InfoComm 2019 took over Orlando, Florida June 12th– 14th and brought all the dazzle and pizzazz that is expected from the audio and visual arena. From Sony’s massive Cinema Screen beaming out the sharp, brilliant colors of carnival samba dancers to Bose’s heart pounding, catchy beats pumping from their crisp loudspeakers and amplifiers to Intel’s demonstration of the impressive Unite® platform that dims lights, frosts office room windows, and overall awes with its futuristic features, InfoComm really brought it.
The show was produced by the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). David Labuskes, AVIXA CEO, said, “There’s value in creating experiences through technology–experiences that lead to better outcomes, whether they’ve enhanced communication, entertainment, or education.” He added, “AV integration is a craft guided by the science of sight and sound, activated by new technology, and fully realized by so many of the dedicated specialists joining us at InfoComm 2019.” While the concentration of the show was on the likes of digital signage, audio equipment, video production, and AV infrastructure, there was a surprising showing of meeting room experiences, telephony and VoIP systems, Smart Office services, and collaboration solutions.
One exhibitor whose booth was exceptionally busy was Crestron Electronics. A leader in technological innovation since 1971, Crestron’s traditional focus has been promoting and developing AV and automation technologies designed for enterprise rooms. Over the years, they diversified their offerings to include integrated lighting systems, climate control, control surfaces, roller shade systems, and work station solutions to broaden their footprint and move into the Smart Office space. Crestron Applications Engineer, Kenneth Fournier, believes that AV and IT are rapidly blending. He said, “AV and IT are no longer separate. Everything is on the same network, so we’re now building from the IT standpoint.” This observation was repeated by other exhibiting representatives. Nineteen booths at the show were expressly listed under “Managed Services.” Stand-outs were Field Nation, HP, Ingram Micro, and Nortek Security & Control. These vendors incorporate all technologies into the field of information technology, demonstrating that convergence has passed the litmus test and MSPs are fulfilling significant roles in all technology sectors.
At InfoComm 2019, imaging technology companies were well represented, promoting their far-reaching applications and solutions that are outside the mere scope of print and document management. Epson, Canon, HP, Ricoh, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba were all on hand.
Sharp’s Bob Madaio, VP of Marketing, and Steve Brauner, Sr. Product Manager, were happy to provide a show and tell of their company’s new Smart Office Enterprise Solution. Madaio explained,
If you look at our displays and all the things we’re doing here, IT and Smart Office are coming together in so many ways. The soon-to-be-launched Windows collaboration display is a great example of marrying AV and IT together because it all relies on the network. The display is a wonderful show of how tools that people use to connect, communicate, and collaborate are coming together in the office. I keep looking at why we are doing all this. Why are we building all these displays for offices? Why are we making sure our copiers and printers are connected? We’re really just trying to provide people better insights into their offices and daily lives.
Brauner picked up the conversation by pointing out that Sharp’s virtual, modern Smart Office was being demoed, accentuating the show’s theme, ‘connect, communicate, and collaborate.’ Three distinct areas within the booth featured the best of what an integrated, Smart space looks like; a notable 8K reception lobby, a 4K interactive corporate boardroom and break room, and compact huddle spaces equipped with platform, wireless connectivity. “Adding more functionality and versatility are significant components in making the workplace Smart,” said Brauner.
InfoComm 2019 vendors delivered stunning visuals, high-performance audio, cutting edge innovation, and well thought out seminars and workshops. The featured intelligent devices left no doubt that the AV space is entering a new era of transformation, enlightenment, immersion, and collaboration. Managing platforms, cloud, networks, mobility, and big data no longer fit only in the IT professional’s portfolio of services. AV professionals are also engaging those enterprises. As noted by so many at the conference, AV and IT are no longer separate.