If you weren’t one of the nearly 40,000 people who attended InfoComm 2014 then you missed out on fantastic technology, amazing people and not too terrible weather. This year, for the first time since I’ve been going, there didn’t seem to be a prevailing new technology, unless you consider a handful of dynamic collaboration products to be a prevailing technology.
After the years of digital switching, convergence and 4K, this year’s show seemed to offer an improvement to a lot products that were released in previous years, as well and more solutions for similar applications coming to the table. I’ll take you through the highlights of what I liked at InfoComm 2014
As you might have recalled, I wrote about setting out in search for a practical AV solution, not overly worrying myself with seeing all the “latest and greatest” technology that is available, as most of it is outside the scope of my applications anyways. I took a few days to look at specific product categories both from the big booths as well as the small booths before ultimately concluding this year it was all about evolution, not revolution. So without committing to any specific products here are a few things that were big winners for InfoComm 2014:
Collaborative products were everywhere. In corporate settings it enhances productivity, in education applications it enables paradigm shifting “flipped classrooms.” Collaboration products are ideal for large and small rooms alike. Whether it’s wired pods where users can choose to show their content, or wireless display software or hardware designed to allows for full BYOD connectivity without the wires and the hassle in huddle rooms and small meeting spaces, the ability to quickly share content from devices other than installed computers was a big hit this year even allowing them to dynamically arrange, access and edit content.
Soft Codec Integration
With more and more customers adopting Microsoft Lync, and organizations still not able to fully stamp out consumer communication platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, OoVoO and the like the importance for high quality products to interface with these platforms has reached a boiling point. For a while there was one company that was ahead of the curve, Vaddio, offering USB PTZ cameras, and the AV bridge to work with computer based applications. This year, however, there were many companies that offered soft codec integrative capabilities. From full room systems designed to work with Lync, to affordable PTZ cameras that plug in via USB.
I’m not a huge fan of heights. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t freak out in a car on a bridge, or become terrified when staying in a top-floor hotel, but the idea of being in a lift, or on a tall ladder causes me to cringe. I was really excited about lampless projectors last year, like really excited. Unfortunately I was let down by units that weren’t bright, had terrible contrast ratio and appalling color depth. I understand there were limitations of the strength of the laser that could be used, but it was so disappointing. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty, depth and richness of the images coming from lampless projectors, ranging from small, low-lumen projection systems to 12,000 ANSI Lumens, 4K, laser projectors. The inner acrophobia suffering part of me is thankful the days where I must climb a tall ladder, or get on a shaky lift for routine, frequent, maintenance is coming to a end.
Hopefully you got a high-level overview of what InfoComm 2014 was all about. Obviously I could write significantly more at lenght about specific products and applications that I thought were absolutely perfect and others that weren’t. If you’re interested in more, please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to chat with you about it.