InfoComm 2014 was a huge success. The show hosted a record 37,048 attendees from more than 114 countries. According to InfoComm, this was a 5.5% increase in attendance from 2013.
There were many new and interesting products displayed at the show, and there were no shortage of wireless display technologies. One such technology is Mersive's Solstice software, which virtualizes the display into a single "Pixel Landscape" so that multiple users can display content from their mobile devices or laptops.
The software allows multiple users to connect simultaneously to a shared display using laptops and mobile devices on an existing Wi-Fi or Ethernet network. With Solstice, anyone can walk into a classroom and instantly connect, share and control the display. The software lets several people to display images on the screen at the same time. Yet, a conference leader can enter the “podium” mode and take control.
Another interesting product is KUBI from Revolve Robotics, which is a remote controlled desktop stand for your tablet that adds hands-free convenience and a dynamic social element to video calls. Anyone can use KUBI to control their view through your tablet camera from anywhere in the world while video chatting.
Chat with Skype, FaceTime, and other video clients while controlling KUBI through Revolve Robotics' web app, or use their video chat app with fully integrated controls. With KUBI, you can experience hands free video calling, while following the action around the conference table, kitchen, nursery, or wherever. The KUBI is essentially a tablet mount that can do a 300-degree pan plus 90-degree tilt, featuring two spring-loaded aluminum arms that hold a tablet.
Pico DLP LED projector and TFT Color LCD Projection Panel
If you attended InfoComm in 1994, you would have seen projection panels like the Megapower TFT, which had to be placed on a bulky overhead projector in order to project computer images on a screen. Now, twenty years later, things have really changed. Megapower introduced the ML-131 Pico DLP LED projector, which not only fits in your pocket, but projects video, smart phones and computer images. The ML-131 operates on AC or wirelessly via a built-in battery.
The new ML-131 Pico projector is equipped with the latest LED projection technology and projects clear, sharp and bright images anywhere, eliminating the need for replacement bulbs. The DLP Pico projector is the ultimate companion for road warriors, as the built In ANDROID OS allows presentation of video, photo, Pdf, PowerPoint, Word and Excel files without the need of connecting to a PC. APPS can be downloaded via the built-in Wi-Fi to expand the utility of the projector. Surf the Internet, play games, stream HD video and watch internet movies with 100 lumens and WVGA resolution.
AV Technology magazine's Best of Show Award went to Prysm for its Cascade collaboration solutions, which is an all-in-one digital display solution that supports telepresence, content sharing, video, apps, and more.
Prysm showcased its Cascade collaboration solutions on a 15ft wide by 9ft high 4K UHD video wall. Cascade solutions allow customers to implement true cloud-enabled collaboration rooms. The mirroring of workspaces between Cascade displays allows geographically distributed teams to pool resources on all the content on screen at the same time. Projects and associated data can be stored locally or in the cloud, so users can access their content from any Cascade system at any time.
Another award winner is Barco's LiveDots LCD-based advertisement kiosks. The new array of indoor and outdoor displays target the retail and advertising markets, and is ideally suited for airports, railway stations, shopping malls and points of sale.
By communicating messages in an attractive and interactive way, the kiosks draw people's attention as they mill about. Options enable audience interaction with touch technology, cameras for audience measurement and gesture control, NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth. The displays go well with social media and mobile devices, so that advertisers can maximize their audience's attention with unlimited flexibility and originality. The kiosks are available as single or double-sided displays for both floor and wall-mounted positioning.
Epson, the number-one selling projector brand introduced the EB-Z10005 10,000 lumen projector for the rental market. It is designed for use in environments such as e-cinemas and music venues or for companies holding conferences.
Epson’s 3LCD technology ensures high-quality images with its color light output for vivid, natural colors and deep blacks, even in daylight. The projector is compatible with all existing optional Epson lenses. The WiFi connectivity combined with a wide lens shift range makes for easy incorporation into any environment. It also offers edge blending for the first time, enabling four projectors to be stacked horizontally and two vertically.
As part of its AViary line, Green Hippo’s new Par4Keet player enables users to manipulate and adapt media remotely, controlling video playback, encoding and output mapping using its unique 4K+ FlexRes codec. Using Par4Keet, media of any shape can be added to work seamlessly according to user-defined ratios with pixel-to-pixel accuracy.
