InfoComm is coming to town

June 12, 2012 | by Christopher Hall

InfoComm 2012 kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas, with more than 925 exhibitors showcasing integrated display, projection, audio, conferencing, lighting and staging, digital signage and communications system solutions.

Corporations, government agencies and educational, health care and religious institutions from more than 90 countries will flow into the 500,000 net square feet of show floor exhibits, special events and product demo rooms, according to a press release. They'll also attend educational sessions, manufacturers' training, networking events and more. (InfoComm actually started on Jun 9, with a pre-exhibit conference and educational sessions, and the exhibit hall opens June 13-15.)

"Support of InfoComm 2012 has been very encouraging," said Jason McGraw, CAE, InfoComm senior vice president for expositions, on the show website. "Trade show attendance is on the rise overall, and InfoComm 2012 is no exception. We are tracking well ahead of last year's registrations to date, and our attendees will be exploring a show floor that has never been larger."

"InfoComm offers us an ideal venue to provide training and support to our valued customers, augmenting our eighty training facilities around the world," said Sean Goldstein, vice president of marketing for show exhibitor Crestron. "It's also a great opportunity to showcase our new products and meet with our integrators face-to-face."

Commercial LCD display and projector solutions provider NEC Display Solutions of America is sponsoring the 2012 Best of InfoComm Award, which acknowledges the best product or service at InfoComm12. The winning exhibitor will win $10,000 for the charity of its choice.

Public voting for the award competition concluded earlier this month, and the five entries with the most public votes will be announced today at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the NEC booth, No. C6819. The following panel of industry leaders will judge the top five submissions:

  • Lyle Bunn – principal and strategy architect, BUNN Co.
  • Gary Kayye – certified technology specialist and founder, rAVe Publications
  • David Keene – executive editor, NewBay Media
  • Chuck Wilson – executive director, National Systems Contractors Association

NEC Display Solutions President and CEO Pierre Richer will present the Best of InfoComm Award to the winning company at 10 a.m. Pacific time Friday.

And here is just a sampling of a long list of show highlights:

Digital signage media player provider BrightSign LLC said it is using the show as a venue to announce one of its most recent installations – The Chuck Jones Experience, housed in the Circus Circus Resort in Las Vegas. The installation is a collaborative effort between BrightSign and Matt Seibert Designs. Heralded by CNN as No. 3 of the "9 New Reasons to Visit Las Vegas this Year," according to the announcement, the Chuck Jones Experience is an immersive experience that transports visitors back to the 1930s through a series of exhibits that chronicle the life and times of Chuck Jones, one of the foremost cartoon artists and animators of all time. Opened to the public in January 2012, The Chuck Jones Experience celebrates Jones' life work, which includes some of the world's most iconic characters, including Marvin the Martian, Pepe LePew, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

BrightSign also is announcing the BrightSign AU320, a new commercial audio distribution product that further expands the company's portfolio of digital signage solutions. The AU320 is a networkable audio solution that integrates messaging playback and background music in retail outlets and other commercial settings.

The company has invited InfoComm attendees to check out The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Resort Las Vegas to see the exhibit for themselves, and the company will be on the show floor at booth N2056.

Chief, an industry provider of mounts, racks and interactive solutions, is featuring a new generation of ceiling mounts that it says maintain the company's continuing commitment to improvement and product innovation. The new lineup of ceiling mounts offers flexible solutions that scale from mounting single displays to three-by-three display configurations, according to Chief.

Chief's single-display ceiling mounts feature continuous tilt ranges with four set locking points that eliminate guesswork when adjusting multiple screens; easy on/off mount connection for ease of installation and service; and Centris technology to provide fingertip tilt. And the company's multidisplay ceiling mounts feature independent height, plumb and lateral shift adjustment knobs to help easily align displays and optimization for a wide range of display sizes.

Chief is displaying these new products at booth C7519.

At this year's show, Christie will have on display its Christie Entero LED 70-inch, which it says is "a true HD LED stackable, rear-projection display system in a 16:9 form;" its Christie TVC-1700 Display Wall Processor, with PCIe bus architecture to provide ample processing power to support multiple inputs and outputs simultaneously; and the Christie Interactivity Kit, a high-performance, easy-to-use system for adding multitouch interactivity to any display.

Elo Touch Solutions, a global provider of touchscreen technology, said it will demonstrate advanced applications of interactive digital signage together with its interactive digital signage ISVs in a "partner pavilion" setting at infoComm. Several companies will use Elo displays to showcase their technologies.

Jibestream Interactive Media will show its NovoTouch building directory and NovoMap wayfinding software with a custom integrated Cisco Telepresence system on an Elo TouchSystems 55-inch high-definition touch display.

Intava will demonstrate a visual merchandising tool that combines a product catalog, interactive content and digital signage, also on an Elo TouchSystems 55-inch high-definition touch display.

YCD Multimedia will show its content management system over a video wall on an Elo TouchSystems 55-inch high-definition touch display.

TouchTunes Interactive Networks will show its interactive jukebox, a digital downloading, pay-per-play jukebox which features an Elo TouchSystems 26-inch touchscreen.

