A Few More of My Favorite InfoComm 2014 Things
This year at InfoComm, I had the good fortune to have time to walk the halls and just talk in person to some of the great exhibitors in more depth. Here are few more products that caught my attention.
Joel Rollins really put me on this camera. The Cisco SX10 has some feature other than high image quality that make it stand out in particular. This hardware camera can be logged into the Jabber service and contains all necessary drivers on-board for Mac and PC. The beauty of the drivers for this camera is that it is completely self-contained. No permanent installation – so it’s perfect for company or government computers which restrict installations for security reasons. You can literally mail this thing to someone you want to have a video conference with and have a problem-free conference. Imagine being able to connect with your least tech-savvy client (or family member) and never have to deal with the “I can hear you – can you hear me” issue again.
Projection mapping has started to become a standard offering for some major projector manufacturers, and we saw great demo examples at Epson, Panasonic and Christie this year. Christie’s configurable demo, Interactive Design Studio v2 used live interactive 3D graphics projected onto a Corvette and utilizes the proprietary mapping hardware and software Twist. This joint project, executed between Christie, 3DXCITE and Ventuz, is built on the visualization software platforms – 3DXCITE DELTAGEN and Ventuz. This solution is an exercise in mixing real-time data with visualization. Projection mapping is becoming a bigger staple in the high-end staging market, and it may be time to get familiar with the players in the game and start educating your staff on beginning to providing this service.
I’ve been a fan of Just Add Power’s network-based matrix switching system. The mix of off-the-shelf network gear and almost limitless endpoints make it a flexible solution. This year they have introduced a Dolby Digital decoder to extract and transmit compliant audio to rooms equipped with a surround processor and speakers. It’s not a groundbreaking addition, but it could really solve some issues and open this type of networked video for particular integrators.
UK media server company Green Hippo is making a break for the US ProAV market and offering one of the most impressive lines of players I’ve seen in a while. The AViary product range with the Par4Keet in particular is an incredible beefy 4k video server with four outputs. It also includes a flexible video wall processor to automatically calculate screen splitting and bezel width adjustments. The interface includes full monitor and controls in the rack along with an amazingly easy-to-use iPad app for switching, overlaying and controlling output. They’re new to the block here in the US, so check them out for your next intensive project with 4k playback.
Let us now discuss one of the least glamorous workhorses of large AV – the caster wheel. The Superior Caster company caught my eye because I recently became a caster wheel consumer while constructing our portable GAME 5 cabinet – and was not pleased with the wheels we ended up with from Home Depot. The good folks at Durable Superior Casters seem to know literally everything about caster wheels there is to know, and sport a 5-inch-thick catalog of every low to high-end wheel you can imagine. They are really at the show to catch the eye of staging case companies for large orders – but I’m told that if you want a specific wheel for a specific project, they’ll be happy to help!
Robe, purveyor of DMX moving lighting is offering a compact projector on a moving DMX controllable mount aimed at the retail and light rental market. Start techerating Jonathan Brawn style with video clips on top of clothing displays, walls and walking paths. It’s not as beefy as it’s larger brothers, but it’s light and very innocuous with the gloss white exterior. Frankly, this just looks like it would be fun to play with while coming up with new lighting design for an event.
Zytronic flexed it’s muscles/screens by showing off its custom curved touch screens that go on top of existing displays. Curved LCDs are becoming increasingly common and they make for a unique kiosk. Zytronic has the ability to bend the acrylic protective cover to almost any angle. The only real restriction is that you can’t have an “S” curve. Which would be weird for a touch screen anyway – why’d you want that? Wierdo.
They utilize projected capacitive touch so it is suitable for high-wear public use. I saw several of these screens in the casinos during our stay in Las Vegas, so I think they are already doing well.
Speaking of custom enclosures – Draper is pushing their metalworking and custom painting capabilities. If you need a to solve a strange enclosure, cover or cutout issue, you may want to give Draper a call first.
I did want to mention Mitsubishi’s new slim rear-projection 60 inch cube. Mitsubishi is apparently still going strong in the ProAV game – particularly in the somewhat specific command and control market. This is a bargain at half the price of its compeitors, but still keeps up with 60,000 hours of 24/7 operation. It’s an interesting play and we’ll see how they perform against products like the Christie Entero line and Barco M series.
Last, but not least, I’m happy report some great innovation over at InFocus with the TINY IN1146. This thing is small enough that I personally would call it a pico projector. The difference is that unlike your average anemic pico projector, this thing puts out 1000 LED lumens with 1280×800 DLP. In my experience, projectors this small are usually 60 lumens at 640×480. You can easily fit this in your existing laptop bag, no problem. Infocus is probably going to give Casio and Epson a run for their money in the tiny business projector space.