The Par4Keet is integrated with protocols such as SMPTE, MIDI and DMX which can be installed and programmed with ease from within the unit's intuitive user interface, removing the need for additional processing equipment or returning to an editing suite.
The show's judges were impressed with the HuddleVU Dugout’s genuinely innovative design which offers seating in a collaboration system, which provides a chance for more people to be involved in an active learning experience.
FSR’s HuddleVU Dugout seats up to 12 users who can share their information on one or two large monitor screens. The dual height tables seat the users at two viewing levels to maximize space, reduce visual obstructions and provide comfortable seating.
Another award winner by Arthur Holm is the Dynamic3 with dual DynamicTalk, which received two Best of Show awards. This smart combination creates one product out of two. The system allows a user to have a clean table; to have access to the screen; or to retrieve one or two microphones, depending on the users’ needs.
The Dynamic Talk is made of aluminum and the high resolution screen is protected by an anti-reflection black edged glass which can optionally become a multi-touch screen. It has a universal motorized gooseneck microphone lift system that helps sound technology to become totally low profile. This system not only makes the gooseneck microphone disappear within the desk surface, but also provides a pleasant interior light to indicate its working mode. Microphones are safely stored when not needed and the desk remains totally clean of any intrusive component.
Blackmagic Design announced the Blackmagic Studio Camera, which is billed as the world’s smallest live broadcast camera with the world’s largest viewfinder. Available in 1080 HD and Ultra HD models, the Blackmagic Studio Camera includes features specifically targeted at the requirements of live production.
The Blackmagic Studio Camera boasts a lightweight magnesium alloy body, a 10” viewfinder, 4-hour battery life, talkback, tally indicators, phantom powered microphone connections, and built-in optical fiber and SDI connections.
In boardrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, lobbies, and homes, you will want to display the latest high-definition and 4K sources, while integrating digital and analog AV signals together with streaming, and do this all on one platform. With DigitalMedia from Crestron you get this every time.
Crestron claims this is the industry's first and only end-to-end 4K distribution system. Compatibility issues between different brands, new cable length limitations, and mismatched resolutions all have the potential to compromise a 4K distribution system. Crestron's 4K Certification guarantees that the sources and displays meet the demands of a 4K distributed system.
Free Axez offers high capacity under-floor wire and cable management. FreeAxez provides high capacity in a low profile access floor because it does not have dead space. The unique FreeAxez design offers both low profile and high cable capacity.
FreeAxez forms a grid of wire channels only 15” apart, providing an organized wire management flooring system without the clutter often experienced in traditional post and panel raised access floors. FreeAxez 40 can accommodate more than 50 CAT 5 cables per channel at 40% capacity, while the FreeAxez 70 can accommodate more than 80 CAT 5 cables per channel at 40% capacity.
IHSE USA, a manufacturer of KVM matrix switch and extender solutions for video environments announced the VariCage 2100 enclosure, supporting HDMI, DVI Dual-Link, or DVI Dual-Head transmitters or receivers in only 4RU.
The VariCage 2100 is a rack-mountable, 21-slot enclosure that supports a wide range of fiber optic and cat-x KVM transmitter and receiver boards. Providing an efficient way to power and mount multiple transmitters and receivers, the VariCage 2100 simplifies integration where rack space and power outlets are at a premium.
Draper’s new Profile permanently tensioned screen shows a stylish, high tech look of a flat panel display. It is available in 16:9 (HDTV), 16:10 and CinemaScope 2.35:1 aspect ratios. The Profile can also be ordered in custom sizes and aspect ratios up to 156" wide.
The profile's slender frame is less than 3/8" wide and 1-1/2" deep. It features Draper’s proprietary surface tensioning system to keep the viewing surface perfectly flat with no puckering, and it assembles without snaps. It's trimmed in black.
There were a lot of new, fresh and thought-provoking products at the show, which hopefully will help us stay ahead of the curve and make our work easier. As we now close the book on InfoComm 2014, we start looking forward to 2015. Next year's show will be held from June 13 – 19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida. See you there.
Len Calderone – Contributing Editor
Len has contributed articles to several publications. He also writes opinion editorials for a local newspaper. He is now retired.