By Corey Moss
Here are the First Ten.
11. SDVoE Alliance & Audinate Collaborate on Integrated Audio and Video Control Platform
On the first day of InfoComm 2018, SDVoE™ Alliance and Audinate, developer of the leading audio networking technology Dante, announced their collaboration on an integrated AV control environment. In addition, Audinate joined the SDVoE Alliance as a contributing member. It’s well known that Dante distributes a virtually unlimited number of high-quality, uncompressed audio channels across IP networks and is the de facto audio networking choice for professional audio manufacturers.
“We have long heard from our customers that they want an integrated, interoperable way to control their video over IP alongside their Dante audio,” stated Lee Ellison, CEO of Audinate. “Our partnership with the SDVoE Alliance and our demonstration of an integrated control platform at InfoComm is the first step toward making this interoperable IP audio and video experience a reality.”
“Audinate’s Dante audio over IP solution won the race to be the standard technology for moving audio across an IT network without compromise,” said Justin Kennington, president of the SDVoE Alliance. “The SDVoE Alliance is proud to be the only industry organization promoting the same, no-compromise performance in the realm of video over IP. The synergies that will be created by melding the SDVoE platform and the ubiquity of Dante are huge. The entire AV industry will benefit from this partnership.”
Listen to Brad Price, Senior Product Manager at Audinate talk about this and more on ‘The AV Life’ Episode 85 Part 2.
12. Crestron/Zoom Partnership
Being in the AV industry for 20+ years now, it’s no doubt at all that Crestron has been a major part of my existence as my career began in commercial integration sales. As for Zoom, I became a Zoom user in early 2013 as I had gotten tired of the videoconferencing application I had been using, and one day a friend said let’s check this out. We did, and the rest as they say is history. Crestron and Zoom have built a major partnership, one of the more visible in the AV industry.
At InfoComm 2017, Crestron and Zoom announced their partnership, Zoom offering an integrated solution for AV presentation, conferencing, and collaboration with the Crestron Mercury conferencing system. At InfoComm 2018, this partnership came to the forefront for both companies as Crestron announced an extension of their relationship to offer an integrated solution for AV presentation, conferencing, and collaboration beyond the Crestron Mercury experience to larger, integrated spaces, with the TSW Touch Screen line. With the expanded partnership, Crestron and Zoom are able to integrate the entire Crestron ecosystem of control; including DM NVX, AV, fully integrated-audio, lighting, and shades with the native Zoom Rooms experience.
Listen to this recent episode of Convergent Tech Talk – my guests are Joe Sarrasin and Jimmy Walker with Crestron, and Wayne Driggers with Zoom.
13. Nureva Wall WM480i system/Dual HDL300 (& Nancy Knowlton)
I talk about meteoric rises in the AV industry, and it just so happens my two top CEO picks are at the helm of two of those companies – in this case Nancy Knowlton, President and CEO at Nureva. Nureva began in 2012 – Nancy and David Martin (the company CTO), well-known for co-founding SMART Technologies, built the company up from their first business product Span ideation system, introduced (with massive buzz) at InfoComm 2015, to a major industry profile with two products garnering mass market attention in 2018 – the Nureva Wall WM408i system and the HDL300 (now available as Dual HDL300) audio conferencing system, along with an updated version of Nureva Room Manager software. This all to go with their continuously well thought out dealer growth strategy.
Nureva Wall WM408i system (launched at ISE 2018) combines a high-definition ultra-short-throw projector with a projected capacitive multitouch surface to create an expansive interactive working space that supports a wide range of collaborative processes and activities. The tightly integrated system delivers an advanced multitouch experience in nearly any space, regardless of the wall type or lighting. The new system also incorporates an automated start-up experience through presence detection.
Nureva announced the release of its Dual HDL300 audio conferencing system prior to InfoComm 2018, with early units shipping in June and general availability in July. The system supports large dynamic spaces up to 30′ x 50′ (9.14 x 15.24 m) and is the second model in the HDL300 audio conferencing system product line, first introduced in June 2017. Powered by breakthrough Microphone Mist™ technology, the Dual HDL300 system fills a room with up to 16,384 virtual microphones that pick up sound throughout the space, regardless of where in-room meeting participants are standing or the direction they are facing.
Find out more about the Nureva Wall WM408i system (along with shipping) here, and the Dual HDL300 audio conferencing system (along with shipping) here. I talked with Adrian Doughty, National Sales Manager at Nureva on The Show Corner – Post Show.
