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The Daily Raff: InfoComm 2024 Day 1 Thoughts

sharp infocomm 2024

Right now, as I start to write this, it’s 2:15 p.m. PDT, local time in Las Vegas. (Let’s be real. I will not be able to finish this in one go. I will have 20-minute increments in which to write this.) Both of us (me, who is writing this, and you, the reader) probably know that the show floor doesn’t close for nearly another three hours. So, I’ll preface this by saying I don’t have the fullest view or understanding of the show floor yet. I have spent half my day in the West Hall and the other half in the Central Hall, and good grief, I’ve barely even gotten my bearings within either hall. But trust I have absolutely become an expert on the trek between the two halls which is about 10-15 minutes. There is actually construction happening right in the walkway so that has been an interesting addition to this show, but I digress.

Gary and I actually had the bright idea to film ourselves walking the entire thing and you can check that out here. He runs marathons and I used to live in New York City, so we’re fast walkers. It took us about 8 minutes.

So now you know about the walk. But what can I tell you about the tech? I haven’t seen a ton of totally new products yet that I didn’t already get to check out at ISE. LG’s kinetic LED wall? Check. AVer’s FONE700? Check. The Sennheiser line of TeamConnect video bars? Also check. But what I have noticed is that companies are marketing their products so differently. I have seen the word “experience” probably about 10 times. But this makes a lot of sense to me. As AVIXA is aiming to garner more of an end-user audience for this show, manufacturers also want this. Talking about tech and specs is really only fun for those of us deep within the industry. I’m not saying that end users aren’t in the industry, but I am saying that many of them either don’t know that they are or don’t fully understand it. My point is, ripping the products off the pedestals and instead offering an experience within a booth offers the opportunity for end users to see what these specs mean. We don’t need to throw a bunch of lingo at them. We can just show them what we can do.

I think the idea of experience is here to stay. Hell, Gary has been saying for a while now that “experiential” is more of an accurate way of referring to “digital signage.” I don’t know that I agree with that necessarily, but I understand why he says this. The more we can marry products with amazing content and next-level applications, the more people we can bring into the AV industry.

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I’m optimistic, I know.

Once again, these are my very high-level thoughts from just walking around the show, but I will say I’m quite surprised that I haven’t seen many manufacturers focus as much on sustainability within their booths. Of course, Philips (PPDS) has its corner dedicated solely to its Tableaux line of full-color epaper signage, which is undoubtedly green and certainly more eco-friendly than 1) constantly replacing paper signage and 2) a traditional LED display for signage. And Sony also has a section of its booth dedicated to explaining its sustainability goals and accomplishments. But other than that? I have not seen much and I’m slightly disappointed. Of course, I have not seen the entire show floor so there is a high chance I’m missing things. But on my first pass, I haven’t seen as much of a focus on this as I wanted. I actually had an interesting conversation about this with a consultant at Sony’s press event Tuesday. He mentioned that many manufacturers don’t care unless they get something out of it. Integrators don’t care because they just want to get their jobs done. That leaves consultants to be the ones who care because of how closely they work with architects. It’s an interesting point. I’ll be on the lookout for any booths promoting sustainability and how, and I’ll make sure to circle back.

Anyway.

Update as of 5 p.m.: I attended a meet-up for the Command and Control Alliance. A timely event as we have recently launched a security-focused newsletter. I really enjoyed learning a little bit from these guys and who they are, what they do and the things they care about within the control room environment.

command control alliance ic 2024

Update as of 9:51 p.m.: I just returned from a really awesome event at the Sphere. Hosted by the BrightSign team, I got to 1. talk to them a little more about their business and 2. check out Darren Aronofsky’s “Postcard From Earth.” Any true #AVtweep really needs to check this out. I really don’t even know how to describe it except saying Disney World’s “Soarin'” ride but … more. I do feel like I enjoyed the imagery and the music more than the actual story, but you’ll like it if you’re an Aronofsky person. I saw “Requiem for a Dream” once in college and have since steered clear of that man until now. But I will say he has a good eye for what will work and I saw the vision. So 10/10 highly recommend. For me, the HOLOPLOT speakers were the star of the show. The sound was absolutely crisp. Check out Bubba Gaeddert’s article for a full review of the show.

I hope you enjoyed my first round of thoughts. Thanks for reading, as always! And email me if there’s something you think I should check out while I’m here (steph@theraveagency.com).

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