Trends take shape at InfoComm 2017
WORLD: With almost 1,000 exhibits spread across 75 aisles in addition to some 30+ demo rooms off the show floor, InfoComm 2017 delivered. Spread over three days, an intense 23 hours attempting to cover over 50,000m2 of Orlando’s carpeted Orange County Convention Centre (OCCC) challenged both visitors and exhibitors alike.
New show elements including the TIDE conference, Centre Stage, The Park and an Immersive Technology Experience enhanced the appeal of this year’s InfoComm. In doing so, a record number of qualified attendees (technology managers and end users) attended the show, whilst 39% were first-time visitors. Prior to the ribbons being cut to mark the start of the trade show, 3,700 attendees took part in InfoComm’s training and education programme, 190 of whom passed their Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) exams.
‘InfoComm is committed to serving as a catalyst for market growth by offering content and programmes that speak to the outcomes achievable through A/V solutions,’ commented InfoComm International Executive Director and CEO David Labuskes. ‘As we build greater awareness of the magic of A/V, we believe the InfoComm show will continue to draw more and different market participants, from content creators to enterprise decision-makers. InfoComm 2017 has proven to be a significant step in that direction.’ Having logged 44,077 visitors at InfoComm 2017, the 14% annual increase backed Mr Labuskes’ claim.
Despite its weight and its price tag, Bose appealed to ornate ceilings everywhere with its EdgeMax speakers incorporating PhaseGuide Technology, purposely designed to provide a room with even dispersion from a peripheral out-of-sight cornice. Electro-Voice enhanced its wall-mounted credentials with the latest Evid Compact Sound series, created to simplify wiring connections together with quick, secure mounting options.
The ‘network’ continues to entice or discourage products from joining its carousel, so the whispers that Audinate will soon become a listed company were generally welcomed. QSC laid down its claim as the standard bearer of AV/IT convergence having developed the Core 2200 and 5200 processors. The Californian manufacturer further reinforced its position by announcing collaborations with Atlona's Omnistream and Attero Tech. The ‘audio’ tag seems to have been omitted from the company name - a software company in the making perhaps. Audio world revolves at a more sluggish rate than IT, but some companies like QSC and Biamp Systems are orbiting away from the pack as they cater for giants such as Intel and Dell. Having unveiled the TesiraLux platform at InfoComm 2016, Biamp revealed it will soon be shipping the video-based platform.
Williams Sound engaged listeners with its Hearing HotSpot real-time audio via Wi-Fi, further demonstrating scalability, unlimited channels and ultra-low latency. Listen Technologies has been one of the pioneers in the assistive listening field and the ListenWiFi v2.0 solution is also scalable, offering up to 48 channels of audio to up to 1,000 listeners. Sennheiser previewed its own approach to this product category: Connect Station CS1-M hub and the companion Wi-Fi access point module together with the MobileConnect smartphone apps. Shure educated visitors seeking edification in the wireless spectrum reallocation and hosted classes on Microflex Advance best practises, networked systems software and MXA910 ceiling arrays for VoiceLift applications. Meanwhile, Clear-Com added mobile phone compatibility to its LQ series of intercom-over-IP device, with LQ Agent-IC software allowing Intercom IP app users to connect via mobile phone.
Earlier this year, Samsung acquired Harman, including its AMX and Martin brands. Located far away from the red carpet of the audio halls, the company’s display was less audio-orientated than ever before. Almost mirroring a modern installation where the interior designer has dominated proceedings, the newly launched Crown CDi DriveCore amplifiers together with JBL AE Powered and LCT 81C/T ceiling tile loudspeakers did not leap out of their display settings. However, the buzz on the booth was tremendous.
For the third consecutive year, the exhibition granted an extension of opening hours to the demo rooms on the eve of the show. The opportunity to get a preview of the newly developed technologies and products ahead of the packed three-day programme on the show floor is a welcome one. Immersive audio is making further inroads, for which Meyer Sound’s Constellation setup combined 56 speakers and subwoofers including the IntelligentDC models, SpaceMap multi-channel panning and D-Mitri processing. L-Acoustics enticed passers-by with a Syva source system set up with the P1 networked audio processor in addition to a special L-ISA immersive audio experience. Alcons Audio teamed up with fellow Dutch innovator Astro Spatial Audio to promote their joint immersive audio technology incorporating an Alcons cinema systems and Sara 3D. An extensive Tannoy DI8 system fell short of being immersive, but live music being played through it helped to promote the Klark Teknik Reverb Twenty Four 3D multi-channel reverb processor in the Music Group demo suite.
The show’s alternating locations draw unique audiences – Florida entices more individuals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and of course the Eastern seaboard of the USA. With its offsite attractions, Las Vegas arguably appeals to visitors more than Orlando, although the statistics tend to take away credence from that claim.
What you read here is a mere sample of InfoComm 2017 but the new launches will appear in the July-August printed editions of Pro Audio Asia and Pro Audio MEA, in addition to the products sections over the forthcoming issues. Furthermore, www.proaudio-central.com will provide a visual show report in the coming days.