On the 16th June, I, along with others from Videopro headed to Las Vegas to attend the Infocomm Annual Conference.
Infocomm International is the trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries worldwide. Established in 1939, Infocomm has more than 5,000 members who all converge on Las Vegas once a year for their Annual Conference and Expo.The tradeshow itself goes for three days with a large number of functions during and around the event. Whilst this was the platform to launch a large number of new technologies, the following companies stood out.
At the Crestron stand, the key focus was making their Digital Media signal distribution platform 4K compliant, showcasing their commitment to quality and testing. The primary reason for this is not to keep up with the trend, but rather that most laptop PCs and tablets already commonly operate at resolutions above 1920 x 1200. They also had an interesting demonstration on the impact of not using correctly specified data cables for Digital Media applications and the negative effect it had on signal quality.
Christie Digital, which featured an array of high definition, high brightness projectors had a key commonality, Christie’s industry renowned colour reproduction. It. was. amazing. To demonstrate, they built massive video walls using their LED video wall tiles, LCD interactive panels and Microtiles.
Christie (and some other manufacturers such as Epson) also had projection mapping software. This allow the projectors to precisely project images onto complex curved surfaces, which then offered the user a 3D canvas to digitally alter the appearance of the object. For example a rough 3D car was printed and projected with the appearance of an Corvette C7 to convey life-like details of the product in a digital environment.
Some exciting news at the SMART stand unveiled a new link integration products as well as a device that tracks a standard glass whiteboard live on to an Ipad, or a class of Ipads. Most exciting however was their new distribution strategy to go through Westcon, enabling us to sell the product.
After Infocomm, we travelled to the Head Offices of Crestron Electronics in New Jersey for a tour of their facilities.
Crestron was founded in 1969 in the basement of engineer George Feldstein, now chairman of the board. George has built his basement business into a market leading AV automation company that employs over 2500 staff. It is for this reason, along with many others, Crestron is widely regarded as one of the most unique companies in the world.
With their range of products, Crestron aim to improve the quality of life at home, at work, at school, and at play; and in order for them to achieve this, attention to detail is paramount. In an effort to maintain the impeccable standard, the first 1000 units of any new Crestron products are manufactured right there in their New Jersey office; another element of the Crestron business-model which makes them stand out in the crowd.
Our tour took us through the company’s flagship “Experience Center”, showcasing Crestron’s extensive product range in an interactive setting. We then visited their specialised R&D building, manufacturing plant, and warehouse. After an eye-opening look into the inner-workings of this AV giant, Crestron invited a number of employees down, providing us with an opportunity to network.
The tour enabled our group to develop a better understanding of what makes the Crestron business so successful.
All in all, it was a great show, and if we can take one thing away, it is that the future of the AV integration market is bright.