By Corey Moss

Each year at InfoComm, as many know, I set out looking for my top picks. Every year so far they have been my disruptive top picks, however I decided that it was time for a new view on the discussion of how the industry can be transformed – and not disrupted, which even for me is becoming tired buzz. Thus, these are the top transformative picks at InfoComm 2018.

Here are the first ten.

1. Biamp – SageVue™

My appointment at the Biamp booth was with Chris Fitzsimmons, Product Manager for Tesira and Devio at the company. I’ve continued to be impressed with Biamp, as well as Chris, in terms of how intuitive they are to the needs of the end user. Introduced at InfoComm 2018, Biamp SageVue™ shows a direct approach to the world of the tech and IT manager in terms of device and user management. In fact, I had the AV as a Service (AVaaS) talk with Chris as well – light bulbs went off here.

Biamp_Vue_Systems copy

Biamp_Vue_UserRoles

Biamp SageVue™ is a browser-based monitoring and management platform for Tesira® and Devio® devices. It is a self-contained web app deployed at a customer’s site, enabling technology managers and designated end users to review system status and perform several system administration tasks. Granular access control levels are available, and can be associated with the organization’s existing Active Directory users and groups. SageVue™ also includes a RESTful API which can be used to build custom dashboards, or be integrated with third party monitoring applications.

Chris appeared on ‘The AV Life’ podcast (Episode 85, Pt. 1) – listen to a part of his conversation here as he talks about products and solutions showcased, including SageVue™.

 

SageVue™ will be available at no cost in Q3 of 2018. Find out more here.

Also listen as Michelle Loret talked with John Urban, Product Marketing Manager at Biamp at ISE about new Beamtracking Microphones for the Tesira family of products, POE+ Amplifiers, and next generation Devio collaboration platform models

2. Samsung – The Wall

People talked about how they were stopped in their tracks by certain products on the show floor – Samsung’s The Wall captured mass attention at CES, and now The Wall Professional did exactly the same thing at InfoComm 2018. It was presented very thoughtfully at the Samsung booth with classical music playing, I did spend time taking in Samsung’s masterpiece.

Samsung The Wall Commercial

(I took this picture at InfoComm with my Samsung S9 phone). 

Samsung announced at InfoComm 2018 the introduction of The Wall Professional – a modular, MicroLED display that can extend to hundreds of inches in size while delivering impressive black color, brightness, and contrast in any commercial setting. The Wall Professional’s modular design is configurable and customizable – it provides perfect black and superior color purity in a bright environment, as well as in the dark. The stylish design of The Wall will modernize any corporate lobby, museum, gallery or luxury retail space. The display’s HDR10+ technology and MicroLED pixel modules produce unparalleled peak brightness of 1600nit, excellent color presentation and brilliant imagery free of color filters or backlighting.

Listen to Todd Fender, Sr. Manager Product Marketing at Samsung Electronics America talk at InfoComm 2018 about what the company showcased, including The Wall Professional.

 

Find out more about The Wall here.

3. Prysm – LPD 6K Series

Not only can I appreciate innovation that takes the display and video wall conversation to the next level, I appreciate it even more when there is a user case to go with it – and Prysm’s LPD 6K series provides both. In fact, I had a conversation in March in the news release Prysm LPD 6K Sets New Standard for Video Walls with First-of-its-Kind, Interactive Single Panel Large-Format Display with David Schweer, Director Product Marketing at Prysm and end user John P. Troup, Ph.D. and vice president of clinical science, education and innovation, Standard Process.

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The Prysm LPD 6K Series delivers the clearest resolution available for large, no bezel, interactive displays so you can clearly see every color and treatment. With up to 6K x 2K resolution and intelligent light engines, one can experience consistent picture quality throughout the lifetime of the display. LPD 6K is a fully interactive display, its robust polymer surface is both impact and scratch resistant, and supports up to 30 unique touchpoints.

Prysm’s Laser Phosphor Displays express the deepest black levels possible, resulting in a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. The unique design of LPD 6K provides access to all Prysm equipment from the front. The light engines have been completely redesigned to deliver a low total cost of operation over the life of your display and align with corporate sustainability goals.

Listen to Hannah Grap, VP Corporate Marketing & Demand Generation talk about the LPD 6K series at InfoComm 2018.

 

Find out more about the Prysm LPD 6K here.

4. NEC Display Solutions – Projection Mapping Application

At the Digital Signage Expo, NEC Display Solutions’ projection onto sneakers and basketballs in their booth was one of the big showstoppers, people talked about it throughout the show. The company brought this to InfoComm 2018 as well, however my meeting and discussion at the booth also became a difference-maker, where not only was I seeing this ideal innovative solution for retail again there, I was talking about commercial application for this in corporate lobbies, clubs/restaurants and more.

