Wifi wasn’t cooperating at Orlando’s airport so my plan to post while hanging out at the gate went south on me.
But I am back at world HQ – where it is 40 degrees cooler (25 OK, but down 40 – arrrrgh) – and wifi works fine.
I spent the second day banging around the InfoComm show floor and bumping into booths I somehow didn’t see on Day 1. I also asked a lot of industry people I know and trust for their impressions, and their thoughts pretty much mirror mine.
Lots of great stuff, they said, but nothing terribly ground-shaking or groundbreaking. Display technology has been really, really good for a while now, so making an impact with new product is a challenge.
The more I walked, the more indoor LED walls I saw. There are now 0.75 and 0.9 mm pixel pitch being shown, though they are not necessarily ready for commercial release. Which is fine, because the larger ones are insanely expensive.
I asked someone from AOTO the per sq. metre cost for its 1.2 mm product, and it was $50,000. So the billboard-sized wall at the booth was $1 million MSRP.
That will of course come down, but right now there’s probably just a handful of possible buyers in China and the UAE. And Vladimir Putin for his bedroom.
Prices will come down, in part, because these things have gone from a specialty product to the commercial mainstream via companies like Samsung and Christie.
Stratacache was not at the show officially, but CEO Chris Riegel was showing some customers and partners a new display product that comes out of a subsidiary – Optika Display – he bought/relaunched a couple of years ago.
Called Collaborate 65UHD, it’s a 65-inch ultra high rez display that combines AU glass, Digital View display controllers, Anoto’s active stylus digital writing technology and the in-glass touchscreen film from Flat Frog.
It’s not really a digital signage product, and is much more aimed at going ofter the market Microsoft is trying to build up with its Surface Hub, the high-res touch displays first developed by Perceptive Pixel (Microsoft bought them). The hub is marketed as a collaboration tool.
Riegel say he can play very nicely in that collaborative workspace business space as well, at less cost (this unit was roughly $9K and less at volume) and without being tied by necessity to Windows.
He’s selling the units via Avnet, and their VARs.
The other thing I saw, remarkably, was another digital signage CMS platform. Yes, the crowded field just gets more crowded.
Adgen had a micro-booth in the innovation zone and were showing how they have an HTML5-driven content creation wizard, as well as how they have Chromecast’s working as signage players (streaming content).
The company comes out of Liverpool, England, and is related, if I am remembering correctly, to an interactive agency.
Other stuff – I liked the BenQ 2-sided displays, and the design that hid all the player and power bits underneath.
I liked what I saw coming from the growing ranks of companies doing meeting room signs and related software – like AskCody, Visix and GoGet. They do the same things, but all with different twists. It’s clearly becoming a big part of Visix’s business, based on how much show space it took up this year versus the past.
Worth going? Yup – but 1.5 to 2 days is probably enough, unless you are attending a lot of education sessions.
My Uber driver told me InfoComm was back in Orlando next year, for some reason. I checked. Vegas. Yay!
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.