25 Feb 2016 - *Interactive Flat Panels (IFPDs) have been a major success story in 2015. By Q4, 59% of all interactive display sales were IFPDs. The growth has been explosive from 18% in 2013, 33% in 2014 to 57% in 2015. This growth is forecast to continue up to 82% by 2020. The interactive whiteboard (IWB), the original technology, is in decline but combined the two technologies contributed to 1.5 million displays in 2015. (*Interactive displays refers to Interactive Whiteboards and Interactive Flat Panels used in the Education and Corporate meeting room environments (does not include other applications such as digital signage).

The other focus area has been the interest in expanding interactive displays from the classroom to the meeting room. Numerous vendors produce interactive displays aimed at the boardroom, company meeting rooms and huddle spaces. At the ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) exhibition, there was an abundance of examples of how the technology, which is currently in 1 in 4 classrooms, over 10 million across the world, can start to move into companies. The argument has been, for many years that children are taught using advanced interactive display technology. However, when they venture out into the workplace they are faced with paper flipcharts and little interactive technology. The 1 in 4 classrooms with interactive displays compares with 1 in 50 meeting rooms, so the opportunity is enormous.

Futuresource expect growth of interactive displays into corporates is to start this year backed by the global power of Microsoft, Samsung, Sharp and SMART, who are all pushing hard to develop this new market. These displays have innovative features such as one-touch switch-on or even automatic switch-on when someone approaches. Simple use for everyone is a key benefit and at the end of a session, all materials can be emailed to attendees.

While Microsoft is set to focus on the top end of the corporate and higher education markets, there are now IFPDs from $3,000 (£2,100) with feature light alternatives to service SME customers.

Many have embedded PCs so they become stand-alone devices, such as the Microsoft Surface Hub that also integrates existing Microsoft platforms such as Office, Skype and One Note. There are many other time-saving features such as Sahara Clevertouch Pro with Clever Share, a USB plug-in module allowing fast connection to a laptop without the need for Wi-Fi or drivers. These products also combine simple video conferencing solutions such as Kickle's Skype for Business, a video based conferencing solution.

The capability of touch technologies built into IFPDs is changing with the introduction of solutions such as those from ShadowSense and Flat Frog. Projective Capacitive (PCAP) technology, often found in the mobile device industry, is also starting to appear, Microsoft's Surface Hub will have PCAP. Other manufacturers are expected to adopt the technology in the near future.

Schools are choosing larger screen sizes. In the UK and USA, the bestselling IFPD size is now 60" to 69" but the fastest growing is 70" to 79" which is an ideal size for most classrooms and accounts for 1/5 of the UK school sales and 1/3 of USA. At BETT, there were 18 vendors demonstrating 84" 4K interactive displays. 4K and multi-touch is now standard with most offering ten touch.

This 100+ page report examines the current state of interactive display market across 67 countries, exploring market segmentation, drivers and barriers as well as detailed 5 year forecasts.

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