The final hurrah of LAVNCH WEEK 3.0 was New Tech LAVNCH Day: a day dedicated entirely to something we’re all (still) desperately missing without trade shows — new product launches. This day looked a little different from the other two LAVNCH WEEK 3.0 days (ProAV Day and End User Day), so this wrap-up story will look a little different too. Don’t let the length scare you; each section is broken down by session and the technology launches we saw live on Thursday.
Keynote: The New Tech and Products you WILL SEE in 2021 & 2022
rAVe Co-founder and Director Gary Kayye primed Thursday’s product launches with stats and predictions for the year. His keynote covered the tech and products you WILL SEE (WILL SEE, he says) debuted in 2021 and 2022. But first: a The-Weeknd-from-the-Super-Bowl-style office tour.
“I am not The Weekend. I don’t have a glass room. I can’t do what they did”
— rAVe [PUBS] (@rAVePubs) February 11, 2021
That was fun. Now, within the categories of AV, UCC and digital signage, Kayye calls on three main themes to look for.
1. The transition to LED begins, but some killer 100-inch LCDs await. While LED is growing, we’re going to see, tangentially, a lot more large-format LCD to bridge the price gap (LED is still quite expensive, after all), particularly when projection is not appropriate if you have high ambient light or you need a wider color gamut. Larger LCDs will be exciting to watch, and customers in the consumer space won’t know this exists for a while.
2. Video everywhere. What does this mean? Integrations using solutions like NewTek NDI will rule. With everything going to the network, we aren’t AV/IT integrators anymore; we are technology integrators. And we’ll need to use whatever level of security product is required by the specific enterprise.
3. We need to add cybersecurity. Related, we’re now in the business of understanding security on the network, Kayye said. With this will come a huge opportunity to do managed services and cloud-based AV. Imagine sending all AV content the same way we do through the cloud (e.g., how we do LAVNCH WEEK), requiring no in-room sources.
1. Cameras and bars. A plethora of new, creative camera technology is coming, Kayye said. What’s big in these cameras is not just viewing people but counting people and ensuring we have analytics/data for how meeting rooms are being used. This data will become invaluable for AV/IT. Speaker bars already integrate both the speaker and camera, but they’ll now be built with the UCC platform inside of them. They won’t be relegated to just meeting rooms either. They’ll be used for ad hoc meeting spaces too.
2. The year of interoperability. Kayye points out the need for choice in three regards — from the UCC platform itself, from the room application and from the hardware.
3. BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOM (bring your own machine). Take note of growing changes in BYOD/BYOM environments, Kayye said. These will continue to grow in 2021.
In Digital Signage:
1. People counting, wayfinding and reopening using digital signage. These three things can and will be the lead-in for integrators who want to do more digital signage in 2021.
2. Everyone will be adding digital signage. This means digital signage can become AV integrators’ lead product, with sophisticated network-based content that can be sent anywhere at any time. Digital signage and “video everywhere” go hand in hand.
3. Retail experiences will dominate after they reopen. Retail experiences will come to life through digital signage (with projection dominating digital signage in experiential applications, Kayye added). Companies like LUMOPlay, for example, use Epson projectors to turn spaces into interactive display experiences.
Kayye also predicts YoY growth from 2020 to 2021 in:
- 25% increase in K-12
- 9% increase in higher ed
- 55% increase in corporate
- 5% increase in hospitality
- 45% increase in healthcare
- 20% increase in government
- 15% increase in houses of worship
- 18% increase in live events
Now onto the New Tech LAVNCH Day product features!
Lightware: The Taurus UCX Connectivity Solution
Product/service: Taurus UCX by Lightware
What is it? USB-C room connectivity solution/universal switcher designed to tackle the common challenges of meeting rooms and collaboration environments
Why does it matter? Welcome to the “age of Taurus.” Many people are facing similar challenges with USB peripherals and USB-C devices. People want to keep things simple, but with more and more devices using USB-C as their only connection, customers are demanding solutions. Taurus UCX, built from listening to customer requests, is a connectivity hub that expands capabilities to include environmental control, Ethernet security, monitoring and management.
The New Crystal LED C-Series and B-Series from Sony
Product/service: C-Series and B-Series Crystal LED by Sony
What is it? High-contrast (C-Series) and high-brightness (B-Series) LED
Why does it matter? With its current Crystal LED, Sony offers the highest-end solution for the market. With its new C-Series and B-Series Crystal LED, Sony is offering the same high image quality with more flexibility at a lower price point (but still mid-to-high-range, Sony’s Jason Metcalfe said Thursday). Sony’s large-scale micro-LED displays and video walls create extraordinary visual experiences at scale. It was awesome to get a behind-the-scenes look into the Sony C-Series and B-Series, seeing the product comparisons between other conventional high-end LED and the Sony product. We saw where the Sony product will be deployed first (check out these impressive plans for the International African American Museum coming to South Carolina in January 2022) and revisiting some use cases already using Sony Crystal LED (e.g., the Shiseido Global Innovation Center). Both of these series will be shipping this summer.
