Industry News

Google Takes Another Look at Google Glass

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Google Glass

Google Glass is back and this time it will be foldable (shown in a filing published with America’s FCC) and all business.

Google “retired the original Google Glass” for consumers in early 2015 but promised to rework its smart eyeglasses for businesses. While they had a chic appeal, many people felt the product to be an intrusion in public privacy.

The research and development of this commercial version of Google Glass is under Project Aura, run by Tony Fadell, the co-founder of connected home device company Nest (bought by Google in 2014).

While it is said to have been improved as well as made foldable, the Google Glass “enterprise” version sure looks like the same glasses Google founder Sergey Brin wore when he was drumming up publicity for his consumer prototype.

There is a bigger difference, though. Through the Glass at Work program, Google is recruiting developers to design commercial applications for the device.

And here is where we come in: certified partners will be authorized to distribute Glass (along with these new applications) when the re-designed Google Glass technology becomes commercially available. Eyeglasses may be a window on the world, but these eyeglasses could be your in-road into AR and VR applications for your customers.

Watch Fortune’s Video Showing the Folding-Up Google Glass Version

Go Read the Latest FCC Filing Documents on Google Glass (click on these links shown on FCC website)

The “Smartest-Ever Office Building”

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Bob Snyder

Any integrator that sells conference rooms, corporate lobbies, residential, MDUs, whole house audio, public safety communications, or even control rooms should think about coming in to the Smart Building Conference in Amsterdam on Feb. 8th to meet the brightest minds driving change in the build environment.

Join in and you’ll hear from the front lines: how an integrator in the UK melds IT and AV into a smart building offering, how a German integrator “secures” the building, how one integrator uses IP gateways to connect unusually large and disparate systems—and one of the most important “think-tanks” in Europe shares insight from its own original research.

More importantly, you’ll hear about the world’s smartest office space ever constructed (according to Bloomberg Business). Understanding this one building will change your mind about how our industry will change in the next few years. It’s not just the 8000 sensors in a “digital ceiling” that wires the building like synapses in a brain or Philips' Ethernet-powered LED connecting lighting or the mobile app that drives the staff working experience… it’s all about the change in how we will work. I bet you’ll get ideas for your own offices, but our role as pro AV integrators will be to follow these changes in how we want to work to employ the proper AV installations that make it all happen.

Sure, the conference will have a lot of technology discussion… we’ll be sharing insight on KNX, IoT, Bluetooth LE, building automation and more (even the latest in home cinema). But the real opportunity is in the original research that shows how we live, how we work is changing…

Most of our business today is based on how people organized for work after World War II. Now the Millennials get to define what a digital world will look like. It’s not your father’s office anymore…it’s not your mother’s home… it’s not even yours: we’re talking about the spaces your sons and daughters will call home and work.

Go All About the Smart Building Conference

How to Spend Day 4 at ISE 2016

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We’ve said it before. We even pushed on ISE to make this happen: ISE was too big for 3 days and moves to a 4 day format.

That change in format should be old news by now—but here is the real question: How will you spend that extra day?

If you are an exhibitor, it’s easy…you’ll spend that day with customers. Yes, we believe Day 4 will have an aggressive turnout.

Sure, there will be first-time visitors as the gravity of ISE 2016 pulls harder and harder on any company in EMEA engaged in the dozen or so of important product categories. And, of course, the more Europeans at ISE, the more Americans and Asians will come.

But how will you spend that fourth day?

Besides the free attendee parking, ISE itself is organizing some special events like the future-defining Closing Keynote and the win a drone competition.

And then there will be the exhibitor-organised initiatives.

We think the most important point is not to waste that 4th day by inflating your usual rounds of meetings with your traditional vendors.

Frdy at ISE 2016

Keep your usual jam-packed 3-day schedule. Then invest that extra day in your future: explore a new area of business. Whatever your business is today, the pro AV business is going wider. You need to go wider with it.

Maybe it’s drones…or smart building… residential… outdoor DOOH…room scheduling…augmented reality… Whatever it is, use the tools on the ISE website to plan out Day 4.

Take the day to invest in how to grow your business beyond incremental growth. Let’s make Day 4 “Future Day…”

Friday’s Closing Keynote at ISE 2016 will be given by Dr. Michio Kaku, one of the world’s leading scientific figures. Start with his vision of the future and then use the day to find your future.

