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InfoComm15 Looks to ‘Wow’ With IoT, UHD

ORLANDO, FLA.—While it may have traded the bright, neon lights of Vegas for the palm trees of Orlando, InfoComm15 plans to “wow” the 38,000 expected attendees. A record-setting exhibition floor of more than 500,000 square feet isn’t a bad start, and might just be an ideal backdrop for displaying the next steps in some of the industry’s hottest topics, including 4K/UHD and the “Internet of Things.”

“What we’re really trying to promote to attendees and membership is the idea that A/V plays a big role in experiences,” said Betsy Jaffe, vice president of communications for InfoComm. “We’re trying to make sure that the show is an exceptional experience for all attendees, but we also want to inspire the technology managers who work for corporations and large institutions to provide great experiences in their boardrooms and at their live events—promoting the idea of exceptional experience, which would include content space and technology, to the crowd.”

THE INTERNET OF THINGS
One of those experiences is the opening keynote on “The Internet of Things,” Tuesday, June 16. Featuring a panel moderated by New York Times technology reporter Nick Bilton, the session will debate the future of the Internet of Things, its applications and impact on the commercial A/V industry. Panelists include Fred Bargetzi, chief technology officer at Crestron Electronics; Ron Gazzola, vice president of marketing at Samsung Electronics America; Dr. I.P. Park, chief technology officer for Harman International; and Mike Walker, director of operations, Global Customer Experience Center, Cisco.

The “Internet of Things” is a phrase that involves the process of having devices that connect to the Internet, but Crestron Technologies CTO Fred Bargetzi hopes to help people understand IoT’s full potential.

The InfoComm15 show floor will be busy with 38,000 attendees expected. “The Internet of Things is bigger than putting devices on the network; it’s creating a platform that will provide benefits to customers,” said Bargetzi. “The concept of the Internet of Things and being connected to the network is just the foundation of it; it’s what they do with it after that. It’s about companies and designers and integrators that provide an entire platform and solution to actually make their end users more productive and allow them to truly manage their enterprise. The Internet of Things, that’s just the brick and mortar you need that to get started, but then you have to build the house on top of that.”

Crestron, which has been making devices with network connection as far back as 1996—using Ethernet—will highlight an update to its Fusion Enterprise software that relates to the data collection and its visualization to make IoT more productive for customers.

“The Internet of Things kind of sums it all up; connecting all these devices on the network and being able to manage them in unique ways that we haven’t seen before,” said Bargetzi. “That’s what somebody coming to InfoComm should really be looking at. If they’re looking at black boxes they’re missing the point. It’s about platform, solutions that will make their customers more efficient.”

UHD FOR A/V
Another area expected to generate a lot of attention at this year’s show is Ultra HD. Whether it’s for digital signage in Times Square or to help houses of worship provide a better experience for their patrons, the A/V industry is among the most active users of UHD products.

“You have to have it,” said Bob Caniglia, senior regional manager for Eastern North America at BlackMagic Design. “A lot of these houses of worship are trying to use big screens to display services to bigger groups, and using UHD gives them a lot more flexibility in terms of the number of screens they would have to use because they could use the larger ones, so all these tools kind of wrap around that.”

BlackMagic will display an array of products that assist UHD, including routers, switchers and mini converters. It will also bring its new 4K cameras, the URSA and URSA Mini.

Belden and Grass Valley, which Belden acquired in 2014, will also have products that improve UHD capabilities in education, corporations, board rooms and other A/V markets. One of their products is the 10GXS cable, which can deliver 100 W up to 100m from the power source without overheating and degrading the signal, providing an easier solution for HDTV.

“In the past you’ve had to rely on the IEEE power over Ethernet standard, which limited power to 60 W,” said Belden Marketing Communications Manager Renee Steel. “So now going to 100 W is what gives you that ‘wow’ factor.”

“People come to InfoComm looking for new creative, innovative ways to share their data, to communicate with their customers, their colleagues; and it’s energizing,” said Jason McGraw, senior vice president of expositions for InfoComm. “You come to InfoComm and you’re impressed with the wide variety of different applications for light, video, sound and collaboration. People will come to the show and be impressed, and they will leave the show with their head swimming in terms of the amount of different ideas and thoughts and knowledge they can gain.”

InfoComm15 will take place from June 13–19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit www.infocomm.org.