InfoComm: Day 1 on the show floor


Coverage of InfoComm 2011 Orlando is brought to you by John Stepp, president of Free Tech Consultants.

The huge AV spectacular InfoComm 2011 in Orlando opened its trade show floor Wednesday to tens of thousands of visitors catching the latest in digital signage, projection technology, video conferencing and all things AV. Everywhere you look there is some eye popping visual technology. Cisco, HP, LifeSize, and Polycom have great showcases of their enterprise video collaboration technologies and the videoconferencing section is just a fraction of the trade show floor.

Randy Lemke, executive director and CEO of InfoComm International must be very proud of the growth of the shows that span the globe now. But today at his press conference he was proud of the green initiative announcement with InfoComm’s involvement in the Sustainable Technology Environments Program. The STEP program has been created by manufacturers, designers, integrators, programmers and the users of technology to guide project and building owners to implement practices that will produce economic benefits to their organizations while preserving the planet. In other words, green with an ROI. More information about the program can be found at thestepfoundation.org.

The most unusual, visually stimulating thing I saw today was at the projection design booth. Put together by projection design and software house 7thSense was a six-projector 3D image on a concave quarter globe. The image was perfectly reproduced using warping and blending technology. Outside the quarter globe, it looked concave, but when you walked in it looked flat. As you can see from the video, it is capable of very realistic 3D without glasses. But it is not just for entertainment purposes. They are using this identical technology at Brooks Army Medical center to help returning soldiers with inner ear injuries to retrain themselves to regain mobility. They hang the soldiers from a harness to a treadmill facing the quarter globe. The images show trails with obstacles that are 3D and realistic. Javier Delgado, Visual Simulation Specialist, said they have found many ways to use this technology. This is a powerful example of how something that looks to be an entertaining innovative “showcase” of video technology can provide so much more. Helping our wounded veterans to walk again provides an infinite ROI and makes you feel good about being involved in the evolution of communicative and collaborative technologies.

My next report from InfoComm 2011 will include interviews and thoughts on the changes in the video space at HP and Vidyo. I will also be going in depth with Cisco on their Callway offering, their big push to video in the cloud.

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