InfoComm 2024 Opens In A Few Hours – Insomniac Pre-Show Impressions

June 12, 2024 by Dave Haynes

It is 3 am in Las Vegas and I am wide awake and up working, theoretically because my body thinks it is 7 am and Nespresso time in Nova Scotia. Sigh.

InfoComm 2024 opens its doors in six hours and I am all set, save for the sleep part.

Tuesday was a fly-in day for a pile of attendees, and a social day for those already here. I am told the golf day was a big success, blast furnace conditions aside.

Sony did a VERY busy, VERY well attended party at a beach-themed inside-outside restaurant at the Virgin resort. I caught up with a pile of people, including this guy (below) – who has been knocking out DailyDOOH for almost as long as I have been at Sixteen:Nine.

Adrian Cotterill has been more focused on the DOOH ad sector than on the stuff I tend to cover, so I had not seen him at as many events as I did for many years. His trousers (I would write pants, but that apparently means underwear in the UK) were as decorative as his shirt.

I did have a quick tear through the West hall as stands were getting built. It is fun and useful to get a sneak peek, but also dodgy. Tons of man-lifts rolling around and no end of packing material strewn everywhere. My quick impression: more LED than ever and as expected, lotsa stretched truths, making things somehow be microLED or holographic or invisible, just by saying so at the stands.

Samsung and LG have big stands, as always, but if you went to ISE, you pretty much saw what they have and will do in Vegas five or so months later.

What WAS seemingly different – and a reflection of the dominance now of LED – was a huge front row stand for NovaStar, the Chinese tech company that supplies display controllers for many of the LED screen manufacturers.

I was also a guest host at the two-hour industry insights lunch put on by Florian and Stefan from Munich-based invidis. It is a session they have done for many years and reprised at other InfoComms done in Asia and elsewhere. Peter Critchley of Trison UK was also a guest, offering his excellent point of view on the present and future of CMS software.

Show organizer AVIXA kindly supplied a ticket for me to the big InfoComm kickoff at Sphere, and I was among thousands getting a first look around the interior of the attraction that has been opened since last fall. AVI Systems sponsored the event and somebody had to have signed off on a very large number to cover the costs of the venue and food and drinks. I had a tall tin of Blue Moon and a burger, and the POS readout said $41!!! This is not your Mom and Dads Vegas. Just about everything in this town is now $$$$$$$$.

Back to Sphere. What happens on the outside is impressive, but walking into the seating area and seeing that screen is really, really something. The scale of that curved beast is pretty mind-blowing. The eco-themed film created for the venue really plays with the scale and does some themed attraction trickery like seemingly flying the crown off cliffs and down canyons. But what struck me was the subtle use of senses like light breezes and faint smells for certain scenes. The use of shaker thingies to make seats feel the weight of an elephant walking past a scene is less subtle, but impressive.

Much more has been written about the LED displays, but the German-made Holoplot audio is really something, as well.

I followed that up with a quick beer and chat with a bunch of familiar faces at a loosely structured Canadian party at the Carnaval Court outside bar on the strip, which was the polar opposite of Sphere. A Van Halen tribute act with its amps turned to 11. Wish I could have hear half of what people were yelling at me, and I HAVE HEARING AIDS! Sheesh.

Big first exhibit hall day coming up. I have zero booked meetings, by design, and plan to just wander and focus on what looks new or different.

Almost 4 now and I am not even yawning. Dammit!

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