14. Altia Systems – Intelligent Vision 2.0 Suite
I’ve known Altia Systems President and CEO Aurangzeb Khan for almost two years now, and I said from the very start when witnessing he and members of his team on their Panacast camera during our first video conference (current model is Panacast 2 below), it was a product that I saw as a potential disruptor in the market. That’s when I talked disruption — today, their Intelligent Vision 2.0 Suite of AI Products for Panacast is indeed tranformative, in the sense that the industry is in deep discussion of seeing more AI solutions to successfully drive end user outcomes.
The Intelligent Vision 2.0 suite of products, based on a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, improve participants’ collaboration experience by delivering accurate information that automates workflows – by accurately counting people, creating “big data” for data science applications through industry-first Intel Architecture based intelligence. The AI head detector CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) has been developed and trained on PanaCast in collaboration with Intel. These technologies have been developed with customers’ privacy as the first and foremost requirement. The device stores no information, only provides numerical data, and that too only on demand.
“Modern collaboration requires 100% video coverage and, concurrently, 100% intelligent sensing. Single cameras miss a lot of the space because of their limited field of view and create unnatural distortion when extending the field of view optically, making them infeasible for modern AI based solutions,” said Aurangzeb Khan, President and CEO of Altia Systems. “This new suite of products lets you see and make sense of the video experience for people in real time, enabling companies to improve participants’ collaboration experience via autonomous, intelligent action, and to create data sets which lead to further workflow automation and provide the basis for sound decision-making.”
15. Avocor and Microsoft partnership
I have known Dana Corey, GM & VP of Sales at Avocor for a while now, and when we talked earlier this year it was apparent that he was excited about great potential for Avocor in 2018. I have watched the company’s growth since their beginning in the industry in 2016, and at ISE 2018 Avocor announced that they were teaming with Zoom to bring advanced video conferencing on large interactive displays with Zoom Rooms for Touch. At this year’s InfoComm, the big announcement involved Microsoft.
Avocor announced that it is building Windows collaboration displays that feature their advanced touchscreen technologies to enhance collaboration and enable teamwork. The new collaboration displays are fully compatible with Windows 10 and deliver the power and productivity of Office 365 and Microsoft Teams at room scale. They offer people new ways to connect, collaborate and deliver results.
“Avocor is changing how people can collaborate and working with a partner like Microsoft accelerates the customer experience so it’s easy and effective,” said Scott Hix, CEO Avocor. “Windows collaboration display products by Avocor will be an ideal solution for huddle spaces, offices and meeting rooms and seamlessly integrate into any Enterprise.”
You can find out more here.
16. Lighthouse Technologies – Peak Luminance Enhancement (PLE)
I visited with Lighthouse Technologies, a leader in LED video display technology that develops, manufactures, and markets LED video display solutions for multiple indoor & outdoor applications, media and entertainment events, and sports arenas first thing on day three. Along with their employees at the booth, I also had a talk with Alan Brawn, Principal of Brawn Consulting and Director of ISF Commercial and the Digital Signage Experts Group discussing the company, and their latest technology advancement.
Peak Luminance Enhancement (PLE) increases peak luminance and enables higher contrast ratios and a wider color space through proprietary High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. HDR is a content and display standard that provides performance guidelines for manufacturers to follow – Lighthouse differentiates itself with the introduction of their proprietary PLE to enhance the HDR experience.
- PLE analyzes incoming video to locate bright areas in the image (within 3-7 pixels) that surround areas that are a lower level of brightness
- PLE then adapts the gamut curve to enhance luminance of bright areas approximately 20% – providing superior HDR and noticeably higher contrast levels
17. Mimo Monitors Partners with Tanvas Technology and Brightsign
I’ve known David Anderson, President at Mimo Monitors for a couple of years now, met him for the first time at DSE 2018, and I’ve been very impressed with how they continue to innovate and expand in the small touch display market. These partnerships are interesting, one very much so (Tanvas) – and David did admit to me when talking with him last week that Tanvas is still a bit of wait and see proposition in terms of what the future holds, however Brightsign is certainly the here and now.
Tanvas Technology is a company which utilizes haptics and touchscreen technology to allow customers to feel texture through the screen, cultivating a rich and powerful experience. TanvasTouch technology (invented by haptics pioneers Ed Colgate and Michael Peshkin in the Neuroscience and Robotics Lab at Northwestern University) utilizes electrostatics to control friction and create a virtual touchable canvas.
