(Photo | Courtesy of AV Bend)
Last year, the corporate office took a large turn as many of us had to begin working remotely from home. This created an entirely new world for audio-visual — Zoom. Zoom, as most companies are aware, is an online video conferencing platform that is for personal, educational and corporate use. Since this is now one of the primary ways that offices and businesses have meetings, a lot of them have been needing a dedicated space; or what we at Audio-Visual Bend call a Zoom Room. These Zoom Rooms have become very popular over the last year, and many corporate offices have incorporated them into the workspace. It can look like an audio-visual setup only, or be completely accompanied by acoustical treatment. But with this drastically new technology becoming popular so quickly, it poses the question, “What other highly technological things will be introduced into the corporate world in the upcoming months and years?”
The statements, “Alexa, schedule my meetings for next week,” or, “Hey Google, what conference room is open?” might sound a little outlandish, but they’re actually both current technology used in the corporate world. Starting in 2018, Amazon launched Alexa for Business, which is an Alexa platform designed for more business-type use, scheduling meetings, general questions around the office, dimming lights, etc. It’s a very unique idea that something we use in our homes could also be so useful in the office. These AI personal assistants are now available to anyone, no matter their title of job. With Alexa for Business, Alexa can communicate with the Amazon Echo devices (full-size, dot or other) assigned to each room, and answer you with something like, “The conference room near the IT deck is empty.” You can also say things like, “Alexa, book me a conference room,” with the time and date, schedule it out further or even see if any are available right away.
This new tech is extremely efficient but also goes to show how much audio-visual will be part of almost every corporate business in years to come. Virtual conference rooms, acoustical treatment plans, high-tech phone systems, Wi-Fi and possibly even Echo and Alexa setup and design could all be things that are more common in years to come. It currently hasn’t caught on as well as it probably will in the next year: In Unit4’s 2017 Enterprise Tech End-User Sentiment Survey, they found that 38 percent of professionals affirmed that they use a digital assistant like Alexa for personal reasons; only 11 percent use it in their professional lives. They asked that 38 percent if they would trust a digital assistant like Alexa for a work-related task, 54 percent thought they would. This shows the interest is there and it will just take time for it to trickle into our offices and workspaces.
Because of what has happened in the past year, all corporate offices have been forced to rise to the level of tech. Unfortunately, we will see a lot of small businesses fall behind because they can’t keep up with it. The idea that everything is going to be high-tech and connected to Wi-Fi is called the Internet of Things, or IoT. On our blog, we will be doing more articles in the weeks to come on this topic. The IoT is going to affect the corporate world in a very large way, and it’s going to affect Audio Visual in an even larger way; as we both have to incorporate it into our offices, but also be able to incorporate it into others’ as our clients. So follow along if you want to know more about IoT and high-tech things that audiovisual will be incorporating and general corporate offices will be incorporating in the future.
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Sources: aws.amazon.com/alexaforbusiness • business.com/articles/5-alexa-business-skills