As I reviewed my mental notes from InfoComm 2022, five trends coalesced. In the coming days, I will dive deeper into some of these topics, but I wanted to share this top-level with you. There were 557 exhibitors, and I could only see a fraction of them. I would love to hear from you about what trends you saw.
Can You Say Collaboration?
Of the 557 exhibitors listed on the InfoComm22 site, 201 were listed as having conferencing and collaboration solutions. Frankly, I’m surprised it was that few.
Companies known for their audio products showed cameras and integrated audio and video bars for the first time. Not yet seen in the US, Biamp presented its line of Parlé audio and video conferencing bars, Vidi conferencing cameras, and MuxLab’s MuxMeet Videobar came out of the shadows. And for companies such as Epson that do not have an integrated video conferencing product, they are working with Microsoft and partnering with companies such as Jabra to offer a complete Teams Rooms solution.
Furniture companies such as Salamander have designed tables to maximize the viewing angle of meeting participants. Its Infiniti table is wedge-shaped, making it easy for the far end to see everyone seated.
Bullish on Shipping
Supply chain issues are a fact of life in every industry and will continue for the foreseeable future. Despite that, many manufacturers were broadcasting that they have products in stock and shipping. Yamaha UC wanted to ensure you didn’t miss that message, so the staff was wearing flashing buttons “We Have Stock.”
AtlasIED’s vice president of Sales, Michael Peveler, was quick to point out that except for three Dante-enabled speakers which will be available in Q4, everything else they were showing in the booth was in stock and shipping including the new Dante amplifier.
The big news at ZeeVee was that its two new AV over IP products would be shipping within 30 days of the show.
Solutions, Not Boxes
Crestron, Kramer, Legrand AV, and Panasonic Connect booths were notably different at InfoComm 2022 than in the past. These booths were thoughtfully designed to present complete solutions representing specific applications or room layouts. Previous booth tours would comprise nicely presented black boxes with a litany of alphanumerics representing the model number and a bullet list of features. Kudos to these companies and others that are moving toward the ecosystem narrative versus the pieces and parts.
Virtual Production / Extended Reality
While at InfoComm, I went camping (twice) and surfed a digital wave. Absen, INFiLED, and Planar showed the power of virtual production / extended reality. The use of these virtual LED backgrounds in movie production is poised to save billions of dollars in location shooting as well as help actors feel present in the filming rather than pretending with a green screen.
More importantly for our industry, the use of VR/ER has the potential to increase engagement in education and corporate presentations.
Audio Comes First in AV
Finally, audio is getting its due. Holger Stoltze, Yamaha UC’s senior director of technical sales and marketing at Yamaha UC is a frequent panelist of my AV Technology New Era AV/IT webcast series. He often points out, “audio comes first in ‘AV.’”
The hybrid environment is here to stay, and clear, intelligible audio is the most important component.