Next month, thousands of A/V integrators, supplies and enthusiasts will converge on Las Vegas for InfoComm08, the annual tradeshow for the professional audio and visual industry (pro A/V). Although systems integration exhibitors will inhabit most of the show floor, the digital signage industry is set to have a stronger-than-normal presence.
"The whole show is related to digital signage in one way or another," said Jason McGraw, senior vice president, Expositions, InfoComm International. "Aside from the digital signage systems exhibitors there are screens, cabling, hardware and other components."
InfoComm is the annual tradeshow for InfoComm International, an association of about 4,500 companies in the pro A/V market. Members include system integrators, manufacturers and end-users.
InfoComm: What you need to know
When: June 14-20, 2008
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center , Las Vegas , Nev.
Co-located conferences: Strategy Institute Digital Signage Technology Summit, NXTComm08, NSCA Systems Integration Expo
"InfoComm has been around since 1939 but has evolved greatly in the past 20 years," said Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D, executive director, InfoComm International. "The â€˜90s changed things with the evolution of video and recently we have seen the growth of new markets like digital signage."
With 950 exhibitors registered, Lemke and McGraw expect to hit record numbers this year, much like the other digital signage tradeshows thus far in 2008. The show is offering more than 500,000 square feet of expo space in the Las Vegas Convention Center. InfoComm has also converged with the NSCA Systems Integration Expo and is co-locating with NXTcomm08.
Also held in conjunction with InfoComm will be the Strategy Institute Digital Signage Technology Summit, a series of seminars and panel discussions designed to turn attendees into digital signage experts. The sessions will be held on June 16-17 and will focus on case studies, creating effective RFPs and other intricacies of digital signage deployments.
The digital signage exhibitors will be concentrated mainly in the North Hall of the expo center in Digital Signage Pavilion, which InfoComm will be setting up for the fourth year.
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Here is what to expect from some key digital signage exhibitors at InfoComm:
BROADSIGN will showcase its BroadSign Suite, a soft-ware-as-a-service bundle which was designed specifically for advertisers. BroadSign Suite is designed for full campaign execution functionality, accountability and true scalability for modern digital signage networks of all sizes. CHYRON will present its new HD Video Compositor, which VP John Remmler says is unique in the digital signage industry in that it can squeeze back live HD video, bringing full 1080p video with full 1080p signage together for HD signage displays.
DYNAMAX TECHNOLOGIES will showcase the latest version of its flagship digital signage software application, POVNG3, which shipped to customers on April 1. The product is an enterprise-level software system for controlling the preparation, playback, and distribution of digital content to digital screens.
DYNASIGN plans on rolling out complete managed service for media network operations on the national scale. The new Dynasign service includes hosted digital signage online service, screen and player deployment, single point support hotline and filed service and maintenance programs, so deployers can concentrate on business and not IT.
GEFEN is bringing its entire array of connectivity solutions to InfoComm, all designed to maximize imagery for digital signage. These include the new 8x8 DVI Matrix, HDMI and IR Extender over CAT-5 cable, HDMI-over-RGB Extender, GefenTV Home Theater Scaler Pro, and HDMI-over-fiber extenders.
GESTURETEK, an interactive digital signage company that is always a crowd pleaser at shows, plans to showcase its multi-touch surface computing technology. Comparable in ways to Microsoft Surface, the multi-touch screen is used for advertising and entertainment in public spaces, and adding a whole new dimension to corporate presentation centers, showrooms, retail spaces and tourist attractions.
The company also plans to highlight the ScreenXtreme technology that, through the use of infrared cameras, can make any digital sign or display both immersive and interactive.
NEC has plans to launch several brand new products, including the NP901W and NP905 projectors and the EA261WM desktop display, in addition to showcasing several digital signage solutions that incorporate everything from large-format LCDs to high-powered projectors to desktop displays.
NETKEY will demonstrate the newest version of Netkey Digital Signage, a software solution for operating digital signage networks used by organizations worldwide. The new v. 4.9 includes media player support for Microsoft Vista and expanded multi-zone content scheduling.
NEXT WINDOW will introduce a touch screen overlay that converts any standard monitor into an interactive display using optical touch technology to create an interactive whiteboard without the need for a dedicated stylus or pen.
OMNIVEX will continue showing its Moxie digital signage software, and President Jeff Collard sees InfoComm as unique opportunity to reach a different A/V audience.
Cover image: Samsung booth at InfoComm07, courtesy of InfoComm.