NEC proj map InfoComm 18

(I took this picture at InfoComm with my Samsung S9 phone). 

NEC Display Solutions, proving that projection mapping can be more of a business case than just turning irregularly shaped objects into a display surface for video projection.

5.  Barco – UniSee/Overture

Last year I visited with Barco at InfoComm to see their products and solutions, and I’ll have to admit that I had some interest in Overture, but more toward other solutions in the booth. I was shown a demo and it was ok, though with this I wasn’t sure that Overture had the capacity to be among the players in AV control and monitoring. Stephen Lamphear, Channel Development Manager for Barco AV Control Experience wrote Overture: Create Next Generation Meeting Room Experiences which gave a current Overture overview, and a hint at something to expect at InfoComm 2018 – Overture integration with the industry’s top wireless presentation solution ClickShare. In fact, the UniSee platform becomes a part of the Overture conversation as well. And I have to say that when I first saw UniSee months back, it just plain knocked me out. I discussed Overture, UniSee and ClickShare with Stephen at the show – and yes, AVaaS came into the picture here too.

Barco UniSee 2

Barco Overture

With the Barco UniSee platform, Barco completely redesigned and optimized every component of the LCD video wall, resulting in a new way to look at large screen visualization. The Barco UniSee platform consists of: UniSee View, UniSee Mountand UniSee Connect. These three elements come together to define the future of LCD video walls.

Overture is available on-premise and in the cloud. For either there is no programming, easy setup for new devices and rooms using simple configuration, easily add new rooms, modify rooms with new devices and make changes by connecting to the network without the need for programming. Optimize meeting room experience by setting up behaviors for rooms such as switching all devices off or on or recall a preset for the building, floor or room. The scheduling feature allows users to set automated actions at pre-defined moments in time, for instance to save on energy costs when workspaces are not in use.

Find out more about UniSee here, Overture here.

6. Shure – Microflex Complete Wireless/Designer 3.1

I’ve known Peter Herr, Associate Director, Global Marketing, Systems Group at Shure for a few years now, and he and I had a pre-show conversation about just what I was looking for at InfoComm. Of course the booth tour began (with Chris Lyons, Sr. Manager Integrated Systems Marketing) with a look at the new Microflex Complete Wireless, and then we took a trip over to see what I said would be in the top picks – their Designer 3.1 system configuration software.

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Shure Designer 3.1.jpg

Microflex Complete Wireless:

  • Expandable up to 125 participants using 1 access point
  • Automatic Frequency Coordination for quick setup
  • Interference Detection and Avoidance resolves transmission
  • Encrypted digital transmission for enhanced security

At InfoComm 2018, Shure announced the latest version of its Designer software application that provides system integrators, designers, and sales staff improved workflow efficiency to configure Shure products during design and build cycles—offline and online. Designer 3.1 provides users with a single software tool to design and commission system installations, enhancing the performance and usability of Shure products, while reducing onsite configuration time. The latest software gives users one place to design, route, and configure.

Find out more about Microflex Complete Wireless here, Designer 3.1 here.

7. Aurora Multimedia – ReAX™

Paul Harris, CEO at Aurora Multimedia has done some pretty dynamic things in his time in AV. A foremost authority on AV over IP, HDBaseT, IP control and more, along with recently being appointed Chairman of the HDBaseT Alliance’s AV Work Group, Paul has continued to make great strides in the industry.

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Now comes ReAX™, the industry’s first non-proprietary IP Control based on AV/IT industry standards. The name ReAX™ represents action/reaction which is the essence of control automation. ReAX™ is unique since it is not limited to a single manufacturer but to all who qualify. This is the first-time, interoperability of not just protocols and structure, but the actual code itself. It is not limited there as IR libraries, macros, and more can all be shared and organized in a single location at the organizations’ website www.reax.org.

“ReAX will free the industry of proprietary control and the hold it has on integrators, consultants, and end users. It will open up new innovations from a variety of companies with products that will interoperate, share code and resources. This is all done using industry standard web languages like javascript and html5 and partnering with other manufacturers with similar goals for a unified ecosystem of products and software. ReAX in time will become the true open AV control standard.,” says Paul Harris, CEO at Aurora Multimedia.

Find out more about ReAX here, Aurora Multimedia here. You can hear Paul on ‘The AV Life’ Episode 84.

8. Sonic Foundry – Speech to Text integration in Mediasite

I have known Sonic Foundry for quite a while now, and it wasn’t hard to become convinced that Mediasite is without a doubt the most preferred video creation and management solution. At InfoComm 2018, Sonic Foundry announced powerful new search and translation features in Mediasite that create the most accessible, interactive video experiences possible.

