We’re certainly well underway with the replacements of Interactive Whiteboard and projectors in the classroom with Interactive LEDs. That said, we’re always asked what is coming next? What’s in the pipeline? What’s the next big thing for Interactive LEDs? Let’s get the crystal ball out.
In this article we’ll share some of the things that we are seeing in the industry. We’re going to play our cards close to our chest about the product updates we have coming, watch this space, but let’s talk in general about the market.
Bigger is Better
The first thing that we are seeing as a company is a shift in the sizes of LEDs and also the popularity. For example, in 2019, we’ve actually discontinued our 55″ LED. Sales of that size went from being the most popular in 2015 to by far the least popular in 2018. This I think is reflective of the industry in general as the supply of 55″ panels has been scarce for some time now. Panel supply is of course driven by the home consumer market who like the interactive market are demanding bigger and bigger TVs. We’re seeing that year on year, the popularity of our sizes change and in 2018, 75″ was by far the most popular size that we sold, a shift in size from 2016 and 2017 when 65″ was the front runner.
We’re seeing a number of manufacturers offer the 98″ and we will follow suit in 2019. That said, it does get to a stage, certainly with touchscreens where the size is going to max out as it is not possible for an average height person to touch the top of the screen. Mount it too low and those further down the classroom will not be able to see the bottom so I think we are going to max out at around the 98″ mark. Unless the aspect ratio is going to change to make them perhaps wider, but not so tall? We’ve not seen anything from the panel guys, so we’re really not sure on this one.
What about 8K Resolutions and beyond?
We moved 100% over to 4K in 2018 and are yet to see anyone in the industry of touchscreens offering any higher resolution. The problem that we will have is the availability of content to actually make use of the resolution. We’re seeing more and more 4K TV stations being broadcast to our satellite and digital cable boxes, but even this took time for them to catch up with the hardware. I think this is primarily due to the bandwidth requirements to broadcast in 4K. Also, are we going to be able to discern against a 4K image, which are fantastic to look at, versus an 8K image? Transport this over to a touchscreen, and I think it is going to be more a “marketing thing” than an actual benefit for the user.
Shift to Use as a Standalone
More and more of our users are looking to use the LEDs and their on-board Operating Systems like Android as a standalone. This is really driving the development of more powerful units that run higher versions of the Android OS. Most versions of Android on the market for touchscreens are Android 5.1 but a highly customised version. This was never designed to be run as a standalone and replace the computer – more of any additional set of tools and options. We’re working on our next version and this was a bid driver in the development of the 2.0 version of the TouchIT App Store – check it out.
Casting – remains important
Casting, so the ability to wirelessly send a screen from a student up to the LED is still very important to our users. This is why we have developed both multi-casting and presenter casting into our Version 2 of Contribute Cloud software. Multicasting allows us to send all of the class at the same time up to the LED so comparative activities can be done. Presenter or Teacher Cast as we call it flips round the classroom. Perhaps the teacher wants to show the students another website or another application. Using our software, they are able to do this and cast their own screens back to the students devices – how cool is that? What is more, there is not additional hardware required for this.
Multiple use products – interactive tables
We’ve had more enquiries as of late for the mobile, multi-use product such as our Fusion 2. This is a 3-in-1 product, an Interactive Table, Easel and LED which is all height adjustable by an electric motor and is also moveable between rooms. This gives the users the flexibility of the different products and different heights depending on which users are at the product at any one time.
For more information do check out www.touchittechnologies.com