Wrap up of InfoComm Las Vegas – highlighting key trends and learnings
InfoComm 2014, recently held in Las Vegas USA, attracted over 37,000 people through its doors. With approximately 1000 exhibitors, this year’s tradeshow experienced an increase of 5.5% as compared to previous years. This year there was a general feeling of real optimism for future growth of the AV and integrated systems industries, with pent-up demand in the market.
According to the Global AV Market Definition and Strategy Survey at InfoComm 2014, the value of the AV market continues to grow at a healthy rate. Valued at $75 billion in 2013, the survey predicts that the industry will generate $92 billion this year and $116 billion in 2016.
Other findings from the survey showed that for the first time, the contribution of the Asia Pacific market is set to outstrip that of North America by 2016.
There are also three industry sectors that generate more than half of the AV industry’s revenue. The corporate market for instance is the single largest revenue generator – contributing over 30%, closely followed by venues and events and government and military – generating 14% and 12% respectively.
Finally, the survey also uncovered that the fastest growing product sectors globally are control systems, software, AV acquisition, delivery and displays.
So what other trends and learnings were unveiled at InfoComm 2014?
4K was a recurrent theme across many exhibitors’ stands; with hundreds of new products featuring 4K screens, many of them interactive flat panels. 4K screens contain four times the number of pixels as standard high-definition (1080p) screens; more pixels means more detail. This year, it was one of the largest talk topics of the entire show!
4K technology has been hugely successful where 3D failed. The screens offer perspective depth due to the superior display. You can stand right next to them and have a 3D experience, without utilising the 3D technology; it is essentially rewriting the rule book when it comes to image quality.
The application of 4K is being used quite a bit in medical industries, as it provides a fantastic tool for diagnostic imagery; it is a significant technology advancement for retail settings.
4K projectors also proliferated the show. 4K resolution is one of the technologies that are driving the high-end of the projection market. Not to mention lampless projectors. Whilst lampless projectors have been around for a while, they’ve become much more visible lately due to the increased performance of newer models.
Also for the first time at InfoComm, 4K technology was deployed in kiosks; a real attention grabber!
Many new companies this year showed a number of new products designed to make it easier for users to collaborate on presentations and other information; ideal for the education and corporate sectors. These new AV tools included interactive displays with a growing number of ‘touch points’, as well as products designed to create ever-larger workspaces – and systems that allow for two-way collaborations between individuals using any device.
For example, Sharp demonstrated the collaboration trend perfectly with the next generation of its Aquos Board interactive displays, which include apps for collaboration through smart phones or tablets. Available in 60-inch and 70-inch models, the Aquos Board 2 touch-screen displays recognise up to ten points of contact from as many as four simultaneous users using either a finger or an interactive pen, and the accompanying apps—available for iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devices—support “one to many” and “many to one” approaches to instruction. (Information sourced from New AV products enhance collaboration, by Dennis Pierce. View full article here.)
InfoComm 2014 had an amazing array of LED technology on display. The resolutions have dramatically improved. The development of more flexible, creative and cost-effective forms of digital signage were definitely a developing trend this year.
For example, Peerless-AV showed a series of portable video wall carts. These modular, adjustable, flatscreen mounting racks can accommodate two-by-two, two-by-three, or three-by-three screens of up to 60 inches each. The racks are built on wheels, so you can move the video wall wherever you want to deploy it within a building.
Scalable, interoperable video conferencing
A number of companies were promoting video conferencing services at InfoComm, that bridge the gap between ad-hoc calls using Skype or Google+ Hangouts and more expensive, high-end services from the likes of Cisco and Polycom.
For example, Pexip offers a scalable, cloud-based platform for high-definition video conferencing and meetings. Called Pexip Infinity, the service deploys ‘virtual meeting rooms’ in which individuals can join using any tablet, smart phone, or other device with a web browser and a camera.
Pexip Infinity uses what the company calls a ‘distributed architecture’ to optimise bandwidth: Only the person who is talking uses the full amount of bandwidth, while the others who are connected use only a small fraction. Plus, there is no limit to the number of users who can join a call or meeting, Pexip says.
Another trend that has become increasingly evident within the industry is companies partnering together on individual products. For example, one of the variants of Lab.gruppen’s new D series amplifier uses Biamp’s Tesira DSP, and so can be used as a complete endpoint in a Tesira AVB system. This follows a long collaboration between the two companies, and engineers have been cross-trained on each other’s products so that they are able to offer a deeper level of support.
Bit of fun…
Another fantastic talking point at InfoComm 2014 was the trending hashtag #AVselfie. A social engagement initiative that went viral during the tradeshow – it added some liveliness, fun and an ultimate cool factor to the AV realm. Did you know, of the 37,048 people that walked through the doors – plus all of the exhibitors, #AVselfie received over 10,000 submissions.
“There’s a lot more talk about the convergence of IT and AV, and the need of each side to recognise the value that the other brings to the table. They can’t operate independently any more – each side needs the other.” Phil Sanchez, attendee at InforComm 2014 and senior communications and PR manager, QSC (referenced from Installation-International Magazine pg. 18)