AV Technology Europe
November 2017 avtechnologyeurope.com
AV TECHNOLOGY EUROPE AWARDS 2018 NEW PICCADILLY CIRCUS SCREEN INTERVIEW: MIKE BLACKMAN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE VIDEO GUIDE THE LATEST TECH
ISE 2018: THE BIGGEST & BEST YET MD Mike Blackman reveals why the next installment of the "world's biggest" AV technology trade show is not to be missed
The IP KVM People
Find out more at www.adder.com
Michael Garwood, Editor
IT’S AWARDS SEASON!
ello and welcome to the second issue created and designed exclusively to celebrate and recognise the work and achievements from those in of AVTE! Has it really been two end user AV community. Not the manufacturers, months already? It seems just not the distributors or integrators – you. yesterday that we were all huddles It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man-band, or a around my computer, champagne in corporate organisation with multiple locations. All hand, toasting one another as we sent our first categories have been designed to give everyone, edition to the printers. regardless of the business or Since then, the days have been sector they’re in, big or small, an something of a blur – not because of the champagne – but the speed “It doesn’t matter if equal opportunity of winning. You can even enter yourself if in which things have progressed you’re a one-man you feel you deserve it – we won’t with the company. tell anyone. In addition to the The reaction from the AV band or a opportunity to have your name market to the magazine, corporate with up in lights and a shiny engraved newsletters and the website (www.AVTechnologyEurope. multiple locations. winners trophy to take back to the office – the event will also be com) has been overwhelming, Everyone has an a great opportunity to network with companies and equal chance” with others in the AV community organisations from all over the attending ISE. world getting in touch, providing their feedback and/or offering Act fast! ideas and suggestions on things we could be However, time is short, with entries closing soon – covering and things we could be doing... which November 24th. The good news is that it’s really brings me nicely to our big news. easy to enter. Simply go online, select a category and fill out the form. Full details on the categories, list of And the winner is...you awards, ticket and sponsorship information and Incase you missed our recent announcement online, contact information are displayed on pages 34-35. AVTE is soon to hold its first ever awards night. The We look foward to seeing you there. AV Technology Europe Awards will take place on Enjoy the magazine. February 7th during ISE 2018 in Amsterdam. email@example.com Just like the magazine, website, newsletters – @avtechnologyeurope everything we do – the AVTE Awards have been
• Laser Phosphor Technology • 20,000 Hours Lifespan • 0.23 Ultra-Short Throw • Full HD 1080p www.viewsonic.com
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INVENTORY Editor: Michael Garwood firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6022
Content director: James McKeown email@example.com Sales manager: Gurpreet Purewal firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6029 Account manager: Mark Walsh email@example.com +44 20 3871 7377 Production manager: Jason Dowie firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 3829 2617 Contributors: Heather McLean, Ian McMurray, Carolyn Heinze, Louise Hutchinson-Chatburn, Evelyn Timson
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Print ISSN: 2050-6104 Online ISSN: 2052-2401 November 2017
ISE 2018 PREVIEW: Now on its 15th edition – ISE is now the biggest AV show on earth. AVTE sat down with its MD Mike Blackman to discuss the show’s evolution and its value to the market
AV IN ACTION: Case study on how AV technology is helping to ensure the next generation of medical professionals are ready to face whatever the public throws at them
CORPORATE VIDEO: The second of our In Focus series provides a comprehensive guide to producing a company video – maximisig results, and getting value for your money
EYE ON RETAIL: Attracting the attentions of customers and enticing them into a store is vital to high street retailers. Kino-mo’s new 3D holographic display is impossible to ignore
Regulars 8 Industry Insights
45 Eye on Recruitment 58 Eye on Retail
48 Tech Guide 66 Brief Encounter 5
HARNESSING THE POWER OF VIDEO IN THE CORPORATE WORLD 5 Ways Video is Transforming Corporate Communications FRQĂ€JXUHGDQGFRQWUROOHGHQVXULQJWKH correct content is delivered to each recipient.
2 Sharing information, motivating staff and providing ongoing training are all key to the success of corporate enterprises. With todayâ€™s employees deluged by meetings and email, YLGHRLVEHFRPLQJDQLQFUHDVLQJO\HIĂ€FLHQW way to communicate more effectively with staff, wherever they are located. +HUHZHH[SORUHĂ€YHNH\FRPPXQLFDWLRQ challenges facing enterprises today, and how IP video and digital signage solutions can help address them, increase employee engagement and improve overall business operations.
Aid critical decision-making High-pressure industries often need to react quickly to changing circumstances, and businesses of all sizes are realising that having constant access to live news is critical to their success. More companies are choosing to stream live TV and video around their premises â€“ not just to displays, but also straight to desktops and mobiles â€“ to keep staff continually informed and aid critical decision-making. IP video (aka IPTV) is modern, scalable and future-proof, enabling an organisation to distribute terrestrial and satellite television and radio, Video on Demand, digital signage and web content to any screen throughout an RIĂ€FH&KDQQHOVFDQEHFHQWUDOO\PDQDJHG
Increase visitor and employee engagement with digital signage Integrated IP video and digital signage is a powerful communications vehicle for sharing up-to-the-minute corporate information, video and messaging with employees and visitors in an impactful way. Strategic placement of signage screens WKURXJKRXWWKHEXVLHVWSDUWVRIWKHRIĂ€FHVXFK DVLQWKHFDQWHHQPDLQRIĂ€FHDUHDVUHFHSWLRQ and hallways can help ensure communications have the broadest reach.
Improve collaboration with ďŹ‚exible and mobile working The very nature of the workplace is changing at a tremendous pace. With FKDOOHQJHVOLNHĂ€QGLQJVSHFLDOLVHGWDOHQW catering to an on-demand workforce DQGDFFRPPRGDWLQJPRUHĂ H[LEOHZRUN environments, organisations are having to rethink how they recruit, retain, train and grow their workforce to achieve future success. Keeping staff up-to-date in a globallydispersed organisation is a case in point. Town hall meetings, for example, are critical to communicating a companyâ€™s direction; when every employee can participate in the live event, theyâ€™re more likely to feel involved, engaged and an integral part of an organisation. Remote workers and a growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture also means enterprises need to deliver a seamless experience on a variety of mobile devices to improve the reach of internal communications. With an IP video system, organisations can deliver high-quality video content optimised for a range of mobile devices and distributed beyond the constraints of the corporate wired network via a WAN, Wi-Fi and the Internet.
Enhance staﬀ training with ondemand video Employees feel engaged and motivated when their employers invest in developing their skills. When large numbers of employees need to undertake regular training, trying to coordinate in person is not always possible, so making use of video is a natural alternative. IP video can provide a cost-effective and ÁH[LEOHVROXWLRQE\DUFKLYLQJOHDUQLQJPDWHULDOV and corporate updates for on-demand playback. Live training events can also be broadcast to multiple locations, saving the need IRUHPSOR\HHVWRWUDYHOWRDVSHFLÀFYHQXH
ArtioSign® Digital Signage + IPTV in One Create. Manage. Display.
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ArtioSign is Exterity’s cost-effective and flexible digital signage application that integrates seamlessly with Exterity’s IP video solution. Combine TV and video with news, graphics and tailored messages on one screen — all managed and scheduled automatically from a central point. Signage layouts can also be updated in real time from the desktop, iPad or tablet. Digital Signage in the corporate office enables you to: • Welcome visitors upon arrival and provide wayfinding • Update employees with company news in real time • Reinforce corporate messaging and company vision • Communicate emergency messaging quickly • Display meeting room availability • Recognise employee contributions and achievements • Display menu boards in the cafeteria • Show local weather, news or traffic updates
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THE IMPACT OF AI ON AV The industry is about to get a whole lot smarter
I is all around us. Both Google Home noises are cancelled out and prevented from and Amazon Echo aim to make our interrupting a meeting. houses smarter, while in the NoiseBlock features on a number of our workplace we can expect to see more products, including our most recent release, the and more AI integrated into our daily Polycom Trio 8500, and it’s changing the way tasks. AR is making great strides in the consumer users conference and in some instances their space, in our mobile lives in particular, and we can whereabouts, making them far more efficient. expect this to start to infiltrate the business Another example Polycom has developed is the workplace in the coming year. EagleEye Director II. With this technology, two First of all, let’s take a look at what we mean by cameras on the top of the video screen locates ‘Artificial Intelligence”. AI can refer to the exactly who is speaking at any given time. Once simulations of intelligent these cameras have identified the behaviour in computers or the speaker, the camera then zooms in ability for them to imitate and and tracks them around the room anticipate human behaviour. and follows their every move “AI technologies AI is making its way into the while they are talking. This conferencing space, and as provides a feeling that the person will be ‘virtually technology continues to develop on the other end of the pervaisive’ in and evolve, you can expect to see connection is fully involved in the more and more AI applications almost every new meeting. It also eliminates the become available. problem of having a meeting software product broken up by people when Analyst group Gartner predicts that by 2020, AI technologies will stepping away from the camera, and service” be “virtually pervasive in almost or having to rearrange the camera every new software product and or office furniture according to service” and will be a top five changing spokespeople. investment priority for almost a Our working practices are third (30 per cent) of CIOs. evolving to be less location-dependent. As a result, we are going to get used to even more feature-rich Early AI developments conferencing to empower this. Polycom’s most Let’s take a look at the components already recent global study found that nearly half (47 per available to support the early stages of AI in the cent) of professionals use video collaboration conferencing space. technology at least once a day, and there is At Polycom, we’ve developed a technology overwhelming consensus that voice and video called NoiseBlock, a feature that detects human conferencing is important to drive productivity at voice and distinguishes it from non-human sounds, work. AI can use these building blocks to such as paper rustling. This means that disruptive automatically adapt the collaboration application Andrew Hug is Vice President, Systems Engineers, EMEA for Polycom
<Below: Pepper is already being used to help educate children, assist retail customers and check people in to hotels using natural language
to diverse environments and provide effective and ‘comfortable’ communications.
Augmented Reality (AR) will definitely play a role in video conferencing going forward as collaboration technology evolves. The latest The future of AI developments in content collaboration already AV technology vendors are looking at how AI can provide a far more immersive experience. For be further deployed in their products, but it won’t example, Polycom’s Pano, which launched this be ‘technology for technology’s year, allows up to four separate sake’, users will see tangible streams to be shared on screen “Augmented business benefits rather than ‘nice from mobile devices, eliminating reality (AR) will to haves’. the need for multiple screens and Developments in the audio confusion for participants. definitely play a space will complement solid The future is bright for AI and role in video development in the video space, AR in conferencing. The key for where we will see in-meeting IT and HR directors, and C-level conferencing as support around facial recognition executives is to keep abreast of collaboration tech emerging technologies open to and analytics – meaning more automatic customisation and them and understand how they evolves” personalisation for users. We are could positively impact their already seeing transcript organisation’s productivity. It is technology emerging, which can identify speakers important for decision makers to recognise that and provide a breakdown of the conversation, new technology is creating with collaboration, eliminating the need to take notes. simplification and ultimately ease at its core. They We can even expect to see Natural Language can then open discussions with their resellers and Processing (NLP) coming into play, removing systems integrators to help them future-proof their language barriers. AV facilities.
4K – LET’S MAKE SOMETHING CLEAR A case for digital light processing (DLP) laser projectors
he introduction of 4K projectors include anyone who wishes to eliminate the brings a remarkably bright, highly variable performance, cost and service interruption detailed solution for discerning that lamp replacement demands. Lamps age over large-screen applications. Installations, their life of 500-2000 hours, typically producing where both image detail and image roughly half of their original illumination at the stability are critical, will directly benefit from the end. This means customers with lamp-based 4K advanced resolution together with a solid-state projectors actually experience projectors that illumination platform. produce lumens far below their Additionally, applications where initial spec in a cycle that repeats image uniformity is critical, such with every lamp replacement. If as venues employing the same you plotted that on a lumen Laser projectors content across numerous screens maintenance chart, you would see provide 20,000 simultaneously, will immediately a pretty dramatic lumen rollerrealise value from the 4K lasers hours or more of coaster. The laser illumination consistent solid-state illumination system within the laser projectors performance – the offer much more stable lumen performance. In environments where the projector will be performance, with lumens equivalent to installed in hard-to-access following a very linear seven years of locations, the impressive limited performance curve from first use maintenance of the range of 4K through 20,000 hours. No roller operation laser projectors will save both coaster in lumen performance. time and maintenance costs – an Stable, predictable, reliable. often overlooked hidden cost. Laser-phosphor illumination is The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) here to stay because it offers the customer definition of 4K Ultra HD resolution states the significant advantages, these include: display must have at least eight million pixels on screen. For the 4K UHD content to be enjoyed as Laser vs lamp accurately as possible, all 8M pixels must be • Long lasting, predictable brightness, providing displayed, but not all 4K projectors are equal. 20,000 hours or more performance – that’s equivalent to seven years of operation, 365 days Laser Phosphor per years, 8-hours per day. When one thinks of lasers, one thinks immediately • Up to four times less cost per hour for laserof eye safety; however, the safety of a laserphosphor versus lamp based projectors offering phosphor illumination system is no different than similar brightness. that of a lamp based system and no special • An increased warranty cover is typically offered regulations or waivers are required. to customers that use laser-phosphor illuminated Consumers for laser illuminated products products compared to those of a lamp.