And Array Interactive will demo a NASA campus wayfinding application that will be shown on a 55-inch Elo touch display that offers easy plug and play for integrators.

Elo Touch Solutions and its partners will be situated at Booth N1469.

Exceptional 3D will show off its lenticular glasses-free 3D Portrait Series display products and solutions. The Portrait Series 3D (PS3D) display products are an exclusive 3D display solution only available from Exceptional 3D, and go hand-in-hand with the company's Landscape Series 3D displays.

The displays will light booth C8719.

Haivision will preview the latest iteration of its digital signage content management platform, CoolSign 5.0, at the show. The platform brings together scalability, performance, Internet video streaming and a new Web interface, the company said.

CoolSign 5.0 brings together digital signage with IP video, allowing clients to deliver combined rich media and live broadcasts across campuses and to remote signage players and mobile devices globally, the company said. By integrating the secure IP video distribution technology of Haivision's Furnace within the CoolSign player, CoolSign can incorporate broadcast content without copy risk — and the CoolSign player can also access Internet-based RTMP streams, assuring that even over a global network any player can access live HD content.

Haivision will be in booth N1857.

Matrox Graphics Inc. will feature  a new bundled solution at this year's InfoComm. Matrox's four-input/four-output Mura MPX board was recently picked by Trenton Systems to power a small and easy-to-use video wall controller PC, which will be available through Synnex in the U.S. The system can capture up to four high-bandwidth digital content protection, or HDCP, video streams in full 1080p HD without dropping any frames or decimating pixel quality and both manage and control operations such as scaling, picture-in-picture, overlay, and content switching from the controller itself or through network devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets or Crestron touch panels.

Matrox is showing the new bundle at booth N1331.

In addition to the "best of" awards, NEC Display Solutions will have roughly two dozen products on display, including the new P241W, its next generation 24-inch MultiSync display. NEC will also display two video walls in its exhibit space – one made up of nine of its 55-inch X551UN displays, and anther nine of its 46-inch X463UN units.

Shuttle Computer said it will showcase its latest products and solutions for digital signage and interactive kiosks, in addition to a first glimpse at the company's newly released network-attached storage device. Shuttle Computer also is unveiling its new digital signage wall system, R5 7900 Digital Signage. Shuttle said the R5 7900 Digital Signage is a complete digital signage wall system that can deliver media content across up to eight monitors, and that it would also work well as a portable digital signage wall because the small size makes it relatively easy to transport from one location to another.

Shuttle will launch from booth N1779.

Tightrope Media Systems will be at the show highlighting new developments to its Carousel digital signage system "that deliver a richer experience for viewers, and new creative and reporting capabilities for end users," according to the company. The advances have been integrated smoothly into the existing Carousel system, retaining its installation- and user-friendly characteristics for systems integrators.

In the new add-ons, Tightrope extends local weather options, supporting multiday forecast creation (up to seven days) and text-based crawls from WeatherBug; showcases increased multilingual support, with right-to-left text for Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi languages; and Asian-language word-wrapping for Japanese, Korean and simplified/traditional Chinese. Carousel also now displays international date formats by location, supporting EDS and date/time display among others.

Tightrope will also demonstrate Carousel integration with its ZEPLAY Instant Replay Server for stadium environments. Operators using the integrated solution can trigger instant replays of touchdowns, home runs and more from an iPad interface for immediate translation to Carousel-driven displays.

Tightrope will be in booth N2257.

And digital signage software provider Visix announced it is showcasing seven new products at the show, and even posted a YouTube video to give the curious a sneak peek:

Visix will be at booth N631.

And finally, X2O Media, a full-service provider of software, network management services, and content services, said it will show its X2O "Open Content Management Framework" – a Web-based portal that not only lets users manage digital assets that are displayed with X2O's players, but now integrates with a number of third-party players, including Frame Jazz, Exceptional 3D and OpenSplash. This "opening" of the X2O Portal is a strategic shift for X2O, encouraging vendor players to use its content management platform, while continuing to support its own players.

X2O also will showcase its new integration with the Polycom RealPresence Media Manager Integration; the X2O Social Hub featuring real-time content from popular sites including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; the X2O Twitter Shuffle display; X2O Tablet Apps; and the new Xpresenter™ Live Interactive Presentation System.

At the X2O booth, several partners will demonstrate a range of digital signage technologies:

  • Exceptional 3D will showcase its latest glasses-free 3D display and player, which integrates with the X2O Portal content management platform.
  • Sharp Electronics will showcase its professional displays. The new highly-sensitive 70-inch PNL702B touchscreen will highlight the abilities of the X2O Social Hub and the new interactive version of the Xpresenter Live conference room experience.
  • DFI Technologies will provide a two-by-two video wall for the X2O Twitter Shuffle demo.

X2O and its partners will be in booth N1541.

Read more about digital signage trends.

Topics: FAQ , Hardware , Software , Trends / Statistics , Wayfinding

Companies: Chief , NEC Display Solutions , BrightSign , X2O Media , Tightrope Media Systems , Visix Inc. , YCD Multimedia

Christopher Hall / Christopher is the editor of A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.
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