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Collaboration Bars on the Rise as Users Focus on Improved Functionality

With video communication now deeply entrenched within the working practices of many enterprises, collaboration bars have become an essential component of the video-enabled meeting room. These soundbar-like devices, consisting of integrated microphones, speakers and cameras, posted sales of more than $1 billion in 2021, and the category show no signs of slowing. That’s according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting, which shows the market will achieve a volume CAGR of 18% through to 2026.

The New Tool for Productivity

“Hybrid working trends have been instrumental in driving the demand for collaboration bars,” says Alistair Johnston, Head of Collaboration, Futuresource Consulting. “This profound operational shift has forced organisations to re-evaluate how they get the best from employees, wherever they work. And, time and again, research has shown investment in remote collaboration products provides a clear return.

“From individual units designed for personal conferencing, to large installations in boardrooms, the flexibility and simplicity of collaboration bars has made them the obvious choice for many organisations looking to video-enable their meeting room spaces.”

The Americas Captures Share, Accounting for Almost Half Global Volumes

The Americas remains the principal region in volume terms, accounting for 47% of the total global market in 2021, up four percentage points on 2020. Western Europe has also become a key region, sitting alongside North America as a territory where collaboration bars have fast become the standard way to video-enable small and medium-sized rooms.

Meanwhile, in Asia, there remains a preference for lower-cost solutions, where a significant proportion of volume was in the less than $1,000 category last year. In China, this amounted to 65% of volumes, compared with 54% in the Americas.

Enhanced Features and Intuitive Operation Come to the Fore

While all camera categories are projected to grow in volume throughout the forecast period, Futuresource expects simple fixed cameras to shrink in terms of market share. And as the market moves towards 4K, the consulting firm expects e-PTZ functionality to become standard in collaboration bars designed for small and medium-sized spaces.

“Thanks to higher resolution HD cameras, use of participant auto-tracking, and a lack of lag when reframing individuals, e-PTZ cameras are becoming a popular solution,” says Johnston. “This is particularly useful for remote participants joining meetings which contain many in-person speakers. We expect both e-PTZ cameras and multicamera bars to do particularly well as the industry moves forwards.

“The market has come a long way in a few short years. While collaboration bars were originally designed as plug-and-play peripherals for laptops and PCs, many now natively run cloud conferencing platforms, giving users a unified and intuitive experience. With larger, more powerful bars coming to market, the form factor is spreading into ever-bigger spaces and making its presence felt across the entire corporate landscape.”

For more information on the new Collaboration Bars: Global Market Outlook report from Futuresource Consulting, or to make a purchase, please contact ben.thrussell@futuresource-hq.com

Date Published:

Alistair Johnston

About the author

Alistair Johnston

Alistair leads the Collaboration team at Futuresource Consulting, researching and consulting on the ways we work together, both in the office and remotely.

With a background in both operations and marketing, Alistair is particularly interested in how individuals and companies adapt under conditions of technological and social change.

Alistair has an economics degree from the University in Cambridge, and has previously worked as a business analyst, particularly within the financial sector.

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