Wednesday (Day 1) Afternoon

You know, every year I can’t wait to come to this show — and then I remember the parts of it that I deliberately forget during the year, like the eternal wait for coffee and the fact that my feet hurt. OK, now that I am done being cranky (at least for today) lets talk about the show, and what I found for highlights today:

My favorite product for today: Polycom’s new Pano product. Pano is a document sharing and collaboration system based around a little box with custom circuitry and a high-end NVidia graphics processor. It takes multiple inputs, either wired or wireless, and allows you to annotate them. OK, so far it sounds like most collaboration products. But there are some special characteristics that really impressed me. I found two of them to be the most important ones to me: first, the visual quality is stunning, and it has nearly infinite zoom capability. I questioned this, knowing just a little about graphics chipsets, and they admitted that the zoom power isn’t infinite, its only 2 TO THE 22ND POWER. In other words, the zoom power is 4,194,304x.

This allowed the operator to continuously keep zooming out, adding images and annotations, which scaled without becoming jagged. Nice. And now an even more impressive number: The system is priced, as I understand it, at around $2,000. Having installed a lot of Polycom products, I suggested the tagline “Take Your Change In Pano,” which they seemed to appreciate. Anyway, if you are here at the show, take a look.

The other thing I really liked was just an aisle attention getter. At the Creative LED booth, they built a fountain out of brick cubes, with water running over them. It actually took me a minute and a very close look to realize that the entire fountain was created from LED tiles. A real attention getter, I saw several people actually reach over to touch them to see if the water was real.

Tomorrow morning, I will be shooting a podcast with some new friends from Australia, who have devised a really unique program for teaching technology (and motivating students) in a high school “Down Under.” I’m really looking forward to speaking with them. Tune in on our web page tomorrow afternoon to see what they’ve done.

Talk to you all tomorrow.