Industry gathers in Orlando for Infocomm 2015
WORLD: As the various coloured carpets representing the audio, visual and lighting zones were unrolled to mark the onset of Infocomm 2015 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), the audio demo rooms leading to the concourse were buzzing with the onset of early visitors. The exhibition has granted an extension of opening hours to these demo rooms, ensuring higher visitor traffic numbers. It’s a smart return on investment exemplified by the show organisers, which also provides a good sneak preview into newly developed technologies and products ahead of the cutting of the ribbon and the swarm of foot traffic on the opening day of the show floor.
‘Collaborate, Communicate, Connect’ – the slogan of 2013 – has now been simplified and replaced by three letters – ‘Wow’. The insatiable appetite of IT in its consumption of all things A/V was addressed in a keynote speech, The Internet of Things, introduced by Infocomm’s CEO and executive director David Labuskes on the eve of the show. A packed audience listened to the four man panel chaired by New York Times technology columnist Nick Bilton, addressing the connection of sensors, cameras, building systems, cars and drones to the internet and what business opportunities this would create for the commercial A/V industry.
Working together at the very core of everything one does in the industry today is the underlying message and as a result the interaction between companies has never been more pronounced. The TC demo room was staging 48 minute seminars highlighting the latest DVS and AMS series speakers from Tannoy in addition to the 70v line addition in Lab.gruppen’s Lucia series of amplifiers. However, the wall dedicated to ‘Integration Superpower’, highlighting TC Group’s collaborations with Biamp’s Tesira, Mediamatrix’s NION, BSS’s London Blu and QSC’s Q-Sys technologies demanded greater attention. Just as no man is an island, no manufacturer can survive in isolation and all companies now need to highlight where they sit on the network. It’s a far cry from the days of the NSCA when ladders and ceiling speakers were a staple fare of the audio installer’s shopping list. Today’s A/V installer needs to be IT and IP literate to bid for business.
Community’s punchy 15 minute demos highlighted the CODE via its E, I, R and V series speakers together with the newly developed BalancePoint hardware. Coaxials are definitely in fashion and as Martin Audio premiered its unique Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology in the upper lobby concourse, L-Acoustics launched its X series below. Beam steering speaker technology continues to evolve and as Renkus-Heinz celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Iconyx series with a fifth generation update, the company was also keen to highlight RHAON II, Varia-i and IC Live. Meyer Sound, meanwhile, acquired a 3,000 capacity ballroom to allow the latest Leopard and Leo systems together with 900-LFC subs to roar. In the demo room, Cal, IntelligentDC and Leopard were wooing the crowds as were the seminars on live mixing and deploying large scale AVB networks.
A plethora of new products greeted visitors to the QSC Audio demo booth including the Touchmix-16, SPA4-60 four-channel amplifier, Q-Sys 110f processor and latest Touchscreen Control 7t. EV showcased its latest EKX speaker systems in addition to the Evid Compact series, whilst DAS Audio promoted its third generation Aero 20a line array and UX-221nultra low frequency subwoofer systems. Elsewhere, d&b audiotechnik demonstrated the Y-series family of speakers driven by the latest D10, D30 and D80 amplifiers. It’s a year since Harman acquired AMX and together with Martin lighting solutions, the group’s demonstrations were less product orientated and more solutions focused.
Prior to the ribbon being cut at 9am on Wednesday 12th June, Infocomm hosted no fewer than 300 educational seminars as part of its’ Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) programme. By the close of Infocomm 2015, over 35,000 attendees will have entered through its doors for the three day event spread across 50,000 sq-m of over 900 show floor exhibits and special events space. New products are aplenty. Finding something that is relevant to an individual’s specific needs involves a lot of pre-show research and walking of the show floor. Developments range from tweaks for niche applications such as swimming pool environments to those ‘game-changing’ launches that developers market following a Eureka moment some months before. But they all add up to a bill of quantity required to complete an international consultant’s check list or an educational facilities systems integrator in Alabama. Quite what Wow means is down to the individual attending this year’s Infocomm, it would appear.