Mark Wadsworth is International Marketing Manager for Digital Projection
Discover the unseen Revolutionizing the LCD video wall experience
Barco UniSee With the modular Barco UniSee platform, Barco is optimizing the LCD video wall now and in the future. We are introducing an innovative mounting structure, which allows easy installation and service of the platform modules. Combining this with our NoGap LCD video wall, boasting an extremely reliable image and unmatched uniformity, Barco UniSee offers a visual experience beyond any other LCD video wall on the planet. Watch the video on www.barco.com/unisee
BEHIND THE SCREENS OF PICCADILLY LIGHTS Hailed as the most technically advanced in the world, the new Piccadilly Screen is now live â€“ and it knows more about you than you might think
FEATURE SCREEN SPECIFICATIONS: Size: (width by height) 44.62 x 17.56 metres Resolution: (width by height) 5,490 x 2,160 pixels Made up of: 5,500 individual LED tiles Total area: 783.5 square metres Screen manufacturer: Daktronics Colour capacity: 281 trillion colours Operational time: 24 hours Content management systems: Scala (with custom updates) Connection: Dedicated 200mb fibre line Longevity: Each LED tile will last 100,000 hours Waterproof? All modules are IP 67 rated
BRANDS: Q Hyundai Q Coca Cola Q Samsung Q L’Oreal Q eBay/Hunter
or more than 100 years, Piccadilly Circus has been home to one of the most iconic landmarks and lucrative advertising spaces on the planet – the so called, London Lights. With a history of displaying electronic ads dating back to 1908 (Perrier being the first), the small corner of London, which links Regent Street and Shaftsbury Avenue, see’s more than 72 million people annually caught in its glare – with advertisers paying north of £4 million a year to make their presence known. However, since January of this year, tourists have been left wanting, with the famous old site
undergoing its biggest ever upgrade, which saw all six displays ripped down and replaced with a single “state of the art” 783 square metre 4K screen. “It’s probably the most technically advanced screen in the world,” beamed Richard Malton, the group-marketing director of Ocean Outdoor, who managed the project. “The Piccadilly lights have evolved a lot over the years, from the fabulous neon to where it was a year ago, which was basically six individual screens. “All of those screens were different in their age, their design and their capabilities. It had started to look a little bit tired. This was one of the motivations to review and renew it.”
<More than 100 million people pass through Piccadilly Circus each year
‘The screen is able to tell how many people are in the area, if they’re male or female, their age, if they have facial hair and even if they’re happy or sad’
DID YOU KNOW? Q The first sign was for Perrier in 1908. Since then, brands that have advertised at Piccadilly Lights include: BP, Canon, Cinzano, Coca Cola, Fujifilm, Hyundai, McDonalds, Panasonic, Samsung, Schweppes and TDK. Q Piccadilly Lights has in the past only been turned off during World War II, for Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. Q Ocean Outdoor controls and manage all content on the screen from its offices – just five minutes away from the site, but also remotely. Q The digital out of home (DOOH) market, was valued at $12.52 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $26.21 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 10.7 per cent during the forecast period Source: Markets and Markets
Out with the old Ocean, a specialist in ‘out of home’ digital marketing (think screens instead of billboards), was handed the gig having worked closely with landowners Landsec on a number of other “key” sites dotted around London. The firm, which is based just five minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus – and manages 200 screens across the UK – felt that the site was not maximising its potential, both in terms of revenues and value for its advertisers. Back to the future With strict obligations from both Landsec and Westminster Council, to retain its historic look – Ocean selected South Dakota based Daktronics to build the new screen, which is made up of more than 5,500 individual LED tiles. Electronic Display Services (EDS) provided the installation. Using a purpose built platform, Ocean has recreated the six ad spaces, but unlike before, each now receives the same level of exposure, with ads switching positions every 90 seconds. “Before we took over, it was six screens, six contracts and six different prices. Each brand had its own location, with some locations deemed to be better than others and the price reflective of that,” said Ocean Outdoor head of design David Tait. “The idea of the new screen is that it still has the six different advertising spaces, but unlike before,
they all switch around. So, whilst the six screens have become one, the traditions of Piccadilly Circus have remained intact. No longer do you have Coca-Cola in the top right. It’s a constantly moving and changing screen. Every brand is equal.” All ads created equal Malton added: “By levelling the playing field it meant we could sell it in a more efficient way and maximise exposure for every brand. From a revenue point of view it makes complete sense.” In addition, each brand gets a complete takeover of the entire display for 40 seconds once every hour. The patchwork effect must remain during this process, but is reduced to four, with the largest possible section up to 550 square metres (70 per cent of the screen). “It looks fantastic,” said Tait. “Every one minute thirty, there will be a new event taking place. The large square display is designed for more motion video, whilst the others remain relatively still to avoid too much going on at once.” Getting personal In addition to the display itself, the screen also hides a series of impressive smart technologies designed to collect data and enhance value for its advertisers. Unbeknown to the public, the screen contains a series of hidden cameras, which using in-house software, automatically gather live information on
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FEATURE <Stats impressive – the new screen is the size of 1,137 50 inch TVs placed together, and covers more space than 16 double decker busses
who and what is travelling through Piccadilly Circus at any given moment.
“Piccadilly Circus is now home to what we call the world’s biggest smartphone” Richard Malton Group Marketing Director, Ocean Outdoor
<When six become one - all orginal screens have been replaced, providing greater opportunities to advertisers and boosting revenues
Facial Recognition The technology includes Ocean’s ‘Look Out’ facial recognition technology, which is able to identify the number of people in its vision, but that’s not all. It’s also able to distinguish if those people are male or female, their age to within five years, if they have facial hair, are looking at a specific ad and even judge their mind-set – i.e. if they’re happy or sad. Advetisers are encouraged to have multiple ads ready to be displayed - with the data gathered able to trigger which is most likely to generate the best value and return. “If you’re a brand that has a male product and a female product, the system is able analyse the average make up of those in its sights before making the best decision,” said Tait. “If it’s 70 percent female, it can play the female ad. The more triggers you can build into your artwork, the better.” Vehicle recognition With over 30million vehicles passing through Piccadilly annually, advertisers are also keen to maximise their impact on drivers. The cameras also include vehicle recognition technology, capabe of identifying the make, model and age of a vehicle – and even if it’s diesel, petrol, electric or hybrid. Ads can be diplayed factoring in numerous triggers. For example, if a car is older than three years, statistically, the driver is more likely to be considering an upgrade – therefore, displaying the latest model is relevant.
In addition to controlling brightness (dimming at night and brightening in sun light), sensors fitted in the screen can also act as trigger points for advertisers. Again, using vehicles as an example, if the weather is warm, a convertable might be the best option, whilst if it’s cold or hazzardous, a 4x4. “It’s all about making the best decisions based on the environment,” said Tait. However, vehicles will also tell a lot about the drivers and the wealth. “Advertising can make assumptions about people based on the value of the vehicle they’re driving,” he added. “If someone is driving a Porsche, you can probably make some assumptions about them. We had a campaign on one of our screens, which would only play out if there was a vehicle valued over £50,000 or more approaching.” Connecting with people The screen will also provide its own free wifi – network. This, whilst of use to the public, will allow advertiser to gain greater understanding of its audience from their sign-in details – but also by accessing information from (with permission) their Facebook account – just as you would when downloading an app or website. “Piccadilly Circus is home to what we call the world’s biggest smartphone in terms of its capabilities,” concluded Malton. “The opportunities for advertisers are huge and we’re working closely with them on some very exciting and creative content. You’ll see some fabulous stuff up there. We truly believe this new screen is the best on the planet.”
THE WORLD ISN’T FLAT...
NEITHER ARE LG OLED DISPLAYS LG’s incredible OLED technology creates deep blacks and unmatched contrast. Its qnlmy|jnlmy0xzujwymnsfsiņj}ngqj design makes it the right choice for creative retail displays. Let your imagination run wild and use its canvas to create curved surfaces and shaped displays.
“ONE OF THE LARGEST INSTALLATIONS WE’VE EVER COMPLETED” AVTE speaks to Daktronics head of international marketing, Jason Melby about rebuilding the Piccadilly Lights How did Daktronics get the gig? installing the 640 sections of the new display. Daktronics has a long history with Land Securities Again, the logistics of working in one of the (Landsec) and Piccadilly Lights. Over the years, world’s most heavily travelled intersections added Piccadilly Lights has evolved and reinvented itself a significant challenge to the project. many times. The technology has shifted from static The sections were housed off-site during to neon, to incandescent to LED. We have construction and delivered in batches several times provided several of the displays at Piccadilly Lights per week. The display has a very unique dating back into the early 2000s. asymmetrical curve, which required precision in We were invited to tender for the project along the delivery and installation process to make sure with other top-tier manufacturers from around the the correct sections were delivered and installed world. Several elements contributed to being precisely to ensure a proper seamless fit. selected. We have long history of delivering How will they cope with the complex and high profile projects and our past history with British weather? The modules carry IP 67 ratings, Piccadilly Lights and our “The logistics of so are protected against dust and responsive service department working in one of water immersion. Tiles will were important elements of the typically last for 100,000 hours. selection process. We were also the world’s most able to offer an 8mm surface heavily travelled How do you compare this mount (SMD) LED solution that perfectly filled the space at a 4K project to others you’ve intersections resolution, which was important completed? added a significant This is one of the largest for this renovation. installations we’ve completed challenge” How challenging was the build? within the unique time constraints Installing a display in one of the of installation hours. It is the first busiest traffic location in London 4K 8mm outdoor video display was a challenge. Display sections had to be stored that we are aware of in the world. The screen off-site and delivered specifically for each shift of features cutting-edge technology for an outdoor physical installation. Sections were delivered in the application to always ensure pristine image quality early morning hours and installation took place and a long lifetime. throughout the day behind a specially constructed scaffold structure in Piccadilly Circus. Is this the most iconic landmark you’ve been part of? How long did it take to complete? This is definitely one of the most iconic locations The installation timescale was approximately ten in the world for Daktronics. Other prominent months, which included building a scaffold system locations we’ve worked in include Times Square, in front of the building facade, decommissioning the Las Vegas Strip, Wembley Stadium and the existing six screens, removal and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. reconstruction of the support structure, and www.daktronics.com 18
INTRODUCING THE “GAME CHANGING” BARCO UNISEE 20
arco has been a global leader in professional visualisation technology for many years, offering professional-grade, high-resolution LCD video wall displays. Buoyed by customer demand, the Belgium firm, which has a regional UK office in Berkshire, has expanded its portfolio, launching Barco UniSee – a “revolutionary” and “game changing” LCD video wall platform providing “faster installation, easier servicing, and higher reliability than anything in the current market.” What strikes you upon seeing the Barco UniSee video wall in action, is the spectacular image quality. The colours are extremely vibrant, the inter-tile gap is very thin, and there are no differences in brightness to be seen – neither inside the displays nor over the complete wall. But is this enough to call it a “revolution”? Suchit Rout, Director strategic marketing at Barco, tells us more.
ADVERTORIAL What was your objective when starting with this product? You just mentioned the improvements in image quality, but the most exciting innovations are actually under the hood. There’s a completely new mounting system that makes installation and maintenance a lot easier. We’ve also made the system modular, to make upgrades and replacements easier. So basically, we have redesigned the whole concept of the LCD video wall. Over the last ten years or so, this market has seen little innovation. Although customers were in need of major improvements, manufacturers contented themselves with raising the resolution a bit, and reducing the inter-tile gap little by little. Everybody knew there were quite some issues with the products – including colorations towards the edges of the panels, difficulties when setting up large installations, and limited lifetime – but these seemed to be neglected as being “the typical drawbacks of working with LCD”. We noticed that we could do better, so we started tabula rasa and tried to overcome all the issues LCD video walls had. And we succeeded. After years of baby-step improvements, we now take a giant leap forward.
for LCD video walls were actually designed to keep a single panel in place. They can be perfectly used for small installations, but from the moment you want to install a 3x3 wall or higher, you run into problems. The installation complexity then rises exponentially, because the mounts can only be approached from the sides. In order to align the inner modules, you constantly need to take the displays out to adjust – which is mainly a blind operation. Ensuring a small gap then becomes extremely difficult. Our system was designed to eliminate this problem. Furthermore, servicing and replacing the inner panels becomes really simple, needing only a simple wrench. You mentioned Barco UniSee being a modular platform. Why is that? The power supplies, input boards, and software platform are not integrated into the LCD panel but are external – attached to the mount or stored in a rack. This not only allows faster servicing and diagnosing, but also makes sure the system can be easily upgraded to include future standards and technologies without the need to disconnect and rewire cables.
What strikes me is the What’s your target market? extremely narrow gap Barco UniSee is ideally suited to “We tried to between the tiles… offer visualisation support in the Indeed, reducing this gap has enterprise market. Its excellent overcome all the been the ‘holy grail’ of LCD video features – including a typical issues LCD video walls, and we have further brightness of 800 NIT, giving you perfected it. There is no bezel at the power needed to optimise the walls had - and we all, and the black lines are so thin video wall’s ergonomics to any succeeded” that you can actually use the lighting conditions, and a screen Suchit Rout entire wall to spread any content haze level of only 44 percent to Director, Strategic – including numbers. This makes minimise ambient reflections Marketing at Barco it the perfect video wall for many – makes the video wall perfect for applications, including meeting use in corporate lobbies, control rooms. In order to guarantee this rooms, executive boardrooms, tiny gap, it wasn’t enough to eliminate the bezel. We experience centres and branded showrooms. have designed a completely new mounting structure to pull this off. Who are the main competitors? Although Barco UniSee differs from the existing Why the need for a new mounting structure? market offering on so many levels, it is essentially Two reasons actually. First of all, when dealing with an LCD video wall. However, the impressive image bezel-less LCD panels, you need to be particularly quality, ease of installation, high reliability, and so careful not to damage the edges. So we needed a many more features, will answer the needs of many system that makes the panels touch (to ensure the customers. I can only give the advice to come and smallest gap), while not put too much force on the see the platform for yourself. We have a partner edges. We came up with a very innovative model including distributors and resellers that have (patented) system that uses the power of gravity to been trained to sell and install the Barco UniSee make the panels gently touch. solution and its modules. The second reason is for installation and maintenance purposes. The traditional mountings For further details, go to: www.barco.com/unisee
Q Bezel-less LCD video wall Q Guaranteed perfect installation Q Outstanding image-quality and high reliability Q Unmatched inter- and intra-tile uniformity Q Faster installation and maintenance with front serviceability Q Hot swappable and remote and redundant power supply Q Warranty starting at product registration
ISE IN NUMBERS: Venue: RAI Amsterdam Exhibitors: 1,400 Attendees: 73,000 End users: 30 per cent Market focus: 100 per cent B2B Space: 55,000 net square metres Halls: 15
WHERE IS ISE? Location: Amsterdam RAI Europaplein 2-22 1078 GZ Amsterdam The Netherlands
SHOW OPENING HOURS: Tuesday 6 February 2018 10:00 – 18:00 hrs Wednesday 7 February 2018 09:30 – 18:00 hrs Thursday 8 February 2018 09:30 – 18:00 hrs Friday 9 February 2018 09:30 – 16:00 hrs
GETTING TO THE RAI CONVENTION CENTRE By train: The RAI has its own station, RAI Amsterdam, which is located close to the venue. By tram/metro/bus: Tram 4, Metro 51, Bus 65 all call at the RAI Nearest airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a a 15 minute journey using public transport.