Mediasite-Logo_Color.jpg

New integrations with technologies like IBM Watson combine powerful speech-to-text cloud services with Mediasite’s rich video analytics and search capabilities. Paired with Mediasite’s unique ability to create intelligent, dynamic and secure video portals based on metadata indexes, integration with Watson provides yet another powerful tool for further optimizing content delivery. The result is customers have deeper insights than ever before into their data. At the same time, Watson’s advanced audio transcriptions enhance Mediasite search and accessibility for more accurate closed-captioning, automatically detecting audio from many languages in real-time and identifying and transcribing what is being discussed, even from lower quality audio.

Rob Lipps, EVP Worldwide Sales & Marketing at Sonic Foundry, Inc., who I have known for quite some time now had this to say: “Businesses and schools have a powerful opportunity to make their video content more intelligent and discoverable by leveraging the massive amounts of data that live in video management systems, like Mediasite. Our customers are creating prolific amounts of video – creation is up 49% year-over-year and 35 million hours are viewed each year. Artificial intelligence applications, like speech-to-text technologies, present an exciting opportunity to create even deeper connections with those videos, making them even more searchable and accessible. We’re honored that Convergent AV has chosen us as an ‘InfoComm 2018 top pick.”

9. InFocus – SimpleShare, new Mondopads and Instant Office365 with Mondopad Software v3.0 

I am always impressed with InFocus as every year at InfoComm they bring more products to their well-rounded solutions environment. This year InFocus brought the new SimpleShare, new Mondopads – and it’s what Glenn Jystad, Director, Product Marketing at InFocus showed me on his phone during the Mondopad booth demonstration that made me stop and say – “it’s about the app.”

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InFocus - Mondopad Access

A true cable replacement, SimpleShare is device-agnostic and allows users to share high-definition video and sound wirelessly to any display with an HDMI input, from any PC, Mac, DVD player, tablet, camcorder and many other devices in real time. SimpleShare allows for a simple plug-and-play installation with no software, downloads, or network management required, making it incredibly user-friendly for anyone to implement without burdening the IT department. Users can also switch between up to 254 presenters with the click of a button.

The new Mondopad all-in-one display models will address business needs across every market segment. InFocus’s updated Mondopad solution lineup will offer a fresh, user-friendly design and interface, designed to enable businesses to work together more efficiently by collaborating visually, video conferencing, and capturing and sharing information to bridge information gaps. They are Mondopad Ultra, Mondopad Launch and Mondopad Access.

With the new Mondopad mobile companion application from InFocus, Mondopad users can instantly log into their Office365 accounts and access all their online data. Walk in to a room and tap the button on the app for the Mondopad in front of you. Enter the Mondopad Security PIN to prove you are in the same physical room. The user’s Office account log-in is automatically sent to the Mondopad, which will log into your Office365 account in just seconds. Once logged in, you can access OneDrive files, your Outlook email, and any of the other tools in Office365. Once released, the Mondopad mobile companion app will be available for free from either the Google Play Store for Android devices or the AppStore for iOS/iPhone users.

Find out more about SimpleShare here, new Mondopads here.

You can hear Loren Shaw, Vice President, Marketing at InFocus talk about SimpleShare, Mondopad and more on ‘The AV Life’ Episode 85.

10. Ricoh – IBM Watson-powered Interactive Flat Panels/ Ricoh Live Technical Support (RLTS)

In a world of (more and more) interactive whiteboards and flat panel displays, any manufacturer that wants to differentiate at this point should have a transformative workplace story to tell – Ricoh and IBM have done just that with Watson AI. Late last year, IBM and Ricoh announced the new Ricoh cognitive-enabled interactive flat panel display (IFPD) which uses IBM’s Watson intelligence and voice technologies to actively support people in meetings by responding to commands, taking notes and actions and even translating into other languages.

The Intelligent Workplace Solution leverages IBM Watson IoT and Ricoh’s easy-to-use IFPD’s to change the way teams meet and collaborate through new intuitive features that can be accessed using natural voice. It makes sure that Watson doesn’t just listen, but is an active meeting participant, using real-time analytics to help guide discussions so teams can make faster, better and more informed decisions.

Ricoh Live Technical Support (RLTS) offers immediate, on-demand user support at the push of a button from Ricoh’s compatible IFPDs. This live video feed initiates an engagement with a U.S.-based Ricoh remote support agent who can walk employees through the answers to questions, or simply take remote control of the IFPD to complete the desired task. The availability of immediate assistance gives employees the confidence to utilize the Ricoh collaboration tools they have at hand, benefiting overall workplace productivity.

Find out more here.

Here are the Next Ten.

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With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk and Convergent Week. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosscorey/.