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InfoComm Wrap-Up: An Oasis Of Innovation

Las Vegas, NV -- Things really are hotter in the desert. Preliminary figures from the International Communications Industries Association (ICIA) show that InfoComm 2005 broke attendance records during last month's convention in Las Vegas. Its 25,240 preliminary registrations exceeded total attendance from 2004 by more than 10 percent.

The InfoComm show floor included 725 exhibitors, a 12 percent increase over last year's show and another record.

Let's Get Visual

While there were a number of new visual presenters on the show floor, at least two models were above the show floor. WolfVision introduced its latest ceiling visualizers, the VZ-C32 (with a 3-CCD progressive scan camera) and VZ-C12 (with a 1-CCD camera). The upgraded units feature new lenses that boast 64x zoom (16x optical plus 4x digital), increased light output, and one-touch auto focus. You can also switch between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, and the synchronized light field changes aspect ratio automatically when you switch your output.

Lumens showed its new PS600 visual presenter, which features a camera image that can be rotated 90, 180 and 270 degrees. The high-end unit offers 20 fps imagery with a new "automatic step-zoom" function to provide a better look at printed documents.

Targeting the education market, Samsung introduced the SDP-850. It provides 42x zoom (14x optical and 3x digital zoom), XGA resolution and image freeze. There's also an optional lightbox (the unit does include a light attached to the unit's arm), and an SVGA version, the SVP-5300, is also available.

Touch And Go

For classroom and conference room AV control, there was an abundance of choices at InfoComm. Crestron showcased the new FlipTop touchpanel. It looks like any other flush-mount tabletop unit, but it opens to reveal a 3.6-inch touchscreen as well as AC power and computer connections. (Two microphone inputs are also available below the table surface.) The color panel can be customized to control a variety of AV components, such as lights, screens and DVD players, and 10 programmable push buttons surround the screen.

AMX got attendees excited about light switches. Of course, the new Mio Modero Series of keypads control more than just the lights, and are available in a variety of colors and styles, as well as in single and double gang configurations. The Mio Modero Classic provides solid, engraved buttons, while the Prestige features clear buttons that can be custom labeled.