ISE: THE WORLD’S BIGGEST AV TOY SHOP Exclusive: Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) MD Mike Blackman tells AVTE why the ISE 2018 annual AV trade show– the largest on the planet – will be its “biggest and best yet”
n just over two months, Amsterdam will once again play host to the biggest audio-visual trade show on the planet, with more than 73,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors descending on the Dutch capital. Now on its 15th edition, ISE – held at the RAI Convention Centre – has become the go-to event for the AV industry, with many (if not all) of the world’s leading manufacturers taking the opportunity to showcase their latest cutting-edge technology, products and solutions to the biggest and broadest audience possible. The man behind the event is self-confessed “technology enthusiast” Mike Blackman – a man who launched the first ever show back in 2004 in the Swiss city of Geneva. “I’m a huge technology fan and walking around the RAI during ISE for me is like being a kid in a giant toy shop,” he explained with an enthusiasm and excitement which shows no signs of abating after 15 years in the job. Unprecedented growth And it’s easy to appreciate his excitement. ISE has grown exponentially since switching to the “more cosmopolitan” and “accessible” city of Amsterdam. Despite a mini hiatus in 2006, the Dutch capital has remained its spiritual (12 consecutive years), with the size of the event – both in terms of numbers and square feet – increasing 20 fold since the first show. “To give it some perspective, the attendance in Geneva was close to 3,500 attendees and 120 exhibitors. At this years’ event, attendee numbers topped a record 73,000, whilst exhibitors reached 1,400 which is incredible.
“In terms of space, ISE now occupies 15 halls at the RAI (13 permanent, two temporary), and in 2018 will cover 55,000 square metres (almost 600,000 square feet) up from 2,800. So, make sure you wear some comfortable shoes,” he joked. “But seriously, when we ran the first show in Geneva in 2004, we had moderate success. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was good enough for people to see its potential and wanting to take it further. We got the support from a lot of companies to go on – just not in Geneva. “Today, ISE is now the biggest audio-visual technology show in the world across all parameters. We are also now the biggest show of any kind in Holland – bigger than IBC. The size of the show floor, exhibitors and number of attendees, it really has reached the ultimate position.” Magnet for end users A significant proportion of that growth has comes from the show’s ever growing appeal for end users, which now make up a substantial proportion of attendee numbers. Blackman explained that in the early days, the show was heavily weighted towards the channel – manufacturers, system integrators and distributors. Whilst that remains so (and continues to grow), likewise the appeal of ISE for end users to attend also continues to rise each year, with every sector now catered for; corporate, leisure, events, health, hospitality and retail amongst others.
“Today, ISE is now the biggest AV technology show in the world – bigger than IBC” 23
“We have really pushed hard to get end users to our events and it’s an area which has continued to grow. Before, it used to be something like 90/10, trade versus end users. Now we are probably 65/35. It’s a huge growth area for us and we work tirelessly to ensure that we cater for everyone who attends, whatever industry they’re from. People take time out from work to attend our events, so it’s essential we ensure they return having learnt something.” No bias, maximum knowledge One of the major reasons ISE has become so popular amongst end users is the opportunity for them to see, experience and learn about new and existing technologies which are relevant to them – but maybe didn’t know existed. Whilst there are numerous reasons why this might be – Blackman suggests many end users are often heavily influenced, or at worse dictated to by the integrator they work with. That integrator, he suggests, may have an ulterior motive in choosing the technology they recommend. “We became very aware about ten years ago that the manufacturers wanted to influence the end users directly,” he explained, choosing his words carefully. “The danger is that an integrator may have a better relationship with one manufacturer over another, or perhaps they receive a better margin with one over another. Manufacturers fear that and that’s why they want to be able to speak directly to the end users themselves. ISE provides that.” He continued: “End users can see what each manufacturer has to offer and not just rely on the person directly selling to them. It’s incredibly valuable from a knowledge and awareness perspective, but also ultimately for the benefit of the company they represent. On the flipside this can also benefit the integrator who can then discuss ideas that their customer has seen and may even get more business as a result. “If you want the broadest possible view of the industry and everything to do with AV for your organisation, we have it at ISE.” Look, listen and learn But ISE is not just 15 halls filled with manufacturers trying to sell you something. Equally important, the show is also an opportunity for all levels of the AV ecosystems to hear directly from companies and influential figures (leading manufacturers, consultants, partners and end users). This is through
A SMART DESTINATION FOR ARCHITECTS ISE has been investing heavily in attempting to boost its appeal to professionals working in the design space, such as architects. Through collaboration with exhibitors, ISE has developed the ‘Smart Building Conference’ designed specifically to showcase technologies relevant to people working in that space. This takes place on the day before ISE officially begins. The firm has worked hard to bring exhibitors to the show, and this year, to help enhance its appeal further, world renowned Italian architect, engineer and inventor Carlo Ratti – famed for his use of AV within his designs, is due to speak at this years show. “We’d always struggled to get architects, building designers and people in that sector to come so we said, ‘let’s start a smart building conference’. Something they’ll look at and think ‘that’s relevant to me. I can learn about what’s new in building technology.’”
“What we try and do at our shows is not only inform people, but also inspire them as well”
a raft of conferences, keynote speeches, training programmes, case studies and show floor events throughout the four days and on the day that precedes the show. All conferences are heavily researched to ensure they remain relevant to those attending and exhibiting at ISE. “It’s one of my jobs to drive the show and decide what areas we should build on,” he explained. “We talk regularly with the exhibitors and ask them what’s new, what do they need to push, which target groups are you aiming for and how do we get them here.”
YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO IGNORE ‘IT’ ANYMORE ISE is a “perfect” destination for members of the IT world to gain a greater, and increasingly vital understanding of the AV industry Blackman revealed ISE has invested heavily in promoting the show to the IT market in recent years, with numbers again expected to increase for 2018. He explained that, based on market feedback and conversations with the industry, there remains some uncertainty within the IT channel around AV and resistance to running/managing products, such as printers, digital signs and even the office lights on their network. “ISE is a great place for IT managers and technicians to come and learn,” said Blackman. “Nearly every piece of AV equipment now can run on a network. That’s never going to change. So, we need to get them to ISE so they really understand that it’s necessary they have an overview because it will effect what they have running on their systems. They need to understand the relevance.”
Inspire and inform With such a broad range of AV offerings and information on show, Blackman believes it would be almost impossible for anyone attending the show to not be inspired by what they see – and justifying taking time out of the office. He claims that after every show, he hears of countless examples of where representatives from companies have attended ISE and gone on to deploy a new type of technology within their business discovered at the show. “What we try and do is not only inform people, but inspire them as well,” said Blackman. One example included the CEO of the RAI, who is regularly seen walking the floor during ISE, seeking inspiration for the venue. Blackman recalled how back in 2005, ISE installed a temporary digital signage solution across the building to help provide attendees with show information and directions. Buoyed by its success, the CEO immediately decided to have a permanent solution installed. “For people unfamiliar, the RAI can be a very complicated venue to navigate,” said Blackman. “We worked with Sony to install a temporary system to help people find their way around and ultimately improve their experience. The CEO of the RAI happened to be walking around and was
MIXED REALITY” TO BE A MAJOR THEME AT ISE 2018
> Above: Mike Blackman addressing attendees during a keynote discussion at ISE 2017
“Within the halls of the RAI, you will find something that can enhance your business ”
impressed by the technology and how it was helping visitors. He asked me if I felt this was something he should think about installing permanently – to which I said, definitely. A year later, the RAI put in a digital signage solution. That’s just a small example of how the show can inspire others to implement and deploy new technologies.” Decision makers This anecdote was not just fill space however. For Blackman believes ISE is an event “decision makers” (those that sign the cheques) should be encouraged to attend themselves. “At the end of the day they’re the ones who finalise the decisions,” Blackman said. “The person they send may have all the knowledge in the world, but they may not be able to sell the idea in a way that convinces them to say yes.” No business excluded Blackman concluded our interview by reiterating his belief and confidence that ISE has reached a level where every business, no matter what industry, sector or vertical they may operate in, will benefit from what they see in ISE’s halls and theatres. “There are very few, if any, people who attend the show that will not be inspired,” he said wrapping up. “AV is reaching into every single business today, it doesn’t matter what sector it operates in. “Within the halls of the RAI you will find something, which can enhance the customer experience or improve the way you work, or save you time and money to give you that competitive advantage you crave.”
Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be a major focus and discussion point at this year’s event in Amsterdam – with the XR Summit ISE making its debut. According to Blackman, the use of AR and VR – two terms he collectively describes as “mixed reality” or “XR” for short will become increasingly relevant in the B2B market in the coming months and years. Blackman says he expects AI to become embedded in everything in the future, and that AR/ VR is already starting to transform industries, such as training simulators and even marketing equipment such as digital signage. However, ISE will not just be another conference discussing future AI technologies. “For me, AI now is too general a subject,” said Blackman. “Yes it’s going to come on more and more in AV and it’s going to become very relevant, but it’s not something we have put any specific impetus on as we see it being part of everything. “What I’d hate to do is to just jump on a bandwagon. I see everyone doing AI this year and I looked at it and asked myself, how do we show the relevance of AI in our business as being something special? So this year we have looked at AR and VR. We see this as something becoming relevant because its getting implemented in more and more sectors. “Pilots have been using simulators for years, but using VR/AR, you now don’t have to build these huge machines and environments. Pilots just need to sit in a chair that moves and wear some VR glasses to have exactly the same experience. The solutions are phenomenal.” ISE will also host a dedicated Immersive Technology Zone produced by Holovis showcasing a range of AR,VR and XR features and solutions for the B2B/enterprise marketplace.
“Pilots have been using simulators for years. Using VR/AR you don’t need to build these huge machines ” www.avtechnologyeurope.com
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IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
CORPORATE VIDEO: WHY BOTHER? Heather McLean finds out why producing a company video is an investment worth making THE TERM ‘corporate video’ summons images of people in dark suits behaving in a dry, static, rather dull manner in front of a camera, much like Hale and Pace’s, The Management, but without the laughs. But what is it really, and how can it be used? The area of corporate video can be defined as audio visual communication materials designed for both internal and external corporate messaging. It is often used to sell a product, deliver a message or for training purposes. Jonathan English, managing director at Skeleton, a video content agency helping businesses and brands with their marketing, says: “A lot of people have a preconception that corporate video is boring and dry, but there’s no reason (or excuse!) to create dull video content. You need to capture the attention of your audience and get across your message in an engaging way.” What’s the point? John Ford, head of film at Contra, a London-based video production company with extensive corporate video experience, comments on the point of corporate video: “The video communications of a company are a direct representation of the company itself. A great corporate film can instantly give off the impression that the company is prestigious, has high standards and is forward thinking; a bad film can do exactly the opposite. It’s important for companies to think seriously about their video communications and their importance.” Meanwhile, Reece Lipman, a filmmaker at Chocolate Films, a London-based provider of documentaries, factual programming, event filming, advertising and more, says: “We’re all aware of how important video is to our lives. The vast majority of people have smartphones and tablets with us at all times on which we are constantly streaming video in different guises. This could be on dedicated video sites like YouTube, on social media such as Facebook and Twitter or even on different companies’ websites. This is because video is such an effective and easy communication tool. “Your customers, stakeholders, potential clients and employees are all a potential audience, so you already use every tool at your disposal to
communicate with them,” continues Lipman. “If you’re not using video already, you’re not taking advantage of one of the biggest and most effective communications tools which we have.”
On mobile alone, YouTube reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any broadcast or cable TV network Google commissioned Nielsen study, US, December 2015
How can it be used? Corporate film can be used in many ways, to transmit any message a company requires, according to Ford. “From one film to another, creative agencies like us are looking at what stylistic approach would be the best way to deliver these messages. It could be something that’s presenter-led, it could involve animation, demos and case studies.” Jonathan Staples, managing director at J motion Video Productions, a corporate and promotional video production company based in Northamptonshire, says case studies are a growing trend: “Apart from the obvious company or product introductions, the biggest growth area we’ve seen in the last couple of years has been in customer case studies. It’s far more powerful to see the impact of a product or service in action, and a customer enthusing with conviction and credibility, than to try to sell yourself. It’s all about the story; people engage with stories more than features and benefits. Same goes for corporate recruitment.
