I usually like to do a review on all of the competitors and highlight what was new at APCO 2017. I was busy this year (busy is a good thing), so I didn’t really get to check everything out this year.
That being said, I still took notice of overall trends that will affect what your dispatch console furniture will look like in the next few years. Here’s my two cents on what to expect in the near future:
Screens Will Only Get Larger
I remember when flat panels took over from the CRT screens years and years ago. We here at Xybix quoted our first flat panel project, and within six months, we never saw a CRT again. I think the trend towards larger monitors is due to the changes in software, as the advancements allow for far more possibilities and efficiency. I talked to my friends in the 911 field, as well as those involved in the radio side of the industry, and they all agreed that larger monitors are the way to go. I dug deeper, and they mostly agree that a 32” screen would work the best. This allows for the best viewing ability of your software.
Our new Eagle line has a console that measures 7’ x 7’, and it fits four 32” screens with ease. It looks much more efficient with the larger screens than it does with five 24” monitors.
Keyboard, Video, and Mice (KVM) Switches Aren’t Switches Anymore
Companies like Thinklogical are integrating advanced technology into your computers so that one keyboard and one mouse can access all of your screens. This is helping to get rid of the cluster of keyboards and mice we have seen in the past. I remember all of the RFPs we’ve received that required five keyboards and five mice to all be within easy reach of the dispatcher. Because of new and improved technology, those days should be long gone.
Not Black Is the New Black
All of the console furniture vendors (except for Russ Bassett) are moving well away from the all-black look. In addition to not wanting the consoles to look like BBQ grills, manufacturers realize that comm center rooms are already dark and do not need black furniture making them even darker. Color selection is important when creating a professional look and a warm, calming environment, and a lighter color scheme provides a more inviting atmosphere.
It’s a Great Time to Dispatch!
Modern dispatch technology continues to get better, smarter, and faster, and the trend of continued ease and efficiency doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Now we just need to figure out how to attract more people to this profession!