His keynote will begin at 09:00, half an hour before the show opens on Friday 12 February. See you there. We’ll be the guys in the front row taking notes.

Go Friday at ISE 2016

Go rAVe ISE 2016 Microsite

Go Register for FREE today using the following special invitation code 379894

Growing Selection of Events at ISE 2016

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Dr. Michio Kaku

The joint venture event of the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) and InfoComm International, known to all of us as ISE 2016, is now so popular that it has expanded to 4 days.

The 2016 edition (February 9-12th ) will draw over 1000 exhibitors and more than 60,000 registered attendees to its Amsterdam RAI location.

And there is a growing selection of events, conferences and innovative new features around the show. This is what it is all about folks… it’s not just walking the exhibits… by joining in the events you have a way to meet industry contacts and making contacts means making business.

On the day before the show opens visitors can listen to industry experts and thought leaders at the Smart Building Conference which highlights the changing landscape of technology for offices, rooms, and buildings in both residential and commercial AV technology.

“Knowing the digital building environment will be as important to integrators as knowing how to figure out room acoustics,” says Bob Snyder, Content Chairman. The theme for this year’s SBC is “The Network is the Building.” It will explore how the digital backbone changes the way we work, the way we live, and the new services now possible with today's buildings.

SBC Industry panelErik Ubels, Deloitte, Director Information Technology & Workplace Services, will present a keynote on the world’s smartest building, the Edge in Amsterdam. Philip Vanhoutte, MD at Plantronics, will explain how the new collaborative work is transforming everything in offices, from office design to soundscaping. Tom Carroll, Head of EMEA Corporate Research at JLL (Jones Lang Lasalle) shares their perspective on technology in the world of corporate real estate.

They join a line-up of experts from across the commercial and residential industries taking part in the Smart Building Conference.

Also taking place on 8 February is the Audio Forum conference. Visitors will have an opportunity to attend the pre-show event presented by Connessioni on the theme Theories, Technologies, Legends and Myths about Audio. Donato Masci, an acoustic designer and consultant from Studio Sound Service in Italy, will be one of the first to take the stage alongside qualified audio pros offering seminars and panels at the full day event.

The Opening Panel Discussion and Opening Reception will take place on the evening of the 8 February at 6pm. It will provide the ideal opportunity for networking over food and drinks and a chance to meet top industry executives.

The Sports Venue Integration Summit will be held on the morning of 11 February. Sports Video Group Europe, in conjunction with RH Consulting, will explore a day in the life of the contemporary connected stadium. Topics to be covered include new approaches to fan engagement, AV/IT integration, event preparation and temporary overlay.

The second annual Capital Summit, on the afternoon of 11 February, will benefit from leading European financial experts, equity funds and strategic investors, such as the returning panellist Neil MacTaggart of Media Asset Capital. John Bowen of MediaBridge Capital Advisors and John Stiernberg of Stiernberg Consulting will co-moderate the discussion, which aims to bring together AV and IT industry entrepreneurs and executives with financial professionals and business experts from the world of investments, mergers, and acquisitions.

To highlight the addition of the extra show day in 2016 will be the presentation of the Closing Keynote speaker Dr. Michio Kaku, one of the world’s leading business futurists and scientific figures. Dr Kaku’s presentation will take place at 9am, half an hour before the final day of the show opens on 12 February.

An exciting first for ISE 2016 is the launch of the Drone Arena. Hosted by Stampede Global, the new area will welcome leading drone manufacturers, and will deliver a programme of education and practical demonstrations on a daily basis.

Another first will be the launch of the Dolby Atmos Immersive Theatre, a collaboration between Arcam; Dolby and Genelec. The theatre will demonstrate the breath-taking audio that can be delivered for music, music videos and movies.

ISE 2016 will also see the addition of a fourth Show Floor Theatre. The Audio Solutions Theatre (sponsored by Tannoy) joins the already established…

  • Residential Solutions Theatre, (sponsored by KNX)
  • Commercial Solutions Theatre, (sponsored by KNX)
  • Unified Communications Theatre (sponsored by Crestron)

All sessions in the Show Floor Theatres are free to attend. Also, a special focus will add a series of themed Digital Signage Summit Presents sessions, taking place daily in the Commercial Solutions Theatres.

