more is things like Casting and Collaborating.
We feel these kinds of features will become more prominent in 2020.
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Thanks for reading!