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
We’ve seen huge growth in the use of video to attract job applicants; using the personal testimony of existing staff to convey a company’s culture and attract the right kind of talent.” Lipman states customers’ tastes in corporate video are changing: “In the past clients have asked us to produce more traditional videos, involving talking heads or a presenter relaying a message much in the same way you would to an audience at a conference. However, in recent times businesses are becoming more ambitious with their videos. Using motion graphics for ‘infographics’ videos can be a great way to produce shareable content that promotes your business and conveys information in a fun and modern way. Thought leadership videos, where a company discusses wider issues in their sector, can show you as the experts and encourage potential clients to come to you with their queries. Or perhaps you have a new product to demonstrate? A video can be the perfect way to show off your exciting new development and get customers engaged wherever they are.” Beat written words? Video beats the written word hands-down, comments Lipman. “We all know that showing someone something has more of an effect than simply telling them. Video allows you to show everything in a completely believable and exciting way. How many times have you received a two sided marketing document and stopped reading by the second paragraph? We’ve all done it and yet so many people still rely on that as their main form of communication. I would be much more inclined to watch a two minute video giving me the basic information that piques my interest.” Meanwhile, English comments: “There’s a much-repeated statistic that says we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. While it’s dubious how correct that stat is, we certainly do interpret images in less than 1/10th of a second. When you combine visuals with sound, you get the most captivating, compelling and persuasive form of communication known to mankind.” Staples states video is able to connect the viewer to a message emotionally: “For me, corporate video is at its best is when it harnesses the ‘touchy-feely’ human quality that only video can convey. Video
An astounding 81% of videoviewing occasions get all or most of people’s attention Ipsos/Google ‘Video Mobile Diary’ US 2017
While 72% of businesses who use video believe that it has improved the conversion rate of their website Wyzowl ‘Video Marketing Statistics 2016’ 30
has the power to reflect emotion – how people think and feel about a product, a service, their career or the situation they’re in – like no other medium. The most powerful (and memorable) adverts tend to be based on a story and I think corporate video is no different. Pack your corporate video with too many dry facts and figures and your audience will soon click away. Give a personal insight and your audience will empathise and feel connected.” Video has the power to engage audiences on a multi-sensory level. Ford notes: “It’s attentiongrabbing and it takes very little effort to stay engaged in a film that’s well-made. A film can evoke a feeling and therefore a response. Since corporate video may be used for training videos for example, you are able to demonstrate often hard hitting messages that would be more effective in a video than through a corporate written bulletin. “Copy is something that is a lot more daunting to modern audiences, particularly when so many people spend most of their days trawling through endless emails and other written documents. Corporate video is an opportunity to allow audiences to escape that,” continues Ford. As to whether there is any proof that corporate video is more effective than ‘traditional’ methods of conveying messages, English comments: “The ROI of your videos needs to be measured carefully and can vary wildly depending on how smart and thoughtful you are with your strategy. As with any
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
At current budgets, online video and YouTube specifically, delivers 50% higher ROI than TV advertising according to research from Data2Decisions for Google, 2016
kind of content, you’re not going to get the results you want unless you invest time and effort into doing it right. “I think the most powerful proof comes from the sheer number of respected companies that are jumping on the video bandwagon with style in every industry and every market across the world. Learn from the best; they simply wouldn’t be investing the amount they are in video if it didn’t work,” English says. Should you choose it? English continues: “In almost every area of our lives nowadays video has become pervasive. Social media is awash with it. We can take entire online courses through video. And the sales process for many larger or B2B products, which usually consisted of a face to face meeting or a phone call, is now just as likely to involve a video call with a salesperson. “This all means two things: firstly there is more competition and your audience has higher standards, so to stand out from the crowd you need to create videos of a higher quality than in the past. And secondly, you have way more possibilities when it comes to using video to achieve your goals,” continues English. “It’s up to you to think creatively and differently about video and use it in exactly the right way for your business, rather than just copying everything that’s been done before.” Says Staples: “Since J motion began in 2002, the video production industry has had two seismic shocks; the take up of broadband and high speed
According to Cisco’s 2017 ‘Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016-2021’, 80% of internet traffic will be generated by video by 2019
mobile reception has created a massive appetite for video, while new technology has enabled companies like ours to genuinely match the broadcast quality production values of television in a much more affordable package. This has brought us clients who less than a decade ago would never have considered video because they couldn’t afford a TV ad campaign or it simply wouldn’t have reached their niche audience effectively. From HD to 4K to breathtaking drone footage, corporate video has become a cost effective communications tool.” Corporate video is something that is constantly evolving, comments Ford. He says methods of production are improving at such a rate that production companies are able to make corporate video with the same equipment that is used to shoot films commonly seen in Hollywood cinema. “That all said, so many companies and organisations are making corporate films now, there is a growing need to feel distinctive and keep up with the increasingly high standards of the industry,” he adds. Video is constantly changing and moving, agrees Lipman, who states that equipment is becoming more nimble and more readily available, so the production value of corporate videos is increasing exponentially. “No longer are videos of people sat in boardrooms talking the only way to get across messages. We’ve made corporate videos featuring specifically designed motion graphics which convey information even if you don’t have the sound on. We’ve produced epic trailers for upcoming events and conferences to promote ticket sales in new markets. We’ve made cinematic looking product adverts to announce a new and exciting development. And we’ve done it all for every budget range; from SMEs with limited resources to huge multi-national corporations. Because of that development in production equipment it means that you are no longer limited by your budget.”
IN FOCUS: TOP TIPS
THE KEY TO ACHIEVING YOUR CORPORATE VIDEO AMBITIONS Expert advice on things to consider before you get started
“When trying to establish what your key messages are, it’s important not to cram. Remember, less is more”
AN EFFECTIVE corporate video is one with a purpose, one that meets clearly defined business objectives, and one that engages its target audience. For the viewer, it should do at least one of three things: educate, motivate or resonate – and to always entertain. The key to achieving this, is a good brief. Putting together a brief should not be mistaken as a quick job – it is not enough to say, ‘make it dynamic’ or ‘it needs to be sexy’. A good brief is fundamental to the success of a video. It is the foundation from which a creative idea is built. It is the check list that will be used to ensure creative ideas are on point. Remember, the finished video will be a reflection of your brief – so if you provide an inadequate brief then your video will suffer. Louise Hutchinson-Chatburn is head of strategy at malt. films. With over 15 years of experience in corporate video production, she has seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to briefs. Here are her top five tips on what to include in a good video brief, and why.
YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES Why do you need to make a video? What problem do you see it addressing in your business? What exactly do you want the video to achieve? This is key information that you should ask yourself before putting pen to paper. It is fundamental to your brief, and is what should be used to gauge the success of your video. If your video agency doesn’t fully understand your objectives, they will not be able to help you meet them. Your brief should spell this out clearly and concisely.
YOUR AUDIENCE Who do you want to target? What kind of people are they? What do you want them to do or feel after watching the video? An integral part of the brief is knowing who you are talking to. A useful tip is to try and profile the typical person or persons you want your video to target. For example, give them a name, age, gender and behavioral traits. This information will be used by your video agency to help inform the overall
IN FOCUS: TOP TIPS > Below: keep on track - one technique used to capture that perfect shot
creative – that is, the look, style and feel of the video as well as the trigger points necessary to elicit the desired audience reaction.
YOUR KEY MESSAGES What do you want the viewer to walk away with? When trying to establish what your key messages are, it is important not to cram. Remember, less is more. This not about getting as many messages over as possible, it is about selecting the most important in line with your business objectives as well as those most appropriate to your target audience. Unfortunately, no matter how entertaining or creative the video, a viewer can only remember so much. Being precise on messaging and passing this information over to your video agency will help them better control audience ‘take home’.
YOUR DISTRIBUTION PLAN How are your audience consuming media? Where is the best place to put your video? Think about your options. What methods of communication does your business have available… office, event or conference screens, intranet,
company website and social media, for example? And, which would best suit your audience? Perhaps a combination can be used to best effect. This is information that can affect the length, format and creative idea and so is essential to your brief. Also stating upfront that a video needs to be re-purposed for more than one delivery channel can save you money in the long run.
YOUR BUDGET AND DEADLINE What are your budget parameters? What is your deadline? This information should always be included in the brief. This may seem obvious, but it is a common misconception that withholding budget information will result in a better deal. This is not the case. As with all of the points above, this information, alongside the timeframe for delivery, will help inform the creative idea and ensure that what is put forward is achievable. Author: Louise Hutchinson-Chatburn, Head of Strategy, malt. films. email@example.com / www.maltfilms.com
> Louise Hutchinson Chatburn:
“It’s a common misconception that witholding budget information will result in a better deal” 33
7th FEB RECOGNISING ACHIEVEMENTS &
INNOVATIONS IN AMSTERDAM END-USER AV Submit your entry online at:
www.avteawards.com @AVTechEurope #AVTEAwards
The AV Technology Europe Awards provide a brand new platform for the AV end-user community to celebrate the increasingly pivotal role that AV plays for businesses around the world; from corporate to hospitality, education to retail, and everything in between. If you have something to be proud of, make sure you submit an entry and let us know all about it!
THE CATEGORIES Individual and Team Excellence Awards:
Technology Excellence Awards:
Q Emerging AV Professional of the Year
Q Best use of Audio Solutions
Q AV/IT Manager of the Year
Q Best use of Projection/Display Solutions
Q AV Team of the Year Q Outstanding Contribution Award
Project Excellence Awards: Q Best Large-Scale Event Q Best Small to Mid-Scale Event
Q Best use of Presentation/ Collaboration Solutions Q Best use of Signal Distribution Solutions
Q Best Large-Scale AV Project
Q Best use of Emerging Technology
Q Best Small to Mid-Scale AV Project
Q Video Production of the Year
Interested in sponsoring this event? Get in touch today to discuss the excellent branding opportunities available. Contact Gurpreet Purewal at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry Deadline: 24.11.2017
ENTRIES NOW OPEN!
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
ALL QUIET ON THE SET… ACTION! It takes more than a director’s chair to become a director, which is why many businesses choose to hire a production company for their video production. Evelyn Timson, MD of Aspect Film and Video, explains the benefits of outsourcing and what to expect
ideo is rapidly becoming the medium of choice for all manner of marketing but it’s often misunderstood just how much is involved. It’s why working with a video production company that knows their stuff is essential if you want to maximise your return on investment. But what exactly does that involve and just how involved in your marketing strategy will they get? In this article, managing director of Aspect Film & Video, Evelyn Timson, takes us through the process stage by stage.
IN FOCUS : CORPORATE VIDEO
PLANNING The planning stage refers to the preparatory work that takes place before production. For clarity, it’s best to think of this stage as split into two distinct processes – strategy and creative. Let’s look at each in turn. Q Strategy: The success of your film is dependent on having a good content strategy in place. Some production companies may not get involved in the strategic side of things, whilst others will want to help or even take a lead on the strategic side of things (including auditing your existing content, audience profiling, buzz monitoring, establishing KPIs, etc). Q Creative: This is the idea generation part of the process and how you work alongside your video production company will depend greatly on their in-house creative team and whether you have developed a concept or not. During this stage you should be assigned an account manager who will establish a working relationship. Once a concept has been agreed, a script will be developed along with a storyboard. These may both go through several iterations until you are happy but it’s important not to get carried away here as budget creep is commonplace during this process. PRODUCTION The production stage is very much where the video agency will take over and so it’s important to let them do their job here and translate your vision onto film. Before any filming can begin, there will be a lot of logistics and project management to take care of, which can include: Q Sourcing a location or booking a set Q Sourcing and hiring actors, presenters, make-up artists, additional crew, etc Q Assembling or hiring additional film crew (if the agency is unable to do it all in-house) Q Hiring any specialist equipment Q Making sure licences, health and safety and all other red tape is taken care of Q Putting together contingency plans in case the shoot has to be postponed Bear in mind that unless your staff are featuring in your video, there’s little reason for you to get involved during filming. Although you may wish to be present on set, it’s important to let the director do their stuff during the shoot (it’s their job at the end of the day).
“Bear in mind, that unless your staff are featuring in your video, there’s little reason for you to get involved during filming “ POST PRODUCTION Post production is the stage where your film comes together into the final product. It will include some, or all, of the following stages: Q Editing: The editor will take all the footage the director has shot (often several hours’ worth) and stitch it together into one seamless film. There may be some involvement from you at this stage in terms of sign-off (as long as it doesn’t deviate radically from the agreed storyboard). Q Visual effects and animation: VFX and animation can come in many shapes and sizes, from green environments to illustrative graphs, typography, animated logos and other graphical flourishes. Q Voiceover, soundtrack and effects: A soundtrack will be agreed in the creative stage but it’s at this point that it will be layered alongside the final edit. All other sound effects will be added now and, if there is one, a voiceover recorded. Q Colour grading and sound editing: The final post production stages involve colour grading during which the colour will be set to create the right tone and look. Sound editing will also add that final professional polish, creating a balanced and well produced final product. VIDEO ACTIVATION AND SEEDING No matter how great the final product, your marketing film won’t achieve its potential without proper activation and seeding. Depending on their in-house marketing capabilities, your video production company may or may not get involved with this stage. How you distribute and activate your video content will have been established during the strategic planning phase and will be split between earned, owned and paid media. It will also be dependent on how your video fits in with your overall strategy (ie whether it’s a big brand film launching a new marketing campaign, or a product demo that is primarily aimed at existing customers and YouTube subscribers). Good luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Q Evelyn Timson is the managing director of UK based video production company Aspect Film and Video. She has years of experience working with internationally renowned B2B brands including the world’s largest satellite media broadcast platform SES, global IT service organisation Risual, and Enersys, who create batteries for the aerospace and defence industries. You can connect with Aspect on Facebook or Twitter or see a selection of their award winning work on their YouTube channel.
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
CORPORATE VIDEO: BIG – AND GETTING BIGGER We watch eight billion Facebook videos each day. By 2020, video will represent 75 per cent of all mobile data traffic. With statistics like this, says Ian McMurray, it’s no surprise that major organisations are increasingly leveraging the power of video. <Above: Bank of China has an Exterity IP-based video system that allows relevant financial feeds and video to be streamed to any banker’s desktop PC as well as to screens in public areas
“Video remains one of the most powerful corporate comms tools”
ACCORDING TO a report published by Zion Market Research in July, the worldwide corporate video market will grow from 2016’s $18.94 billion to $46.63 billion by 2022. That’s a CAGR of over 16 per cent. Today, it seems, video is king, and is said by Cisco to be responsible for 80 per cent of all internet traffic. Increasingly, enterprises and organisations Europe-wide and beyond are looking to video as the core of their internal – and, often, external communications strategy. “Video remains one of the most powerful corporate communication tools, allowing companies to reach and engage audiences across a range of devices from tablets to smartphones and laptops, among other devices,” believes AJA director of product marketing, Bryce Button. “We’ve experienced this surge over the last five years with the rapid expansion of our pro AV customer base. Not only are major corporations implementing large-scale installations, but we’ve also seen smaller to mid-size companies investing heavily in live streaming and infrastructure solutions.”
More sophisticated “More and more companies are wanting to use video in their day-to-day communications, both internal and external,” says Harry McNicol, head of video and events at integrator AVMI, “and they are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of the medium.” “The market for corporate video is growing – certainly for NewTek,” echoes the company’s senior director of sales, EMEA, Chris Waddington. “Whilst video production used to be reserved for Fortune 500 companies, organisations of virtually any size now have access to tools allowing them to create professional looking video and can deliver content to a global audience via a plethora of platforms and devices. In terms of who’s actually investing, it’s incredibly varied.” “The market is definitely growing,” adds Colin Farquhar, CEO of Exterity, “especially as organisations embrace the flexibility of BYOD and what it offers employees. “The cost of capturing and distributing video has dropped and many
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
organisations are seeing benefits in areas such as training, customer service and as a useful tool in collaborative meetings.” There’s little doubt that, despite the projections of rapid future growth, the enterprise video market is, in many ways, already a mature one. While, as Farquhar noted, it is becoming increasingly affordable for smaller organisations to consider its potential, larger organisations are upgrading existing installations. Actively upgrading “We’re in an era of modifications and upgrades,” says Andy Fliss, vice-president of sales and marketing at tvONE. “Many corporations are still using analogue; laptop manufacturers are still seeing great demand for VGA interfaces. However, those corporations are seeing the limitations of this technology and are actively upgrading to AV over IP. This is something we’re seeing everywhere: it’s not a trend confined to individual market segments or company sizes.” Ah, yes. Internet Protocol (the technology that is rapidly underpinning our entire lives and that is becoming an almost-universal connectivity standard. Even industries such as broadcast are, after years of reluctance and resistance – the technologies they had worked fine, so why would they change?) seeing how transformative it can be. “IP technology really has broken down the barriers and has made it far easier to connect,” explains Waddington. “Whether it’s bringing in Skype callers remotely, incorporating content from devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, engaging with people via social media or delivering to both big and small screens globally, IP technology is the key to making all of this happen.” Specific methodology It would be easy to make two mistakes. The first would be to believe that IPTV and corporate video are in some way one and the same. The second would be that IPTV is a one-size-fits-all solution. Neither, according to the industry, is the case. Fliss, for example, is clear. “IPTV is not the same as corporate video,” he says. “It is a specific methodology with its own standards and technologies, particularly related to content protection. It is more popular in the hospitality industry than the corporate sector and normally requires a decoder or a tuner positioned near to the display.” “Whether or not corporate video can be deemed synonymous with IPTV all depends on how you
define IP,” adds Button. “Three platforms that utilise IP for video production, distribution and delivery include typical video streaming, HDBaseT and broadcast IP. Streaming uses IP networks to share video in close to real-time, but with a slight delay. HDBaseT involves point-to-point distribution across IP, which is helpful in a production pipeline - and broadcast IP replicates a low-latency broadcast experience across dedicated IP networks.” “Are they one and the same? Yes and no,” smiles Waddington. “When we’re talking corporate video, IPTV is still an incredibly important part as it allows companies to reach hundreds, thousands, millions of people simultaneously, through an established platform. However, the work place is constantly changing with more and more people working remotely. This brings with it some unique challenges for IPTV. Over the past few years, a more hybrid approach is rapidly becoming the norm.” Farquhar too sees an environment capable of accommodating a range of technologies – not least as organisations migrate their existing systems. “The pervasiveness of IP networks means that the majority of corporate video is now run as an IPTV-based service,” he says. “Where existing coaxial networks do exist, there are a number of technologies that allow organisations to use analogue for physical connectivity as part of a mixed network. However, for newer deployments, IP-based video is clearly the preferred option due to performance, reliability, reduced costs and flexible end point connectivity.” Potential pitfalls Leaving aside the role of IP technology in designing and implementing a corporate video infrastructure – the consensus seems to be that it’s highly significant, but not the be-all and end-all – what are the other potential pitfalls the industry sees in approaching the roll-out or refresh of a system? According to Button, it’s imperative to match your intended audience’s expectations in terms of video quality – something that’s not made easier as we transition to higher resolutions. “The quality of your video is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain,” he points out, “and often, I find companies are still using SD hardware in an HD pipeline. This is troublesome not only because HD has become the corporate video standard, but also because text and graphics don’t hold up as well in SD. For instance, if a company has an SD camera in the pipeline that they haven’t upgraded, the overall video quality will suffer. That’s why we offer a range of converters.”
<Andy Fliss, tvONE, VP, sales and marketing
<Bryce Button, AJA Video Systems, director, product marketing
<Chris Waddington, NewTek, director of sales, EMEA
<Colin Farquhar, chief executive officer, Exterity
<Harry McNicol, AVMI, head of video
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
<AJA offers a range of video converters, including the ROI-HDMI
“Audio delay compensation
is a critical element that should be considered in any mixedmedia environment”
<Below: Pharmaceutical company Sanofi uses an Exterity IP video system to deliver the latest industry news to staff across several buildings
Underestimated Fliss too notes the challenges posed by a diversity of resolutions and formats, and the need to match content to the target display – but sees another possible issue. “The importance of audio, and the challenge of getting it right, is also often underestimated,” he claims. “A great image can be ruined by cheap sound, and speakers that sound great in one area can sound muffled or dull in another. “Audio delay compensation is a critical element that should be considered in any mixed-media presentation environment.” Waddington picks up on the audio theme. “When it comes to video transition, people still look to the broadcast industry and often at traditional technology such as SDI to move video around the building,” he says. “Today, this is simply not required as more modern alternatives such as NDI and Dante allow video and audio to pass across IT networks. This greatly simplifies how devices connect – but, more importantly, how people connect with each other. Connectivity is key in today’s modern world and to rely on a single cable to transmit one video signal in one direction seems almost prehistoric.” McNicol returns to Button’s point about quality, and to the mantra so often heard in the AV industry – that content is king – noting that increasing numbers of large organisations are bringing more video production in-house, aided by DSLRs and smaller and more compact video cameras with rigs that allow for ‘steady-cam’ type video shooting and more cost-effective production that looks highly professional.
KEY LEARNING POINTS
Q The enterprise video market is already huge, and is forecast to continue its rapid growth Q IP is at the heart of most implementations – but in some use cases, it has its limitations Q Audio is easily overlooked, yet it is key to the success of video Q Ensuring today’s requirements are met is vital – but scalability and upgradability are imperative Q Integrators can have a key role in advising on alternative strategies and implementations
According to an article by Greg Puller for TechRepublic, video is not a standalone technology in the enterprise. It is, or should be considered, part of a bigger picture involving information worker productivity, business virtualisation, and internal communications strategy. “Whatever you do with video,” he says, “it is best to start with a working definition of success.”
IN FOCUS: CORPORATE VIDEO
ability to scale and upgrade is hugely important. The answer to the latter, says Waddington, is through the software. Achieving video dreams “Software tools are playing a huge part in making it far easier to create great looking video,” he advises. “Companies no longer need to invest in large, expensive broadcast switchers to achieve their video dreams, as today’s software-based production technology is just as powerful and offers a far greater choice when it comes to connectivity. Software can also be upgraded so, as new ideas are born and new technology becomes available, software-based systems can easily adapt to these changes – unlike traditional hardware, which often needs to be replaced.” That need to future-proof an implementation is also close to Farquhar’s heart. “Based on an individual organisation’s specific requirements – for example, for live TV, on-demand video, digital signage, other systems integrations, number of locations and so on – it’s important to consider what features would offer the most benefit to the organisation and then select technology that can meet these core requirements and also has the flexibility to adapt to future growth,” he recommends. “Selecting an IP video solution that adheres to industry standards and content protection regulation is also key.” Think ahead Fliss is also a believer in forward planning. “Think ahead,” he counsels. “No architect would plan to construct or refurbish a building without
considering power, heating and plumbing needs. Why do corporations still accept plans for new buildings without considering the AV? It is always cheaper and neater to install the AV infrastructure before the wall and ceiling panelling is closed.” “And,” he continues, “consult a competent integrator. By all means conduct research on the internet, but most systems involve some level of trade-off or compromise in order to deliver the best solution within the available budget. Integrators with a wealth of real experience of making systems work are best placed to advise here.” Partnerships Button agrees: “Work closely with an integrator that knows your business, and one that you trust,” he says. “It’s also important to consider whether or not the integrator is embracing emerging technology trends like 4K, HDR and IP. If you’re having trouble finding the right integrator, start with a product you’re interested in and work backwards, as technology vendors often host a list of available channel partners.” From “all hands” meetings to feeding important financial information to desktops; from training to corporate foyer messaging; and from cafeteria infotainment to conferencing and huddle rooms, video is transforming corporate communications, with entirely positive results. Its future seems assured. www.aja.com www.avmi.com www.exterity.com www.newtek.com www.tvone.com
1 BILLION USERS
“The enterprise video market is driven by the rising adoption of cloud technology and demand for video as a tool to enhance communication and collaboration across enterprises,” said Research and Markets in July this year. “However, network connectivity and technical difficulties and concerns over the security of video content are the restraining factors in the market.”
The first YouTube video was uploaded in April 2005. Owned by Google since October 2006, YouTube now has over a billion users – almost one third of all internet users – and each day they watch a billion hours of video. It is now the third most visited site after Google and Facebook.
“Work closely with an integrator that knows your business, and one you trust”
<Below: Driven by tvONE’s CORIOmaster, a video wall at Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre shows videos, company logos, messages and real-time event information
WHY ULTRA - HD ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION When considering producing a corporate video, your instinct – perhaps influenced from tech you have at home – may send your thoughts streaming towards UHD. Nick Shaw, director at Anna Valley Integration, explains why it’s important to consider all options
ltra-High Definition, Super Hi-Vision, QFHD, 2160p and 4360p are all terms used to describe enormous video resolutions that didn’t exist until recent years, but now dominate most discussions around production and displays. But how do you decide? It’s not surprising that this topic is generating so much chatter, because it’s a big business. According to online statistic company, Statista, 172 million
UHD TVs are forecast to be sold worldwide in 2020, and a report by Transparency Market Research predicts that the global fine pixel pitch LED display market will reach a value of US$3.1 billion by 2024. As these technologies become more popular, they’re produced in bigger volumes and the price drops, making them more accessible to consumer and commercial markets. Given this information, you’d assume that any savvy AV professional looking to future-proof their
IN FOCUS <Displaying and/ or producing UHD content can be a costly investment – both in the short and the long term
“The higher your resolution, the scarcer content becomes and the more expensive it is to produce” When it comes to LCDs and large format displays, screen size isn’t as much of an issue – 4K displays average out at around 70” and Dell is planning to ship a 32-inch, 8K monitor later this year. But squeezing 33.2 million pixels onto smaller screens means that you’re faced with pixel densities of up to 275 pixels per inch. Will anyone even see this kind of detail unless their nose is against the screen?
infrastructure should immediately sign a purchase order for ultra-high-resolution displays. In reality, however, these products are only a viable solution for a small percentage of corporate AV situations – and the cost of the display is not the only, or even the most significant, deterrent. DECISION TIME Choosing the right display is the first hurdle. LED screens have become increasingly popular in the commercial display market, thanks to their brightness and versatility. These displays are built from panels that contain any number of individual pixels – the fewer pixels on a panel (or the bigger the gaps between pixels) the more panels you need to build a high-resolution display. If you consider that the highest resolution LED panels currently available have a gap of 0.7mm between pixels, and that 8K content has an aspect ratio of 7680 x 4320 pixels, this means that displaying 8K content at a 16:9 aspect ratio on an LED screen, would require a 5.5m-wide LED wall. At the more affordable pixel pitch of 2.5mm that LED width increases to over 19 metres – clearly not a viable solution for your average corporate installation.
HIGHER RES – HIGHER COST The next consideration is content. The higher your resolution, the scarcer content becomes and the more expensive it is to produce. Broadcasters and streaming services only share their premium programming in UHD so, if you’re planning on showing broadcast content on your ultra-highresolution display, there may be limited channels to choose from. Shooting your own UHD content isn’t prohibitively expensive but the media files produced on a 4K shoot are four times bigger than those from an HD shoot and storing, editing and distributing files of this size can exponentially increase your post-production costs. These massive file sizes are also responsible for inflating the cost of displaying UHD content. The difference between the processing equipment needed to support an 8K display and the processers needed for an HD display can run into six figure sums alone. Another significant cost is the power that big LED screens use to display ultra-high-resolution content, which may mean spending money on improving the electrical supply as well as higher electricity bills once the integration is complete. Higher resolution screens, and the additional processors needed to support them also generate more heat and can make it necessary to increase your air-conditioning capacity. At least 50 per cent of our clients that approach us with a request for UHD displays end up choosing HD when they realise the implications and costs of their original plans. As AV professionals, we’re all concerned with the pace at which technology is changing and how this can impact our ability to plan for the future, but choosing the best AV solution for your organisation – for your current and future needs – isn’t always as simple as buying the most advanced technology available.
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EYE ON RECRUITMENT A selection of the latest movers and shakers from across the AV industry, plus some top tips from leading AV recruitment firm, Jacobs Massey
Fabrizio Irlante Institute of Engineering and Technology AV Technician Congratulations on your new role! What attracted you to the Institute of Engineering and Technology? I believe that in our AV industry and an ever changing world, being part of an institution that gives you the right equipment, with an eye on the future is paramount. IET is in constant progress and it’s great being part of a focused team with the same passion as my own. What will your responsibilities be in your new position? The relationship with the client is the most important part of the role. Being prepared and proactive ahead of an event is a must to achieve the result of exceeding the client’s expectations. My responsibilities include giving a professional and tailor-made event service and ensuring that everything works extremely well together. Once the event organiser arrives on site I am introduced by the duty manager and will discuss the timings and any last minute requests. What trends and changes have you seen in the AV industry over the past five -years? I’ve noticed huge differences in the AV industry. There has been a constant development in enhancing the user friendly experience. We’ve also seen various technologies emerge such as, 4K, AR, VR and video which are now being used almost everywhere. The emergence and use of voice-controlled vistual assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Home have also become more widely used. I’ve also noticed an almost total absence of analogue equipment. Finally, what’s the best part of being in the AV industry? Being part of producing an event and seeing the results is a joy for me and the best part of it.
Christopher Toulmin Plasa PLASA has promoted Christopher Toulmin to commercial director. He will oversee all sales and marketing activities in the organisation, including PLASA Show, PLASA Focus Leeds and PLASA Focus Glasgow.
Toni Sarjala Crestron Finland Crestron has appointment Toni Sarjala as regional sales manager. Toni has 20 years of AV industry experience in distribution and installation and will assist consultants in selecting the right solution for their projects. Insight: Graeme Massey The AV recruitment market is booming. Candidates are in high demand and supply is short. We’ve seen a marked increase this month in the number of vacancies registered with JM. Similarly there has been a shift in the freelance market. We see a significant rise in 3-6 month contract options as employers look to support critical AV business sectors. Stay sharp and keep your eye on new talent.
Share your recruitment movers and shakers with AV Technology Europe If you have recently made a new appointment and would like he or she to be featured in our ‘Eye on Recruitment’ page, please email our editor Michael Garwood: email@example.com
THE NEXT GENERATION
THE AV APPRENTICE Connor Bottomley is a 19 year old digital marketing apprentice with Roche audio visual, who are based in Elland, West Yorkshire. He talks to AVTE about his reasons for choosing to pursue a career in AV and his experiences so far What made you choose a career in the AV industry? Well I had little knowledge of the industry prior to getting the job. I have been interested in marketing since school and was put in contact with Roche through the apprentice scheme. Upon getting the role, what were your first impressions of the AV world? It was much bigger than I thought it would be. I didn’t realise a lot of the tech I used in school had been supplied by the company I now work for. What have you learnt during your time working with Roche? I have picked up a lot of knowledge about the products we sell and who we deal with. Working in marketing I am responsible for sending out e-shots and dealing with our large customer database, as well as updating the website with all our latest deals. Are there any products you have really liked working with? I had some training on the Avocor v series touchscreens and they were really fun to use and definitely better than the old whiteboards I had to use in school.
“It’s a great environment to work in and you get to work with some really cool products” What support have you received from Roche? They have given me plenty of training on products and also encourage me to use my initiative when I am working. The office is always really busy so even though it is intense it has helped me pick up new skills quickly. November 2017
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship within the industry? Go for it! It’s a great environment to work in and you get to work with some really cool products. And finally what are your ambitions for the future? I am focused on completing my apprenticeship whilst picking up as many skills as possible in the office. I have already learnt a lot and enjoy the work I do. There are a lot of experienced people at Roche who started in a similar position to me, so it is a really great place for me to learn and hopefully one day I will be passing all my knowledge onto an apprentice too. 46
THE TECH GUIDE
A SELECTION OF SOME OF THE LATEST AV PRODUCTS AND SERVICES NOW AVAILABLE Oblong Industries
Mezzanine 200 Series Product type: Immersive visual collaboration solution for huddle spaces Target market: Large enterprises
4K RP Series Product type: Interactive flat panel Target market: Corporate and education What’s new? The updated BenQ RP Series is equipped with 4K UHD resolution and doubled horizontal/vertical resolution. This means that the interactive flat panels (IFP) are guaranteed to capture the finest details with four times the pixel density of earlier models to improve classroom or boardroom readability. The range of flat panels are available in a range of sizes to suit all installation needs, including 55”, 65”, 70”, 75” and 86”. Details: The BenQ RP Series of interactive flat panels is designed for modern offices and classrooms, with two front facing speakers and integrated pen tray. The IFP range offers tools to boost collaboration without the need for external PCs. For example, EZWrite 4.1 can be used for presentation, collaboration, annotation and action to stimulate group discussions. BenQ has also installed the InstaQShare app, which enables wireless presentation and screen monitoring. In addition, up to 16 participants can bidirectionally stream full HD videos, presentations or photos. As well as collaborative learning, the RP Series has been developed with AG+ Screens to reduce screen glare and block the spread of bacteria.
What’s new? Mezzanine 200 is a compact immersive collaboration solution that utilises two screens, making it easily deployable within small to mid-sized huddle rooms. The new Mezzanine 200 also includes integrations with popular ecosystems like Microsoft Exchange and Skype for Business. Details: Mezzanine 200 series is a two-screen version of Oblong’s signature 600 series, incorporating the same technology but in a more compact system to suit the requirements of a growing number of huddle spaces. It creates an engaging shared workspace, ideal for collaborative work and presentations, that facilitates; simultaneous multi-user, multi-screen, multi-device, multi-location immersive visual collaboration. Mezzanine 200 is operated in-room via a gestural interface, allowing participants to manipulate shared content across the screens using a wand. Remote participants can also move, save, edit or annotate content, within the shared workspace, from their connected device (phone, tablet, laptop). Available: Now Where can I buy? www.oblong.com/partners Price: POA. ‘3 for the price of 2’ until Dec 29th
Available: Now Where can I buy? www.business-display.benq.com Price: POA
PA503W Product type: Projector Target Market: Education and corporate Sony
Teos Manage Product type: Workspace management and solution software Target market: All types of workplaces and environments, which require AV/facilities management, from corporate to education What’s new? TEOS solutions are designed to transform workspaces for employees and visitors so that working is simplified, collaboration is enhanced, and facilities management is optimised. The first solution to be launched, TEOS Manage, streamlines the control and maintenance of all your connected devices and content in boardrooms, meeting rooms, offices, public areas and a multitude of other locations. Details: TEOS Manage has no limitation to the number of sites/rooms you wish to control, and is compatible with virtually any IP-enabled device – including display screens, projectors and tablets – from Sony as well as other manufacturers. Via the IP network, users can control, monitor, and update displays grouping them by building, floor or area through a dashboard-style global overview. It receives calendar information from Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Exchange Server or Google Calendar that’s relevant to each room can be displayed, integrates smoothly with your room bookings system. Cloud or on-site local deployment cloudbased deployment allows for exceptional flexibility, enabling users to easily access TEOS Manage whenever and wherever.
What’s new? With higher brightness and longer lamp life, the ViewSonic PA503W projector is designed to produce exquisite images with vibrant colour for all environments. SuperEco mode reduces power consumption by up to 70 per cent, thereby extending the lamp life – a great energy-saving design that lowers the total cost of ownership. Details: Packed with 3,600 lumens and 22,000:1 contrast ratio, the ViewSonic PA503W priceperformance projector produces vibrant images in any environment – including rooms with high ambient light. An energy-saving SuperEco mode offers more than 15,000 hours of illumination, providing users with a simple ‘fit and forget’ installation. Designed specifically to cater for classroom and boardroom environments, the WXGA-resolution projector is embedded with 2W speakers and a range of smart presentation tools. These include a presentation timer and a blank timer, which helps to refocus the audience’s attention on a presenter by hiding the screen’s image at specific intervals. Using the HDMI connectivity or VGA ports, users can project content directly from HDMI-enabled devices such as laptops, tablets, and media players onto any screen – ranging from 30 to 300 inches. ViewSonic’s exclusive SuperColour technology then provides rich and accurate colours across five pre-set viewing modes to ensure that all users have the best possible viewing experience. Available: Now Where can I buy? www.viewsoniceurope.com/uk/ Price: £349
Available: Now Where to buy: Through specialist Sony partners. For more information visit pro.sony.eu Price: €500 for the software (then there is a licence cost per device ranging from €80 to €380 according to the type of licence e.g. from control to signage).
IntelliMix P300-IMX Product type: Audio conferencing processor Target market: AV conferencing applications
NDI PTZ Product type: IP Camera Target market: Corporate, education, entertainment, gaming, government, professional AV and sports What’s new? NewTek’s NDI PTZ Camera is the world’s first PTZ camera that is truly plug-and-play. With built in NDI functionality, it can transmit full 3G 1080p 60 video directly to NDI-compatible products across a standard network. Details: Once the NewTek NDI PTZ camera has connected to the network, it will become visible to all compatible systems running the latest version of NDI including: LiveStream Studio, SplitmediaLabs XSplit, Streamstar, OBS Studio, StudioCoast vMix, Telestream Wirecast and NewTek TriCaster. In addition, the NewTek NDI PTZ camera can also be automatically recognised by applications such as GoToMeeting, Skype, Skype for Business, Zoom Media and many more. Developed as a result of the industry move to IP-based production, a movement that is taking place very quickly due to high customer demand, the NewTek NDI PTZ camera allows users to make the transition to complete end to end IP-based production. NewTek recognised that its customers are looking for solutions that will simplify their work, whilst still expanding their opportunities to create better content, and its technology development is in keeping with this.
What’s new? The IntelliMix P300-IMX Audio Conferencing Processor is a high performance, competitively priced audio DSP that offers IntelliMix algorithms including acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, and automatic mixing optimised for audio/video conferencing applications. The processor seamlessly connects with Microflex Advance and Microflex Wireless microphones for a complete, high-quality AV conferencing experience from Shure. Details: The P300-IMX provides analogue I/O, USB, and mobile connectivity for simple integration in rooms with dedicated videoconferencing hardware, computer-based soft codecs like Skype for Business or BlueJeans, and mobile phones. Its compact form factor allows discrete installation behind a display, under the table, or concealed in furniture, while Power-over-Ethernet (PoE+) eliminates the need for an outboard power supply. The P300-IMX delivers natural and intelligible audio with echo cancellation, noise reduction, and proven Shure IntelliMix automatic mixing for up to eight Dante channels. Predefined templates simplify the set-up process and reduce the commissioning time often associated with DSP audio processors to just a few minutes. Available: December 2018 Where can I buy? www.shure.com Price: POA
Available: Now Where can I buy? https://www.newtek.com/ where-to-buy/reseller-locator/ Price: POA
ATUC-50 Product type: Digital discussion system Target market: Conference, business, courtroom discussion applications
Montane+ Product type: Media Server Target market: Live production and installations What’s new? Hippotizer Montane+ is the unique mix of Hippotizer’s real time media control, Notch’s generative effects and the fastest hardware available. Details: Hippotizer Montane+ is the latest addition to Green Hippo’s product range of Media Servers. Featuring Notch, a real time generative content software package, Montane+ enables users to create, simulate, render, composite, edit, and play in real time. Montane+ features two DP 1.2 outputs, and offers the very latest graphics card technology, enabling over 27,300 Notchmarks- the highest ever measured Notchmarks score. A higher score indicates faster playback and the capacity to render more complex effects. Hippotizer V4’s pin system also lets you control content from the lighting desk, or other controller. Montane+ includes a two year Notch license giving it access to an extensive library of free pre-built effects available from Notch.
Details: Audio-Technica’s ATUC-50 is designed for simple operation and plug-and-play functionality, without sacrificing sound quality or speech intelligibility. Its cost-effective nature belies the system’s power and flexibility however, with multi-mode operation, 12-band feedback suppressor, on-board four-channel recorder and interpretation channel all featuring in the ATUC-50’s specification. A choice of two gooseneck lengths with the ATUC-M43H (430mm) and ATUC-M58H (580mm) microphones also allows for welcome flexibility in terms of positioning. Employing standard Cat5 (and above) cables, up to 150 ATUC-50DU discussion units can be connected in either daisy chain or ring topology (for added redundancy) and controlled from any web browser with no need for additional software installation. Configuration via Web Remote Control is simple and quick, with settings able to be stored as presets for easy recall. ATUC-50 is ideal for applications throughout the corporate sector, from boardrooms and meeting rooms to multilingual conference settings, houses of worship and more. It’s particularly suited to end-users with limited AV experience thanks to its simple interface and preset capabilities. Available: Now Price: Contact reseller
Available: November 2017 Where can I buy? For distributors’ details please visit http://www.green-hippo.com/distributorsdealers/distribution/ Price: POA
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BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR POLYCOM WITH TRIO 8500 A new interpretation of the well-known, three-legged classic, the Polycom Trio 8500 is designed to make the most of mid-sized conference rooms
hen it comes to conferencing technology, a common misconception is that you have to go big in order to achieve highquality results, with ‘expensive’, ‘large rooms’ and ‘complex’ often being amongst the first concerns for many. For more than 25 years, Polycom has been out to prove that excellent enterprise communication solutions can easily be integrated with small and medium-sized conference rooms. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its very first conference phone, the company has recently launched the Polycom Trio 8500: a new interpretation of the classic, star-shaped Trio. A minimum of size with a maximum of features Instantly recognisable due to the well-known, three-legged shape, the Polycom Trio 8500 is designed for mid-sized conference rooms and allows you to utilise every square metre available – without, as the firm suggests, having to compromise on the level of quality or features required. The Polycom Trio 8500 includes all of Polycom’s latest innovations, such as HD Voice audio quality, Polycom NoiseBlock and multi-line registration. Polycom has also confirmed that the Trio 8500 will also soon include a number of video and content sharing options, to – as it puts – further facilitate business communication.