Mimo Monitors’ partnership with digital signage media leader Brightsign creates an all-encompassing digital signage solution that works right out of the box. You get the screen and media player as one, making it easy to deploy and scale – the Mimo Vue with BrightSign Built-In. The innovative, intuitive display will come equipped with BrightSign’s high-performance platform – just take it out of the box, and it’s ready to go.
18. QSC – Premium Business Music (also the Founders)
When I was in commercial AV integration, QSC was known for amplifiers and speakers first and foremost. In fact, part of this transformative pick is about Pat Quilter, John Andrews and Barry Andrews, who received the Adelle De Berri Pioneer of AV Award as they founded a company that would over time continue to transform the world of audio – along with video and control with Q-SYS, which made my Top Picks in 2015.
Now, in considering what QSC has brought to the table this year, after again placing the company in my top picks in 2017 (#1 with QSC Enterprise Cores/Q-SYS Realtime OS running on standard Dell PowerEdge server), I went with the Premium Business Music offering, as a dedicated music portfolio solution for business really speaks volumes (pun intended…).
Prior to InfoComm 2018, QSC introduced a portfolio of Premium Business Music Solutions, including multi-zone mixers, attractive wall controllers, configurable multi-channel amplifiers, SUB/SAT loudspeakers, as well as accompanying installation and management apps for easy configuration and system management.
“For over 50 years, QSC has been the trusted professional brand for corporate meeting rooms, cinema, sports stadiums, theme parks and everything in between,” says David Fuller, Senior Director Product Development, QSC. “When developing this portfolio, we worked closely with key influencers to really understand the needs of background and foreground music installations.”
Find out more here.
19. Powersoft – DEVA Networked audio
I met with Powersoft several years back and was introduced to DEVA – and what I was most impressed with was how DEVA could connect to a config/control device such as a tablet or smartphone, or to a network-connected PC in many ways – the connection method could be both wired (via Ethernet) or wireless, either short-range (e.g. WiFi, Bluetooth) or long-range (e.g. GSM,GPRS, UMTS). Fast forward to InfoComm 2018, and Powersoft Deva has made my list.
Here, I will point to a recent application as the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden adopted the advanced messaging, wireless and security capabilities of Powersoft’s DEVA platform. The Cincinnati Zoo emphasizes education, outreach, conservation, and giving every visitor a unique experience with wildlife that they would not have anywhere else. What the zoo lacked until recently though was a reliable audio system for delivering messages throughout its sprawling campus.
In addition to providing pristine sounding music throughout the zoo campus, the new multi-point DEVA system also helps with communication and messaging challenges: “With as many guests as the zoo attracts, we recognized the need for the paging system that could clearly and effectively deliver messages throughout our space,” said Dutch Mulholland, IT / AV Director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
Mulholland’s first exposure to DEVA was at InfoComm three years ago. “I immediately saw the potential of all this in a wireless unit,” he said. “I saw it again there last year and was really impressed with its current capabilities, so we decided to investigate it as a possible solution for our security messaging needs.” Mulholland and his team built a heat map of their wireless access point coverage in the zoo and correlated that with projected DEVA coverage and determined that it would be a viable solution.
And interestingly enough, three years ago at InfoComm 2015 was my first view of DEVA as well – where I also placed it in my Disruptive Top Picks at the show.
Find out more about Powersoft’s DEVA here.
20. Logitech – Rally
Logitech, long know for manufacturing computer peripherals, came to InfoComm several years back to enter the video collaboration space for small and huddle room environments. As Logitech has continued to be a key name in huddle and small rooms business collaboration, Rally, introduced to attendees at InfoComm 2018, immediately makes a lot of sense in the medium to large room scenario. I met with Joan Vandermate, Head of Marketing, Collaboration Business Unit and Robin Raulf-Sager, Global Communications, Video Solutions at the show, both whom I’ve known for quite a while now, and we talked about Rally being an excellent larger room space play. I even said that a customer could truly rely on two things – the Logitech name, and Logitech quality.
Logitech Rally delivers studio-quality video, unmatched vocal clarity, and RightSense™ automation for better, more natural meetings with most any software-based video conferencing service. Finished in matte black with slate gray metal accents, Rally components deliver elite performance and exceptional versatility with sleek style.
Rally sets a standard for video quality, vocal clarity, industrial design, and meeting automation. Modular audio, expansive PTZ capabilities, and Ultra-HD video are combined with Logitech’s RightSense™ technologies that automatically frame human figures and optimize color and luminance for human faces.
Find out more here.
The Bonuses are coming.
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/.