The near future of monitors

Man using desktop PC
(Image credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock)

The PC experience has changed substantially over the years, but the pandemic and the rise of work-from-anywhere culture accelerated demand for business monitors with new features and attributes. Enterprise customers want smart solutions with professional functionality while meeting the high expectations of consumers and external stakeholders.

About the author

Stefan Engel, VP & GM Visuals Business, Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo.

Monitor technology is trending to deliver solutions that are easier to manage, better connected and more elegant. They are also adopting new scenarios for work, including more portable solutions and more dynamic office workspaces to better enable learning and creativity.

Easier to manage, better connected and more elegant

First off, monitors are becoming more sophisticated and complex, offering more functionality, while also getting easier to use. This is important because we all use them more every day. Most knowledge workers around the world use multiple monitors in their office and home workspaces because more screen real-estate increases productivity as workers shift between multiple documents and applications to perform tasks individually or virtually in groups.

Getting all these monitors to work together seamlessly in a well-organized space, not to mention the associated peripheral technology like cameras and speakers attached to them, needs to be simplified. This is why Lenovo focuses on offering monitors that only require one USB Type-C cable docking solution to support data, video/audio, ethernet signal transfer and up to 100W power delivery.

In the future, the market may see wireless monitors that will help further reduce desk clutter. We may also see more modular solutions so monitors are stackable and workers can outfit their spaces with the monitors and peripherals they need, easily connecting to each other with simple ports. Already, select Lenovo Think P and T series monitors pair with specially designed modular cameras and speakers that can be added by the user to enhance video conferencing.

The software we use to control monitors is getting more powerful too. Lenovo offers the smart software management application ThinkColour to efficiently manage and adjust display settings – particularly useful when you have multiple monitors to manage. This software not only supports the user at home, but also the administrators managing device fleets remotely.

Motorola, a division of Lenovo, introduced Ready For to support workers and let consumers to do more with smart phones. The platform makes it easier to connect a phone to monitors and other devices to seamlessly combine the phone and PC experiences.

Lenovo also offers proprietary technologies like eKVM and True Split. eKVM gives users instant access over two PC sources with a two-button click of your mouse so they can easily toggle between using multiple PCs to a single monitor display setup. This is perfect for people with work, personal and gaming systems co-located in one space. True Split is a hardware-based picture-in-picture functionality that helps maximize user productivity by allowing you to view two sources simultaneously through with just one cable.

We can expect to see new cleaner aesthetics too. In many respects, functionality has far outweighed form in monitors – a simple black screen and stand is the standard. But as workspaces are increasingly put on display in open-concept offices and well-decorated homes, customers care more about their monitors’ design. Expect to see bolder lines, sleeker curves and more vibrant colors in the future. This elegance will come equipped with better ergonomics as well. Monitors will be adjustable and offer better low-blue light settings so users can protect their health.  

On the go or in the new office space

New form factors are being introduced to support workers’ new relationship with the office, and we expect this to continue. For example, Lenovo offers mobile monitors like the ThinkVision M14t with Touch Screen to better enable designers, creators, and other work requiring touch interface in their computing and expect to work in multiple locations a day, week or month.

Head mounted displays are another new experience workers are beginning to experience. For example, the ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses offer up to five virtual monitors when connected to a PC. The solution offers people who work in heavy data analysis, 3D models or digital twins, or with highly sensitive materials a secure, immersive and flexible virtual workspace.

On the other end of the spectrum are interactive large format displays (iLFDs), designed to enhance meeting rooms and educational settings. The ThinkVision T86, T75 and T65 LFDs offer effective collaboration for in-room and remote people thanks to bright 4K displays, integrated whiteboard software with a comfortable writing experience, built-in speakers, microphones, and a modular webcam for smarter video conferencing. These iLFDs are designed specifically to enhance collaboration between coworkers or teachers and students on-site and connecting through conferencing solutions. Lenovo iLFDs are optimized to work with our ThinkSmart Hub conferencing solutions as well as our PCs and tablets.

What will we see next?

Visual technology innovation is not slowing down. Users can expect a wide variety of new experiences in the next five to ten years.  We are beginning to see the first uses of small rollable screens, but they are still expensive and not stable enough for larger screens. It will take a bit of time until we see them become mainstream. Whether they are small form factor scroll-like rollable pads, or large form factor rollable monitors that unfold from a ceiling mount or cart projector screens… we will see them in the workplace within the next few years. Rollable monitors save space and offer an undeniable “wow factor.” It will be interesting to see how the market adopts this technology.

Perhaps even more exciting is the prospect for 3D displays and interacting with holograms without the aid of extended reality (XR) headsets. There is a lot of progress being made in this field by multiple players and we can expect some productization in the not-too-distant future.   

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Stefan Engel, VP & GM Visuals Business, Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo.