The month of June always makes professionals in our industry giddy with excitement. For three days in the middle of the month, technology manufacturers converge in Orlando or Las Vegas (this year it was Orlando) to present their latest and greatest products to system integrators, staging professionals, and end users. It is the largest conference and technology show of the year. IMS Technology Services had a full contingent at the show. Our mission was threefold:
This article is focused on the third part of that mission: what did we see that was new, improved or exciting that you would be interested in? The information that follows isn’t necessarily product specific, but intended to highlight trends and uses of technology that would be of interest.
I would be remiss if I didn’t begin with Microsoft. The software behemoth made its initial appearance at InfoComm in 2014 in what many would describe as a letdown. The Microsoft booth at InfoComm 2015 was far from a disappointment. In the weeks leading up to the show, Microsoft made a number of announcements about the Surface Hub collaboration solution. Collaboration continues to be a hot topic in our industry and Microsoft, who already had collaboration tools built into MS Lync, Skype for Business and OneNote, combined the best of their offers along with some new technology into the Microsoft Surface Hub. The Surface Hub is more than just a supersized version of their popular tablet. It combines the usability of its smaller tablet cousin with a 55” or 84” touch screen capable of allowing multiple users to interact simultaneously. It ships with MS Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote whiteboard software. Microsoft had numerous Surface Hubs on display throughout their large booth on the exhibit floor.
*Note – On July 13th, just a month after InfoComm, Microsoft announced it would delay the delivery of the Surface Hub. It would be tuning its “manufacturing process to prepare for production at a broader scale.”
Microsoft wasn’t the only exhibitor focusing on collaboration solutions. Collaboration is a key technology driving business operations today. There were a number of key manufacturers exhibiting new and upgraded collaboration tools including:
If you were a projector manufacturer exhibiting at InfoComm, you had some level of projection mapping in your booth. Some of the examples were extremely elaborate:
By far, the most prevalent items in the video arena revolved around 4K video display and distribution. Crestron, Kramer, Atlona and nearly every other video infrastructure company displayed their 4K ready switchers, transmitters, and cabling solutions. “4K Ready” was probably the most used phrase at the show. Panasonic, Planar, Christie Digital, and most other display manufacturers had their 4K units front and center in their booths.
While the power and impact of the 4K revolution is currently limited by the content available for them, it is only a matter of time before source and display are aligned to provide users with image quality that will surpass anything they have seen.
In all, InfoComm 2015 was an excellent show. The products exhibited and released may not have been as earth-shattering as in years past, but they are new and exciting and will contribute to organizations achieving their business, pedagogical and professional goals. For more information about how technology can help your organization achieve its objectives, contact your local IMS representative.
Article written by Patrick Britton