The market for A/V furniture may never be more in demand than it is right now. Commercial office trends such as the creation of huddle rooms are requiring furniture makers to think on their feet to develop highly stylized cabinets and mobile furniture that can serve the needs of the “new office” driven by the Millennials workforce. On the residential side, product trends are also driving changes.
The need for large rack-based systems located in the basement to house monster-sized switchers is being replaced with smaller, industrial-designed devices that are meant to be seen by the customer. At the same time, Ultra Short Throw (UST) projection is guiding a need for sleek cabinetry that can sit inches from the wall and hide the projector. Not too mention the ongoing trends like hiding soundbases and soundbars.
All these trends and more are being addressed by Salamander Designs. Founder Sal Carrabba called it an exciting time for the Farmington, Conn.-based company, which has led the CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis in the furniture category for nine years in a row.
“We are seeing the proliferation of some new technologies, including interactive flat panels and other products with touch technology. We had a chance to design some new products for that technology, which is totally cool. The requirements for what it does functionally and how a user interacts with it naturally demanded us to totally rethink how we were mounting and positioning it,” says Carrabba. “There are also so many different use cases for this equipment, from drafting mode to presentation mode to working mode. It was a fun project because we came up with a range of solutions, including moble carts and stands.”
He adds other key considerations for workplace furniture include ADA compliance and accommodating users of different heights.
Carrabba also reviewed with CE Pro some of the best practices integrators should use when selling A/V furniture.