As usual, CEDIA and InfoComm International will present an even wider range of courses at ISE 2016. Both associations will offer more of their popular technical and business education, with offers in place for early bird discounts.

Need more info on ISE 2016? rAVe has the industry’s only ISE MicroSite where all the ISE 2016 news, blogs, videos and photos will be posted. And, it’s already live. Last year’s coverage of the 3-day event included more than 1700 videos.

Go ISE 2016

Go rAVe ISE 2016 Microsite

Go Register for FREE today using the following special invitation code 379894

Top Campaigns in 2015 from JCDecaux

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You can now see a video from industry giant JCDecaux as they showcase their best innovative campaigns worldwide from 2014- 2015.

Beframeus, JCDecaux’s content division, have also been trying something very new: seeing if the travelling and shopping public will enjoy a daily visual challenge on digital screens in rail stations and shopping centres across the UK.

It might be the most unusual quiz there is – no prize, only seconds to solve it (a 5 second display on the majority of screens, 20 seconds for larger screens) and aimed at busy people on the move.

Designed as an outdoor version of a daily crossword or a Sudoku challenge – the first time this has been attempted on Outdoor screens – Beframeus commissioned artist/illustrator Mikey Carr to create striking, visual puzzles designed specifically for Outdoor advertising environments.

With a different cryptic creative every day, based around a well-known phrase, the quiz has been designed to be deceptively simple – featuring bold colours and pared-down illustrations – yet tricky enough to provide a challenge.

Russell Gower, Creative Director, JCDecaux, said: “#IGOTTHIS is our version of a Suduko or a quick crossword puzzle, a fast brain-game designed for people on the move. Because our digital network reaches 50% of the population, it’s really a channel, and so we have the opportunity to use our network in an entirely new way. We can bring content to our network that really taps into our audience’s interest in brainteasers via this brand new quiz.”

Go JCDecaux’s Best Innovative Campaigns Worldwide

InfoComm MEA to Become Standalone Show in 2016

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InfoComm MEA

Say, “Good-bye, GITEX.”

InfoComm MEA will become a stand-alone show in 2016. There will be no more co-location with GITEX, the giant IT show of the region.

Instead InfoComm MEA 2016 will stand alone from 6-8 December 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre—although it will continue to be jointly organized by InfoCommAsia and the Dubai World Trade Centre and promoted with support from the GITEX Technology Week marketing team.

In 2016, for the first time, the new Digital Signage Summit will be co-located at InfoComm MEA, bringing a stronger focus on digital signage use in retail, hospitality, transportation, and Digital Out of Home.

Under the theme of Digital Interconnect for Peak Performance, InfoComm MEA 2015 hosted more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers from 30 countries, an increase from 184 companies in 2014. Total visitors were up 3% to 14,659 (despite the show closing two hours earlier.)

The Middle East’s audiovisual market is set to reach USD 2.76 billion by 2016, up 76% from 2012, driven by GCC megaprojects and increasing demand for screens, audio, lighting, and control systems in Smart Cities, hospitality, retail, transportation, and entertainment sectors.

Co-location with GITEX was thought to be a way to bring together IT and AV, but according to industry observers separate events in a large venue instead created numerous complications in exhibits and attendees.

Go InfoComm MEA

tvONE names Denise Nemchev as CEO

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Denise Nemchev

tvONE names Denise Nemchev as CEO. She will lead the company’s executive team comprised of David Van Horn, CFO-- and David Reynaga, CTO-- and Andy Fliss, VP of Sales and Marketing.

tvONE became an independent company following friendly management buyout of the company from Nortek, Inc. on July 31, 2015.

We mention this because Denise was not part of the tvONE management buyout... she must have been chosen later by those managers that now technically report to her. We say "technically" because as CEO she reports only to the Board-- which is this case are the CFO and CTO and VP sales... which makes this a very unusual executive arrangement.

Nemchev has been President of the AV Segment and VP, Business Transformation at Nortek (which means someone on the Nortek legal team may have fallen asleep at the switch as usually MBOs are contractually precluded from pinching executives from the mother organization).

This also means she is known executive to the tvONE Board who were all part of Nortek.

