Updated: R.I.P. Christie MicroTiles — True Innovation is Laid to Rest

Update: We just heard from Christie, who told us that although it’s true the original Christie MicroTiles are being retired, an all-new version that’s “smaller, brighter and faster to install” will be announced at ISE next week in Amsterdam. Stay tuned for more information!

I just received an official notice from Christie Digital, today, that they were ending production of the famed Christie MicroTiles as of February 1st.

I haven’t even had time to plan for this. It was so sudden. I am emotional and melancholy.

In all seriousness, this is a weird moment in AV history. I mean, like them or not, the MicroTiles were the most innovative display products to come along at that time. Prior to them, everything display was a just a rectangle. And, in January 2010, when I attended the official unveiling of MicroTiles in New York’s Times Square (after months of private showings to the key industry players), it was an exciting night for everyone in attendance. There were nothing but smiles on the faces of everyone at Christie and companies like Shen Milsom & Wilke and AVI told me about giant installs they were designing using hundreds of them at a time.

They won every award given in 2010 — including all those pay-for-play awards that every industry magazine gives out, but they also won two giant awards that aren’t pay-for-play — rAVe’s 2010 Digital Signage CHAMPS award for having the Most Innovative New Digital Signage Hardware Product and Best New Indoor DS Display; both were bestowed less than 60 days after the debut.

See also  Christie Debuts Christie View at ISE 2019

But, the proof was in the fact that every integrator wanted them and most used them at one point or another.

And, sure, Leyard, Planar and even Prysm eventually had MicroTile-like options, in that they had non-rectangle products you could use to build odd-shaped displays.

But the original was MicroTiles.

So, RIP MicroTiles. Your headstone should read: “Christie MicroTiles; 2009-2019; Here lies true creativity through originality rather than emulation.”

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..