After a shaky 2020, the collaboration displays market is back on track, with a new Team Collaboration Displays report from Market Research Firm Futuresource Consulting forecasting 51% volume growth in 2021. That’s after the sector experienced a COVID-related contraction, as orders were delayed and projects cancelled, culminating in a 13% global drop in shipments last year.
“When COVID-19 hit the collaboration displays market, it hit hard,” says Jeremy Wills, Senior Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Prior to the pandemic, the market was evolving, buoyed along on a wave of interest and innovation. Modern working habits and technological advancements were redefining the meeting room as a collaborative workspace. All that changed last year, and businesses recalibrated their priorities. The focus switched to remote working and deploying the necessary software and infrastructure to keep afloat, whilst collaboration displays took a back seat.”
However, as hybrid working becomes the new corporate model, particularly in North America and Europe, Futuresource Consulting’s report demonstrates how this could be the catalyst which reignites the use of interactive displays, aiding collaboration and enhancing control of multi-locational meetings, as well as driving uptake through higher education and governmental channels.
Historically, meeting rooms were a standalone central hub, with most employees gathered locally, and perhaps a small number of remote participants or another meeting room dialling in. Now, the meeting room is part of a much wider chain of end points. Widespread home working means that more meeting participants are likely to attend remotely from individual locations. In addition, social distancing continues to limit meeting room capacities, displacing on-site participants into adjacent rooms.
As a result, for the first time, meeting rooms need to fulfil the requirements of both in-room and remote end users equally. Flexibility is also essential, as the number of participants in the meeting room and dialling in remotely will vary from meeting to meeting. Due to these factors, collaboration tools will be seen as business-critical investments in a post-pandemic world.
To better understand the market, Futuresource Consulting has segmented collaboration displays into three categories, namely unified communications displays (UCDs), IFPD conferencing end points, and network connected IFPDs.
UCDs are displays that provide an end-to-end hardware and platform solution, optimised to support a specific UC platform, and typically incurring a subscription fee. IFPD conferencing end points are similar to standard corporate interactive flat panel displays, with embedded cameras, microphones and speakers. Over the 12 months from Q3 2020 to Q2 2021, both these segments have seen a rapid increase in sales, stemming from Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 and sales activity in China, respectively. The network connected displays market has seen less success, but still expanded its shipments by 4%.
“Despite all the upside, collaboration displays do have their adversaries,” says Wills. “There’s always a chance that meeting room utilisation could fall away, as employees become comfortable using personal devices to video conference from their desks in the office. It’s what people have become accustomed to while working from home over the past 18 months.
“That said, there’s plenty of opportunity within the market. Beyond this year’s 51% volume growth, Futuresource expect to see more measured global growth return to the market, with annual shipment volume increases of between 12% and 19% over the 2022 to 2025 period.”
Futuresource Consulting is a market research and consulting company, providing its clients with expertise in Professional AV, Consumer Electronics, Education Technology, Content & Entertainment, Professional Broadcast and Automotive. Combining strong methodologies and unsurpassed data refinement with in-depth market knowledge and forecasting, Futuresource deliver the latest insights and technological developments to drive business decision-making.
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