Vegas Shines Brightly for InfoComm
Perhaps it’s fitting that a show like InfoComm—which showcases just how far-reaching the audiovisual systems marketplace has become—should settle down in Las Vegas for its annual get-together. Every glowing, blaring, high-wattage digital sign on the strip advertises in 10-foot letters just how omnipresent AV technologies have become.
“Audiovisual technologies are everywhere, so much so that people take it for granted,” said Jason McGraw, senior vice president of expositions for InfoComm10, which is set to take place here June 5-11. “It’s in theatres, in classrooms, at concerts… and encompasses everything from digital signage to 3D to conferencing.”
Visitors to the 2010 InfoComm in Las Vegas can view the latest in digital signage technology at the Fremont Street Experience.
As a result, this year’s exhibition—which is expected to attract 900 exhibitors and 32,000 AV professionals—will widen its scope. Focusing for years on all things AV—from projection, audio, videoconferencing, lighting and staging, and digital signage—this year the conference will feature new exhibits and technologies ranging from 3D technology to camera production and even go-green sustainability.
Perhaps most pressing is the renewed focus on 3D. This year the conference will produce “3D Comm,” a new event designed to showcase advances in stereoscopic technologies that will touch on everything from the basics of 3D displays to encoding and signal management.
There’s no question that a real-world viability for 3D technologies exists, particularly in the AV market, said Randal A. Lemke, executive director of InfoComm International. “With modern applications in advertising, digital signage, architectural design, and in the medical sector, 3D is more than a passing fad; it is here to stay,” he said.
3D applications have been a staple at InfoComm for a number of years, McGraw said, “but now there’s more emphasis on the consumer side with 3D in movies and in home theatre systems.
“Now we’re seeing people interested in how that can be harnessed for commercial applications for higher education, government and entertainment.”
InfoComm has seen another of its staple technologies make headlines. In April, Cisco’s $3 billion acquisition of technology firm Tandberg has created a behemoth company whose video conferencing technologies now range from inexpensive desktop gear to slick, professional conferencing products with specialized display screens and special-order chairs. “We strongly believe that telepresence—the next generation of videoconferencing—powers [a] new way of working where everyone, everywhere can be more productive through the pervasive use of video and face-to-face collaboration,” said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of the Emerging Technologies Business Group at Cisco, who will also be offering the keynote address during InfoComm10.
A force of nature helped bring that to light. A number of conferencing firms saw increased interest in videoconferencing technologies in April after the Icelandic volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of European flights.
“As we think about challenges or the economy, more individuals are talking to the office via telepresence,” McGraw said, adding that InfoComm coverage of technologies like conferencing sets the convention apart.
InfoComm will organize its 2010 conference into separate pavilions, such as 3D, audio and digital signage, and is introducing new arenas like a “Test & Measurement Pavilion” that will showcase hardware and software tools used in the design and testing of audiovisual systems. Returning to the show are the suite of audio demo rooms, rigging and staging demonstrations, and a showcase for digital signage applications.
To remind exhibitors what’s out there on the ever-glowing Las Vegas strip, the show will inaugurate a new virtual digital signage area that will offer education and manufacturers’ training; the Digital Signage Pavilion will return to showcase displays, mounts, and networking and software solutions, and the Digital Signage Application Showcase will feature digital signage in fully integrated environments. Off the show floor, digital signage classes will include two half-day sessions—Digital Signage Business Planning and Digital Signage Fundamentals—as well as a two-day Digital Signage Technology Summit.
The conference will also introduce a new special event devoted to showcasing sustainable, low-power products. This year, the show will co-locate with real estate conference Realcomm to highlight the role of AV in buildings.
Like an increasing number of conventions, InfoComm will also devote space to the growing worship market with the Technologies for Worship Pavilion. The conference has seen its core exhibitor list evolve over the last few years, stretching out to include industries like healthcare, government, legal, retail and even museum and event space professionals.
The convention will again host “behind-the-scenes” technology tours, including a look at the new recording studio at the Palms hotel; a backstage pass to the AV-focused Cirque du Soleil shows “LOVE,” “O” and “Ka;” and a tour of City Center, the city’s largest mixed-use resort that has incorporated a wealth of AV technology throughout the 67-acre property.
To register for InfoComm, visit www.infocomm.org