‘The 8500 includes all of Polycom’s latest tech innovations, such as HD Voice and NoiseBlock’
Cooperation and collaboration The small power house includes a full-colour touch screen interface and allows for Microsoft Exchange calendar integration, meaning that meetings can be joined with only one touch. To enable collaboration across platforms, it furthermore supports multi-line registration, allowing businesses to migrate between open SIP environment and/or Skype for Business environments, and works with other cloud-based audio and video platforms, including Zoom, BlueJeans, Cisco, Avaya and others. Availability: Polycom Trio 8500 is available from authorised Polycom resellers Where can I buy? Authorised Polycom resellers Price: Approx £800 (exc VAT)
TECH GUIDE - EDUCATION
UPFRONT AND PERSONAL
Company name: Airtame Product name/model: Airtame - SKU: AT-DG1 Target market: education/corporate
“Airtame improves class and meeting room interaction. Cables are no longer needed to host presentation”
Product details/USP Airtame is a device that has been developed with businesses and educational institutions in mind. The main functionality of Airtame is wireless streaming, which helps to improves classroom and meeting room interaction. Cables are no longer needed to host your presentations. How does it work? The device simply slots into the HDMI port of a television, monitor or projector and once connected to the WiFi network, anyone who has downloaded the simple app will be able to present. All they have to do is select the name of the meeting room TV and they will be instantly presenting. Full screen mirroring allows users to share work from Windows, Mac, Linux and Chromebook – even when on the go. With multiple Airtames, one display screen can be shared on many screens; perfect for large auditoriums. Customers include schools and businesses all over the world. When no one is actively streaming, Airtame can be turned into a digital signage solution, putting valuable information in front of students/employees including sales figures or upcoming lessons. From an IT perspective, the option to remotely manage all devices through Airtame Cloud, is appreciated by all IT admins. They can quickly check to see if devices are online and diagnose what needs to be done if not working as it should. They can access and edit device settings directly from the cloud without having to open up the Airtame app, saving them a lot of time and effort.
Examples in action Some very well known and established educational institutions and businesses are currently using Airtame. Hult International business school’s London campus has 24 huddle rooms to make group work run as smooth as possible. Each of these rooms has a TV and an Airtame device. Using the free Airtame Cloud platform, the IT team at Hult can quickly log in to a web portal and check that all of their Airtame devices are online and updated. They can check that the devices are running the right background content and even see when they’re in use. If one or more units need to be updated or rebooted, the IT team can do this in two clicks. Desert Sands is a Unified School District in La Quinta, CA that prepares students for life outside of the classroom with wireless technology. Students use Airtame to present their science projects and share PowerPoint presentations with their class, and teachers use them for interactive learning exercises, demos, and to access digital versions of textbooks. Airtame is also being used in businesses such as Daniel Wellington Watches by allowing staff to go wireless in their offices in the US, Europe and Asia where it is being used for both internal team meetings and presentations for distributors to ensure a smooth and efficient process. How to buy: Airtame.com or through B2B reseller partners Price: €299
EYE ON EDUCATION
MAKING THE GRADE - THE IMPACT OF AV IN EDUCATION Crestron business development manager, education Phil Waterhouse discusses the changes he and his company are seeing in the modern day classroom – all thanks to modern technology How has technology evolved and changed the traditional classroom learning environment? Looking back 15 years there were very few education institutes using any technology. The most advanced institutions may have had a few over head projectors (OHP’s) dotted around the building but nothing more. TV viewing was a booked service and a TV was wheeled in on a trolley to the classroom at an allocated time, plugged in and set to the desired channel for students to watch. These days as we know, projectors, large LED screens, streaming of videos and TV is the norm. With the impact of handheld devices touchscreen technology has started to become the norm in many classroom or lecture theatres. Specifically, which products/solutions have experienced the highest level of growth? Touchscreen technology has been the latest ‘big thing’ and has really taken over from where projectors started. You’d be hard pressed to find a classroom two or three years ago that didn’t have a projector connected to the teacher’s laptop or a DVD player. Today most institutes are investing in large touchscreens that give a more inclusive environment in the classroom along with a better ROI for the institute with screens now coming with anything up to seven years warranty. How have these impacted students? The introduction of touchscreens has enabled students to be fully aware of what is being taught or discussed. Annotations and notes made by the teachers can be saved for later reviewing, meaning students don’t miss any note taking and consequently pay more attention to what is being taught at the time.
Would students today be at a disadvantage by not have access to these technologies? The delivery of information is now very easy, especially with large screens at the front of class. Information is richer and apps and software are now designed to deliver lessons, this technology has advanced the classroom significantly from ten years ago. Interaction from students coming to the front of class to deliver their thoughts through annotating on screen and collaborating with each other on a touchscreen means the learning outcome has significantly improved. What would your advice be to AV technicians/ managers working in academia reading this? Don’t just do what you have always done, open yourselves up to new ideas, new technologies and become an evangelist with product. Ask the salesperson talking to you about new technology to set up a proof of concept, get them to show you how it will impact your establishment. I would also say that there are many technology shows dedicated to Education that will give you a better insight as to what others are doing, what product is being designed and why. Another key thing is to talk to others in the same role. Sometimes the evangelist may have found somethinggreat, create a network of likeminded people to seek out new ideas.
<The touchscreen Microsoft Surface Hub brings a new form of collaboration to the classroom
“Touch screen technology has been the latest big thing and taken over from where porojectors started”
JUST WHAT THE DR ORDERED Pure AV provides The Royal Oldham Hospital with a state of the art video and audio recording system to help ensure trainee medical professionals are ready to face the public > The new state of the art simulation centre is able to monitor every word spoken and every action taken by trainee clinicians
n average, it takes nine years of studying before a medical professional (doctors, clinicians, nurses, midwives etc.) comes face-to-face with their first patient. Beyond the books and lecture theatres, part of the process in ensuring they’re ready to deal with the various demands thrown at them by the public – trainees are also thrust into life-like simulated environments, where they are tested/ examined on how they handle different medical based scenarios and challenges. Earlier this year, following an increase in demand for such training, The Royal Oldham Hospital invested £600,000 to build a “state-ofthe-art” Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre, which took 18 months to build. The new facility includes two simulation bays including high-tech manikins, a consulting room environment and two debriefing rooms.
Brief The main challenge the hospital faced was collecting all the data from a training session for playback, including audio, visual and patient data, to ensure an effective debrief for trainees. As the training takes place, every action and reaction of the trainees needs to be captured at all times. Typically, medical data, such as scans, and vital signs are displayed within the training room. Any data shown or requested by the trainees needs to be captured. Requests for additional medical resources or specialist advice can be made from a telephone in the room and also need to be recorded. At the same time, any conversations or actions taking place around the ‘patient’ also need to be captured. It is necessary to see and hear close-up detail and maintain an overall view of the room. In a typical training scenario up to 21 separate video, audio and data feeds have to be managed. www.avtechnologyeurope.com
> Big brother is watching: the purpose built control room for monitoring and recording trainees in tests
Diagnosis Pure AV was appointed by the Trust to design an AV system to record and playback training activity for analysis and debriefing. Due to budget restraints, it was decided that specialist medical simulation software was ruled out and worked with the Trust to review in detail the essential elements of the specification. Pure AV used a mainstream IP-based video surveillance system and developed it to meet the needs of a simulation application. The advantage; the ability to record multiple streams of video and play them back in synchronisation using timelinebased software included with the recorders. Pure AV identified Axis; a manufacturer with what it describes as providing “superior audio” encoding capability able to provide good quality multi-channel sound with minimal latency. Integration with high-quality microphones and audio processors enabled accurate distribution of the audio and compensation for any latency. An Extron control system makes user adjustment straightforward, while Antrica encoders manage the data capture feed into the Axis camera station. Post-exercise, the trainer accesses recorded content via the built-in timeline software of the Axis system with a wireless keyboard and 75 inch display. Results The selection of an Axis solution provided a strong foundation for the solution; the skill of the design team in the integration of additional audio November 2017
“One of the simulation rooms mirrors a GP office, which will be used for training beyond purely medical and surgical processes.” Katherine Robertson
Q Audio Technica
Q Audio Technica
Q RevoLabs Solo
Q Extron DTP 230
Q Extron USW
Universal DTP Transmitters
processing, higher specification cameras and in wrapping the system up with user-friendly control ensured the delivery of a solution able to match the demands of a simulation suite. The Royal Oldham Hospital anticipates that it will successfully up-skill 1,400 clinicians per year within its new facility. Meaning approximately 2,100 staff within the Trust will have access to hands-on training that supports them in their role and delivery of a higher level of patient care. “The system installed by Pure AV allows all aspects of the training undertaken to be analysed and detailed feedback to be given to delegates, helping them to develop the skills needed to deal with the challenges faced on a daily basis within a real hospital environment,” commented Katherine Robertson, learning and organisational development project manager at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
Q Extron 10” TLP
Q Extron HDMI 8x8
Q Philips LED
Monitors from 23” to 75”
Q BSS BLU-100 Audio
Q NS30 Bluetooth
Q Monitor Audio
Q AXIS IP Cameras Q AXIS Native HDMI
Q Antrica Video IP
EYE ON RETAIL
A SIGN OF THE TIMES AR, IoT, VR, and the growing possibilities for digital signage By Carolyn Heinze
RECENT report by Markets and Markets reveals that the digital-outof-home market will grow from $12.52 billion in 2016 to $26.21 billion in 2023. The research firm says that this is due to an increase in spending on programmatic advertising, and advances in technology as well as infrastructure. “Digital signage has been in a consistent transition from a basic rotation of static signage, to an interactive experience that engages and interacts with the viewer,” said Todd Heberlein, business development manager at Almo Professional A/V, a professional audio-visual equipment distributor headquartered in Timonium, Maryland. Manufacturers of digital signage technology, he says, are taking advantage of this through the use of touch technology and Beacons. He cites Brightsign’s
EYE ON RETAIL
media players as an example: “Brightsign has more than ten different ways for a user to interact with the Brightsign media players, ranging from a simple button push or touch on a touchscreen, to the recently added Beacon technology. The Beacon technology is ever-expanding, and allows the hardware to virtually reach out and engage with smartphone users in the vicinity.” One frequent discussion in the AV community is how the Internet of Things (IoT) is influencing the development of digital signage technology. Rich Ventura, vice president of strategy at NEC Display Solutions of America, a display manufacturer headquartered in Chicago, notes that in the retail environment, digital signage can follow the consumer right to the fitting room, where it can propose articles that complement the clothing the customer has brought in to try on. “[If] I know, as a retailer, that those clothes are in there – say you took in two pairs of jeans and two shirts – I can then trigger content: here’s a matching jacket,” he illustrated. “I can also let the store personnel know that there’s a person in there [with these products] and they want to see this jacket. It creates this whole new level of engagement that you didn’t have before.” In this example, IoT combines with big data to up-sell to the consumer. AI Throw in artificial intelligence (AI), and these systems can begin addressing inventory goals. Ventura offers this example: sensors placed within a store detect a female customer, aged 20 to 25, wearing a pink shirt. After consulting what’s in stock (and what items need to move) AI automatically generates a personalised advertisement proposing several articles of clothing that match the shirt the customer is wearing, and offers a 20 per cent discount if she purchases those items during her visit. “On the back end, it’s building this whole knowledge base for the retailer, and now the retailer becomes smarter, and they can watch their inventory levels, they can watch their ordering patterns,” he said. While all of this is possible, it’s not necessarily feasible yet for many organisations. Futuresource Consulting Ltd., a market research firm based in Hertfordshire (UK) questions whether retailers are positioned to apply sophisticated IoT/big data solutions yet: “The retail sector offers a fascinating case study for this juxtaposition with the tantalising prospect of truly personalised customer information, and subsequent messaging, offset by a landscape often still struggling to implement basic
AV installations,” the firm said in a statement provided to AV Technology. It’s not technology that is holding things back, the firm notes; hardware costs have decreased, the software exists to provide targeted messaging in real time, and consumers are equipped with the mobile devices to receive it. While Futuresource concedes that there are always innovative organisations out there that will adopt new technology and push it to its optimum, “ … in the main the retail sector is still in the generalist phase when it comes to the use of analytics. Key consumer data points are still in siloes, if they exist at all … retailers are focused on understanding general consumer behaviour and movement through the store, tending to use heat mapping and audience recognition tools to (at best) drive basic demographic. There is little evidence of true personalisation, even when a retailer is running a loyalty card programme.” Wow factor The need to “wow” the customer remains strong, however, and some retailers are starting to embrace the incorporation of augmented reality (AR) into their digital signage deployments. Futuresource highlights virtual mannequins – which are used as a sort of “magic mirror” that enables consumers to virtually apply make-up or try on clothing – as one such application that has been deployed by the retailer Top Shop. Predictably, Disney is getting into the game with the filing of several patent applications that will enable it to display augmented reality objects onto surfaces in the company’s theme parks, according to Futuresource. Visitors will be able to view these objects without the need for a headset or smart glasses, and, eventually, manipulate them. While organisations are often focused on digital signage applications indoors, for Ventura, the outdoors provides ample opportunity to reach consumers and boost brand engagement. “That’s the next step when you look at the natural progression of the industry: how do we increase engagement outside? How do we gather more
“Digital-out-of-home market will grow from $12.52 billion in 2016 to $26.21 billion in 2023”
EYE ON RETAIL
“The retailer becomes smarter. They can watch their inventory levels and ordering patterns ” Rich Ventura, NEC Display Solutions of America
> In the retail environment, digital signage can follow the consumer to the fitting room and suggest other items to try on that complement what they’ve brought in
Almo Professional A/V www.almo.com Futuresource Consulting Ltd. www.futuresourceconsulting.com NanoLumens www.nanolumens.com NEC Display Solutions of America www.necdisplay.com Ricoh www.ricoh-usa.com Ross Video www.rossvideo.com
information and drive more communication with the consumer? That’s where IoT devices are going to be really important,” he said, adding that 5G will facilitate these opportunities. “5G is going to speed up mobile data, and it’s going to allow us to push more through the pipe a lot faster. That’s always been the limiting factor of wireless when it comes to digital signage, and outdoor [applications are] going to benefit from it the most.” While slightly outside of the traditional digital signage category, interactive whiteboards are now being enhanced with AI to increase the value proposition for users. One example of this is the partnership between IBM Watson IoT and Ricoh. The two organisations teamed up in 2017 to elevate the collaborative experience with Ricoh’s cognitiveenabled interactive whiteboard using IBM’s Watson intelligence and voice technologies. The new solution supports people in meetings by responding to commands, taking notes and actions, and even translating content into other languages. According to a 2017 Ricoh press report, the Intelligent Workplace Solution leverages IBM Watson IoT and Ricoh’s interactive whiteboards 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,” the company stated. Features of the cognitive-enabled whiteboard include global voice control of meetings. Once a meeting begins, any employee, whether in-person or located remotely in another country, can easily control what’s on the screen, including advancing slides, all through simple voice commands using Watson’s Natural Language API. The system is enhanced with translation services. The Intelligent Workplace Solution can translate speakers’ words into several other languages and display them on screen or in transcript. What’s more, with a swipe of a badge the Intelligent Workplace Solution can log attendance and track key agenda items to ensure all key topics are discussed. Users can also hold side conversations that are displayed on the same whiteboard. “Collaborative workforces are at the heart of successful business. The challenge is bringing disparate teams together and then enabling them to be productive,” said Harriet Green, general manager, Watson IoT. “With IBM’s Watson IoT technologies, Ricoh’s interactive whiteboards don’t just guide meetings; they foster an open exchange of ideas and make it easy for teams to work in partnership and bringing meetings to life.” IBM has installed more than 80 Ricoh interactive whiteboards in its global HQ in Munich, Germany.