Sony: A First Look at the New BRAVIA Professional Display Models
Product/service: BRAVIA Professional Displays (enhanced and expanded) by Sony
What is it? Large-format 4K HDR professional LCD displays, with two new models available
Why does it matter? In the B2B and home entertainment spaces, Sony delivers large-format displays to customers that offer flexibility (like supporting both AirPlay and Miracast), detailed resolution, vivid colors and high contrast. One of the important ones in the industry’s LCD journey is Sony’s BRAVIA series, which has recently been “strengthened,” per Sony, to include new upgrades, new features and new sizes. New models include the 100-inch FW-100BZ40J (now the largest in the line) and 32-inch FW-32BZ30J (now the smallest in the line), filling a gap that was previously missing on each end of the size lineup.
Introducing the Planar UltraRes X Series LCD Displays
Product/service: UltraRes X Series by Planar
What is it? Enhancement to Planar’s existing UltraRes LCD series, with new 75” to 100” models of the 4K HDR professional displays
Why does it matter? UltraResX (URX, for short) is the third generation of Planar’s already-popular UltraRes LCD lineup, first launched with an 84-inch model in 2013. UltraResX — which was announced Thursday, the same day as our live LAVNCH event! — includes 75-, 85- and 100-inch models that are all TAA-compliant. What are the improved features? New color space, on-board processing for viewing up to four content sources simultaneously, an OPS slot for greater connectivity, optional multi-point touch supports and a redundant power supply. Instead of asking where the Planar URX Series can go, Jeremy Sternhagen says a better question is, “Where can’t it go?”
Absen Introduces Its Virtual Studio LED Solutions
Product/service: Virtual Studio LED (Polaris Series and MR Series) by Absen
What is it? LED targeted to virtual/immersive spaces, like film studios and XR stages
Why does it matter? With a resurgence of LED to the market, keep an eye on manufacturers who have always done LED well, like Absen. Absen introduced its LED Virtual Studio Solutions, including the award-winning Polaris Series and new MR Series, which work together in virtual studio applications like film studios and XR stages — applications where full immersion is the goal. The LED Virtual Studio cooperates with the virtual filming system, spatial positioning system and real-time rendering system to deliver astonishing professional video.
Liberty AV Debuts a New Managed Service Offering Called CXDetect
Product/service: CXDetect, distributed by Liberty AV
What is it? Cloud-based SaaS platform and managed-service solution for the integrator
Why does it matter? A solution for UC room and device management, CXDetect is a cloud-based SaaS platform giving the AV integrator a full turnkey, managed-service solution. In essence, it’s one centralized command center offering room analytics and IoT data for both USB peripherals and UC technology on the network. (It helps integrators simultaneously manage today’s UC software and hardware peripherals from a single dashboard.) A key feature of CXDetect includes device self-healing; and CXSupport+, Liberty AV’s managed-service offering, takes the CX Series one step further by adding an experienced AV/UC call center to improve operations and cut expenses. CXDetect, a part of the Liberty AV CXUnify ecosystem, is already working with Zoom and will soon be working with MS Teams, Christopher Gazdic of WESCO and Liberty AV said Thursday.
Matrox Introduces New IP KVM Extenders for Remote Workforces
Product/service: Extio 3 Series by Matrox
What is it? IP KVM extenders (and new features within the Extio 3 product line) to support remote workforces
Why does it matter? With remote working a dominant theme, organizations are seeking ways to enable employees to do their best work, even from home. Matrox’s Extio 3 over Internet provides secure remote access to KVM installations and connected workstations, enabling multiple users in different locations to connect to powerful workstations or specialized equipment located back in the office.
Introducing X-DRAW — The Comprehensive Drawing & Editing Tool by XTEN-AV
Product/service: X-DRAW by XTEN-AV
What is it? Tool within XTEN-AV design/diagram/drawing software
Why does it matter? If you know or use D-Tools, pay attention. Before getting into anything specific here, we recommend you read up on XTEN-AV, the industry’s first AI-powered professional AV design, diagram and drawing software that’s 100% cloud-based (with a “kickass CRM” too, XTEN-AV Cofounder and CEO Vibhav Singh and XTEN-AV Cofounder Sahil Dhingra said Thursday). Now, a specific feature within XTEN-AV to be aware of: X-DRAW, a comprehensive drawing and editing tool that lets users search and add products, creating their own product blocks on the spot. X-DRAW allows for easy connectivity between ports and devices — adding cable ID, using different connectivity lines, adding layers and converting to various formats such as AutoCAD. Pro tip: XTEN-AV is offering a free 30-day trial. Run, don’t walk!
Jabra: What to Expect from Jabra Panacast in 2021
Product/service: New evolutions to the PanaCast by GN Jabra
What is it? Panoramic (180-degree) 4K plug-and-play videoconferencing camera
Why does it matter? While certain announcements from Jabra were not quite ready for the live stage today, rAVe’s Gary Kayye and Jabra’s Aurangzeb Khan discussed teasers for some exciting enhancements to the already-popular Jabra PanaCast and what to expect in 2021. Among the product updates to look for: further innovations on helping people connect in work and school, more data capture abilities, revamped features like the Jabra Vision whiteboard content–sharing app and evolutions to the camera’s staple panoramic 4K viewer.
Wrap It Up.
We hope you enjoyed this exciting lineup of new AV, UCC and digital signage technology for 2021. Check out all our LAVNCH WEEK 3.0 coverage — like these event summaries and all the product videos/feature videos from our supporters — by registering for the archives here.
Favorite product of the day? Let us know on social.
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