Interactive voting systems, or audience participation systems, continue to flourish across the globe, with more than eight million handsets forecast to be sold worldwide next year, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting.
“This equates to a sales value of nearly US$400m, 50% more than last year,” says Colin Messenger, Senior Consultant, Futuresource Consulting. “With the bulk of the business coming from the education technology market – which is highly recession-resistant - we’re going to see a lot of traction for these products.
“The USA continues to lead the way, and we predict one in 12 of its classrooms will have a voting system by the end of this year, closely followed by the UK, Australia and New Zealand. We’re also seeing penetration rates closely correlating with those of interactive whiteboards, but on a four year time lag.”
There are distinct regional variations in education models, with 40% of the US interactive voting activity focused within higher education (17+ years), compared with just 5% in the UK. However, across the board there are similarities in corporate and government applications, which tend to account for around 10% of the marketplace.
The adoption of voting systems within schools tends to be a step process, taking perhaps five years or more, starting with PC installations, followed by projectors and interactive whiteboards, culminating in voting systems, to create fully-interactive and collaborative classrooms. Conversely, adoption of the technologies into classrooms can be fast-tracked, often driven by a desire from governments to kick-start their education system or leave a lasting legacy.
“With 18 countries across the globe each having in excess of 500,000 classrooms, the business opportunities are enormous,” says Messenger. “The key is to identify the ‘tipping point’ in each country, establish a rapport with the incumbent government’s education departments, and monitor, process and work in numerous territories. Many of these countries are early enough into the curve to have no legacy systems in place, guaranteeing a clean sheet for whoever gains that first mover advantage.”
Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company providing its clients with expertise in consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media and IT.
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