Prior to this, she was an executive at Stanley Black & Decker where she held several roles of increasing responsibility, including nearly 10 years as a President of several global business units. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Master of Business Administration degree in Technology and Finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Go tvONE

Envivio is Now Part of Ericsson

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In a deal worth about $125 million, Ericsson adds Envivio “competence, customers and highly advanced expertise in software-defined and cloud-enabled architectures for video processing” to their corporate umbrella.

This acquisition intends to strengthen Ericsson capabilities to enable content owners, broadcasters, TV service providers and network operators to accelerate the availability of new and compelling TV Anywhere viewing experiences that delight consumers, drive growth and loyalty.

Envivio began in 2000 as an inventor of video encoding technology. Along the way Envivio has amassed dozens of patents, pioneered video-over-IP methods, and continually develops support for emerging technology, from the first H.264 encoder and the first encoder to simultaneously support multiple devices and networks, to the first solution for protecting and delivering premium TV services to the iPhone.

The acquisition significantly enhances Ericsson’s software video encoding capabilities and drives forward its virtualized encoding concept, which enables abstraction of video processing functions from architectural and functional boundaries, enabling the flexibility to use both hardware and software based video compression, as well as any deployment architecture.

Together, they expect to become "the Media Processing market number one."

Go Envivio is Now Part of Ericsson

Sharp’s New Strategy, New Products, New Alliance Unveiled at Inspire Expo

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Sid Stanley

At Inspire Expo in Malta, a two day event for its European dealer community (550 dealer representatives from more than 30 countries), Sharp delivered a new converged strategy for its partner business—built on their new vision to transform the way that organisations engage with information through connected technologies.

To achieve this Sharp now combines its sales and support structure for its Document and Visual Solutions businesses across Europe to offer a complete portfolio through a single business to business sales organisation.

Sharp, like all TV and display makers, has been under pressure in the consumer business—a business that has overshadowed its profitable B2B business which consistently delivers growth. Now Sharp will concentrate on B2B and the integration of its Document and Visual Solutions business is part of Sharp’s continuing restructuring across Europe

The Sharp B2B team will work with customers, examining how they capture, process, display and share information, developing solutions which make information more applicable and more accessible, to inspire a more informed business environment.

Sid Stanley, Sharp’s General Manager, Visual Solutions Europe, took the stage at Inspire Expo to announce a European partnership with Crestron to offer complete meeting room solutions for a more effective collaborative working environment.

The partnership brings together Sharp’s range of BIG PAD interactive flat panel displays with the Crestron RL™ group collaboration solution which incorporates Microsoft Lync (and Skype for Business Room System) software.

Sharp has seen significant year-on-year growth in the interactive corporate meeting room market, as many companies recognise the importance of encouraging creativity and enhanced productivity within their work processes. Sharp is a pioneer in bringing digital collaboration to the meeting room, and is now taking its solutions to the next level with the 80” multi-touch Capacitive P-CAP touch technology.


Says Stanley, “In the meeting room the needs of our customers have transformed over recent years, from a simple audio visual device requirement to one where immersive, connected technology easily contributes to productive and engaging meetings. The combination of Crestron’s experience of content and solution management systems and Sharp’s experience in the interactive display market now answers the increasingly diverse requirements of the modern workplace.”

At Inspire Expo, Sharp showed its most advanced BIG PAD, the 80” collaborative touchscreen, PN-80TC3, for the first time. Designed for professional environments, BIG PAD PN-80TC3 will transform meeting and conference rooms into creative and effective spaces where people can easily present words, pictures, video and sounds on an outstandingly smooth projected capacitive (P-CAP) touch screen, work together on one or more surfaces using intelligent pens, and two-way screen share with colleagues through their mobile devices.

BIG PAD PN-80TC3 builds on the heritage of Sharp’s range of interactive flat panel displays. It recognises up to 10 points of simultaneous touch contact with an advanced 220Hz sampling algorithm, and allows 4 people to write on the screen at the same time using Sharp smart pens, letting people write and draw to support creative brainstorms, lectures and planning meetings. Several displays can be linked together to form an enlarged touch surface with the Multi-Board functionality.

BIG PAD PN-80TC3 comes with new software to support multi-board configurations for data-intensive and critical-sharing environments and Touch Display Link 2.0 to let screen content be shared wirelessly with up to 50 mobile devices.

Go Sharp’s BIG PAD PN-80TC3

Go Sharp Visual Solutions