Another year, and another Infocomm has come to a close. For those not familiar, Infocomm is the largest conference for audio visual technologies. The show includes a substantial trade show floor as well as educational sessions that accompany the many audio visual certifications that Infocomm offers through Infocomm University.
This year’s show was the largest ever with over 37,000 attendees.
For many, Infocomm has always been thought of as an AV only show. Things like displays, digital signage, microphones, etc. This year it was clear, more so than ever before, that AV, IT and Collaboration have all come together. It’s all about communications and connecting people. Further, developing a communications strategy is no longer siloed. Organizations are looking to build a strategy that spans from AV rooms to mobile devices and desktops. Gone are the days of seeking out an AV expert, then a video expert, etc.
There were some notable trends and solutions prevalent throughout the show including:
Interest in this technology continues to grow and not just for the “gee whiz” factor of a cool new technology. Rather, 4k allows for high fidelity content (medical imaging, product schematics, etc). With the added resolution this content can be recreated in the most realistic manner possible and shared remotely.
Countless booths featured technology to connect teams and people and allow them to work together on shared content, etc. A particularly interesting announcement was the SMART kapp. Essentially this device looks like an average white board that you use standard dry erase markets with. In reality, the contents of the board can be shared in real time and snap shots saved for later review. Gone are the days of using a camera to capture a collaborative session from a white board. On top of some really cool technology, the board can be purchased or under $1000. To learn more, check out: http://www.smartkapp.com
Many manufacturers were showcasing solutions that provide complete functionality out of the box. Crestron’s Smart Space is essentially a collaboration room in a box. The message shared was that many customers are looking for easy to install and maintain solutions that remove the complexity out of implementation and support.
As IT and AV converge, more and more solutions are offering the ability to easily connect different types of disparate technology together in a simple and easy to use workflow. For many organizations, Microsoft Lync has become the standard desktop communications solution and connecting those desktops to rooms, mobile devices and consumer solutions are high priority. Acano was front and center at Infocomm this year and demoed their enhanced Lync integration along with their recently announced Skype connectivity. Lync is hot and Acano is at the forefront of this trend.
Access for All
The era of “exclusive” collaboration is over. Technology is no longer reserved for executives only and has become a big part of the culture in many companies. Whatever device an employee is using, they should be able to participate in collaborative sessions. Pexip, another start-up player in the collaboration space revealed a set of their own software clients as well as 100% support across all browsers (including those not yet taking advantage of WebRTC). This ability breaks down the barriers of access that have once existed.
This year’s show featured the first Digital Signage Summit at Infocomm. Interest in this technology continues to grow and is something that is implemented in business of all shapes and sizes. Communicating content visually (whether in a restaurant, office, etc) can help drive new business and keep teams informed. The session in the summit focused on new technologies, the outlook for the industry, as well as a focus on ROI.
With a show of the magnitude of Infocomm it is impossible to see everything. Despite that, it is safe to say that the convergence of IT and AV will continue to drive some exciting developments this year. IVCi is excited to be a part of a vibrant and growing industry!