EYE ON RETAIL
THE INTERNET OF THINGS IS REWRITING THE RULES ON DIGITAL SIGNAGE By Brice McPheeters THE INTERNET of Things has arrived, and its reach is expanding. In its increasingly common usage, the term “Internet of Things” refers to the network of every day physical objects, structures, and vehicles linked to and accessible through internet connectivity. Each has embedded within it the necessary and sufficient technology to communicate with the external world. It’s not just our phones, home devices, and cars that are synced to each other through an internet connection; the digital signage industry has also solidified its presence on the grid. One of the primary virtues brought about by the establishment of digital signage within the Internet of Things is how versatile this marvelous display technology has become. LED signage, paired with integrated content management systems equipped with internet connectivity like NanoLumens’ AWARE system, are now customisable and alterable remotely. The capacity to control display content from anywhere grants content managers an immeasurable upgrade in flexibility, and allows content to be updated in real time to keep consumers informed and engaged. It is imperative for signage to be topical, and the improving mobile management capabilities of network-connected digital signage are an invaluable tool for achieving that. LED displays like those built by NanoLumens are also available with built-in cameras and beacons that can identify a consumer’s age, gender, and emotion. As artificial intelligence technology advances, the digital signage content management systems will be able to gather and analyse this data to make content decisions on their own, freeing up content managers to focus their attention on other areas of their organisation. Consumers understand that businesses have access to audience analytics, and they increasingly expect that data to be used to improve their experience. Today’s best networkconnected digital signage will be able to fulfill this
request with ever greater speed and accuracy. With all this utility in play, it’s clear that as the digital signage industry fully incorporates itself into the Internet of Things, the versatility and efficacy of displays will skyrocket. Content managers will have the tools to optimize the performance of their installations, and audience members will have the power to invest their personal tastes in their display experience. The internet of things has brought the digital display signage industry into the present, and it will continue to drive it into the future. Brice McPheeters is a business development manager with NanoLumens
“The capacity to control display content from anywhere grants content managers an immeasurable upgrade in flexibility”
EYE ON RETAIL
YOUR CUSTOMERS WON’T BELIEVE THEIR EYES New 3D holographic projectors from Kino-mo look like mini helicopters and are helping retailers send their revenues soaring
uring the 2017 Plasa event in London, there were countless examples of impressive AV technologies on display. However, one exhibitor stood out more than most, leaving attendees baffled, confused but unquestionably impressed. The company in question is Kino-mo, a Britishborn business (backed by Sir Richard Branson) who was showcasing Hypervsn – a projection display technology, which transform images and videos into 3D holograms, which to the naked eye appear to float in mid-air. Post show, AVTE met up with Kiryl Chykeyu, who co-founded the firm in 2011 – before launching this year – to find out more.
Hi Kiryl. How would you describe Hypervsn? Hypervsn is a solution for creating, managing and displaying unique 3D visuals that are perceived by viewers as hi-resolution floating holograms. It’s a unique combination of high-tech projection units and a proprietary management platform. How does it work? Hypervsn is based on sophisticated LED technology, which allows you to produce incredibly realistic hologram like 3D visuals. The solution was developed by Kino-mo engineers on the basis of the latest technologies in microelectronics and IT. Usually when it comes to holograms, it implies difficult installation, a lot of expensive equipment, certain environment conditions, etc. In the case with
EYE ON RETAIL
Q Endorsement from top British investors at Dragon’s Den, the iconic UK business TV show, just a few months after the company was founded. Publicity worldwide
Q Top 3 British Innovations of the Year award
2015 Q UK Tech Start-up of the Year, publicly endorsed by Sir Richard Branson Q Investment from Mark Cuban
Hypervsn, it is the other way round. It is simple to install and relocate, there are various accessories making it possible to mount devices to ceilings, walls and shelves, and you do not need any special people to schedule media campaigns for you. How complex is Hypervsn to manage? The integral part of the Hypervsn solution is the proprietary, cloud-based management platform developed by Kino-mo specifically for the projection units. It doesn’t matter how many devices you have in your network, you can manage them all remotely from a single location. There is an extensive functionality on the platform. For example, one can upload unique 3D video content or choose visuals from the extensive content library, create playlists and schedule customised media campaigns. We also have content creation tools, which help you transform 2D images and texts into 3D visuals suitable for Hypervsn. What are the benefits over other display tech? People are surrounded by thousands of ads on a daily basis. All advertising providers are engaged in a cut-throat fight for every customer. So what we actually do is help our customers stand out from other market players, truly drive a competitive advantage and instantly catch the eye of their potential clients. We provide our customers with much more than a projection unit. We give them an ultimate tool to eliminate the one-size-fits-all approach, foster advocacy and capture customers like no one else. 3D visuals generated with the help of Hypervsn projection units are incredibly realistic and clearly seen at a distance, even under brightlylit conditions. Designed to work 24/7, our devices are in fact energy-friendly, consuming less power than an electric bulb. Where would a customer install it? Hypervsn projection units are quite simple in installation. They weigh only 2.8 kg making it easy to mount and relocate them. There are also various accessories available to mount projection units to
Q Early versions of Hypervsn™ successfully used by Red Bull, BMW, McDonalds, Virgin Media, Dell, Moet Hennesy
Q Hypervsn™ officially launches in Las Vegas at CES-2017 Q First distributor agreements in over 20 countries
ceilings, walls and shelves, as well as to create massive installations out of multiple devices where the size of one image can reach up to four metres. What is your target market? We are experiencing a huge demand for our solution from various business sectors, ranging from retail, food and fashion, to automotive, entertainment and travel. We position Hypervsn as a B2B solution and right now we are building an extensive global distribution network. At the moment, we have official distributors in France, Japan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, USA and Australia to name a few, with more countries joining the list. Who is using it today? Our technology has already been applied by such market leaders as McDonald’s, NEXT, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Carrefour and Pernod Ricard, and others. What about costs? The costs vary as we provide the Hypervsn solution on a subscription basis. What about ROI? Hypervsn has already proven itself to be a powerful technological solution to create immersive experiences, drive advocacy and articulate the value of a brand. One of our customers has recently shared with us figures they managed to reach during Hypervsn campaign. The results were truly fascinating with turnover increasing by 35 per cent, sales up by 32 per cent, and customer acquisition improved by an impressive 47 per cent. Find out more: http://www.kino-mo.com
“All advertising providers are engaged in a cut-throat fight for every customer. We help our customers stand out” 63
MEET YOUR INTEGRATOR
MEET YOUR INTEGRATOR: FOCUS 21 Focus 21 sales director Darren Barton-Taylor gives AVTE readers an overview of the business – now in its 20th year – the current trends and challenges he’s seeing in the AV market today and how integrators are saving businesses time, money and stress <Above: An example of a recent digital signage installation from Focus 21
Hi Darren. Tell me about Focus 21. Focus 21 is a specialist AV integrator. Our role is to fulfill design and build projects for clients for every element from video conferencing through to digital signage. Last year we became the UK’s first AV Provider of Excellence (APEx) with InfoComm which is testament to our dedication to training for our teams and ensuring that we deliver excellent quality for our clients. What is your typical target market? We specialise in the coporate sector and have lots of experience with law/legal firms, financial institutions, hedge funds, banks and various corporate headquarters. Increasingly we are being asked to also look after retail projects, contact centres and digital signage projects by clients who we have installed corporate solutions for.
How has the industry changed in recent years? The industry has moved towards IT networks with integration of the two disciplines working very closely together. In recent years the technology has moved from analogue to digital for audio and video. The customer base has also become extremely well educated which enables us to innovate and look at a variety of options with the client who can make an informed decision about established and emerging technologies. What about the subject of AV/IT convergence? It has changed our engineering resource, with the teams moving from projection experts to network experts. The co-ordination at the start of a project is based alot around the IT and build schedule of a building as AV/IT is becoming an established service to be considered in the overall building design. Now, collaboration and meeting spaces are more of
MEET YOUR INTEGRATOR
a platform conversation and there are so many great products emerging to make that a seamless experience for the user which merges both IT and AV products and disciplines. What trends are you seeing in the market? A major trend is the move from LED displays rather than projection as the pixel pitch is now high enough for auditorium and meeting environments. The emergence of Skype for Business across hundreds of businesses and the requirement for smaller VC and Huddle Rooms is increasing for clients who are working rapidly on a global scale. Are you seeing any changes in attitudes by businesses towards having good quality AV? Large screens have become more cost effective which means that the customer can afford to put larger screens into larger rooms. When we work on new builds or refurbishments there is also a focus on digitally enabling all the meeting spaces and providing VC as standard, rather than focusing on just the main boardrooms. That’s testament to the importance of good quality AV to businesses in their daily operations now. We also work long term with many of our clients and AV decisions are a board level conversation now, which is great news. What’s your favourite piece of kit right now? I really like the MXA910 ceiling array microphone as its a classic example of looking at the requirements of the end user and integrator and creating a product which suits them giving a great end result. We are also looking at a number of interactive panels and Skype Room Systems at the moment which give a great collaboration experience for meetings requiring a creative output.
“A good AV system maximises productivity but a bad one can be tiring on your sight and for those in the room” technologies. Sometimes using an integrator is helpful to assist in the debate between consumer products and how those may or may not work in the commercial space. From an ongoing basis integrators can provide service and maintenance, supported by relationships with manufacturers that can make this happen quickly or they will hold replacement parts to have things back up and running smoothly. How important is having good quality AV for a business? It’s about the experience for the people using the room and getting the best out of meeting participants. A good AV system will always maximize productivity. In contrast, a bad one can be tiring on your sight and for those in the room. The use of a meeting room should be an enjoyable and seamless experience. Digital signage should be easy to manage and reliable, while centerpieces in lobbies and communal spaces should be impactful and striking. If you can achieve that, then AV can have a great positive impact on both internal and external audiences.
COMPANY STATS: Founded: 1998
Head office: Deepcut, Surrey
Staff: 91 (and growing)
Target market: Corporate, education and more
Market reach: UK and Europe
What are the biggest obstacles? As the industry is so very busy at the moment, finding engineers of a high calibre that are able to work to our high standards is a frustration and an ongoing battle. Why should end users go through an integrator and not attempt to do things alone? Time, quality and expertise. Many IT managers have the expertise to integrate a certain amount of AV themselves, which is great and so it comes down to if they have the time to do the projects themselves. Our teams offer a very specific knowledge and are InfoComm trained in everything from throw and optimal viewing distances to cabling and the latest video-conferencing
BRIEF ENCOUNTER (WITH A TWIST)
60 SECONDS WITH: Royce Lye General Manager at BenQ UK
Hi Royce, when did you first become involved with BenQ UK? I joined at the end of 2001 and it was then known as Acer Communications & Multimedia. After joining, the company rebranded to BenQ and we worked towards repositioning the company so that it was more focused on lifestyle design technology.
represents our e-Sports range. For interactive solutions, corporate collaboration is most popular with both BenQ Interactive Flat Panels and the Google Jamboard, and for projection products, the professional laser products are going down well with key vertical markets.
Why is that? How has the company evolved since this time? At BenQ we ensure that our products are designed We’re more organised, with a solid foundation of with the user in mind, such as a professional game loyal partners, robust channel player, school teacher, business strategy, superb sales and leader, workplace desktop or marketing team, with local back presentation audience. office support. We rebooted the “My ‘so close but business back in 2009 and the What advice would you give to yet so far’ TV main focus on the core display businesses looking to invest business of screens and projection in AV? career lasted one remains the same, but with a My advice would be try before episode of the BBC you commit. It is very important specific B2B direction. to get a demo and get all version of Oliver More specifically, how has your stakeholders involved in using the Twist” portfolio evolved? kit. This means that when the Our portfolio has expanded over business invests in the technology, the years and every model we implementation will be smoother manufacturer has its purpose and and easier. clear positioning, as all models in each vertical portfolio have to earn it there way. Our projector Outside of work, how do you spend your time? and display range has become a more feature rich I’m lucky to have a very short commute of ten offering, with a clearer understanding of user minutes, so I enjoy a favourable work-life balance. I demands, compared to what we offered in 2001. have also spent a few years working on a chapel conversion so I’m now enjoying that as well as What products are proving the most popular at traveling for pleasure, cooking and wine. BenQ today? For each product range, there are heroes. For Finally, tell us something about yourself, which monitors it’s critical we offer choice and we have might surprise people? expanded our offerings with the design series My so close but yet so far TV career unfortunately through to the acquired Zowie brand that now lasted one episode of BBC’s version of Oliver Twist.
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