This year there are so many exciting vendors this year in the InfoComm 2015 Exhibit Hall! As always, I will do my best to cover as many hot vendors as possible. I will be live tweeting from the floor, and will share a wrap-up after the event with my thoughts on the most interesting new announcements and releases.
The list of vendors I plan on visiting is far to extensive to discuss them all here. However, I would like to share my thoughts on some companies and offerings that I am looking forward to seeing. While I expect many vendors are saving big news of one type or another for the big show, I already have some preliminary information that I am at liberty to share about the following companies.
LDV readers should know that I view persistent team messaging as one of the hotter trends in business communications, and that I appreciate it being tied into real time communications as part of a full solution. Ubiety leverages the Acano platform to do just that. The Ubiety service itself is more than just a white-lable of the Acano platform. The service includes additional benefits, such as free international phone dialing. In addition, Ubiety recently partnered with Synergy Sky, which will result in a number of benefits for Ubiety customers.
I recently spoke with CEO Daryl Hutchings, who will be at the Ubiety booth in the Innovation Showcase at InfoComm next week. He shared his InfoComm announcement with me, which is the release of the Ubiety Room, a software based room system. Software room systems are hot right now, as an easy way to enable huddle or standard meeting rooms with VC. Many rooms already have a PC and cameras are getting cheaper and cheaper. You can always just run desktop software, but room software, purposely designed for the room experience and workflow, is obviously a winner. I am looking forward to checking out the UI and experience for myself at the show.
My friends are Blue Jeans aren’t ready to share whether or not they have any surprises in store for us at InfoComm, but regardless I am looking forward to chatting with the team at the booth. I am particularly interested in hearing about how their customers are responding to their new Blue Jeans Primetime offering. I believe this novel approach could reinvent the typical webcast, but I think that may be just the beginning of the story. I think the customers will come up with ideas for using Primetime that just may surprise us all. When a product like this hits the market offering a never before experienced level of flexibility, it pays to keep an eye on early adoptors as they are bound to come up with some really fun stuff. Please read our recent LDV White Paper for more information about this new type of dynamic interactive meeting, and be sure to tune in to see my appearance in a videocast on the topic on July 15th.
Continuing to embrace the complete platform approach, Videxio has recently introduced a new desktop app. Although I expect users will continue to use their browser based, WebRTC option for many calls, I know that many will appreciate the more robust feature set available through a full client. I have been doing some light testing, and so far it is exactly what I would expect. Clean UI, easy workflow, and overall a nice way to give Videxio’s users the ability to screenshare (not always available in WebRTC solutions). I look forward to seeing what else they have to share at InfoComm, as well as hopefully a development roadmap for the new app, as well as the platform as a whole.
Last month I attended AVI-SPL’s Sales Acceleration Summit and got to speak directly to the exec team about their various strategies to continue to dominate our shifting (and growing) AV market. Obviously huddle rooms and productivity based workspaces were a big part of that conversation. AVI-SPL’s InfoComm announcement ties directly into this theme as Microsoft’s Surface Hub will be available for pre-order on July 1st and AVI-SPL will be reselling and integrating the product as an “elite level” partner. In fact, AVI-SPL will be at the Microsoft booth at InfoComm, sharing information in regards to this partnership. I think this product could be a great sales leader for AVI-SPL. The Surface Hub is a great visualization of the workspace concept that we have been working towards, with its VC, whiteboarding, and content sharing capabilities. Users will “get it” pretty easily, and the product is naturally enhanced by pairing it with other AVI-SPL services. So every Hub sale is an upsale opportunity. I am looking forward to talking with the team about their detailed plans for Surface Hub based workspace concepts.
The industry giant has been making a lot of waves in our space lately. They have shared completely new solutions on both the hardware and software side at shows like this in recent years. It is possible that they don’t have any big surprises planned for InfoComm, but either way I want to chat with the team. I want to know the latest updates and roadmap for Cisco Spark, as well as any adoption and usage information. They are hot to trot with Spark, and I want to know if their users are feeling the excitement as well. I also know that Cisco has been spending a lot of time thinking about the big Internet of Things story. They have a big role in that story, and I want to make sure LDV readers get the full picture.
Phoenix Audio Technologies
Phoenix’s announcement for this year’s show really took me by surprise. I expected at most a new model of their iconic speakerphone line, but instead we are getting a new product concept with the Phoenix Condor. While customers are ready to power up their huddle rooms, they want to keep things as clean and wire free as possible. Typically there isn’t much you can do to eliminate microphone cabling. The mics MUST be on the table, relatively close to whoever is talking (hence, the center table speakerphone). The Condor is a mic array which can be mounted out of the way, with the VC monitor and camera, for a nice clean setup. It uses advanced audio wizardry (multi-mic array, beamforming, direction finding, adaptive gain control, etc.), to capture everyone’s voices from their positions around the room (up to 30 ft). I can’t wait to chat with the team to learn more about the genesis, development, and expectations for this unique product.
Unfortunately, I can’t share everything I know at this time. But I think its ok to say I am looking forward to the Polycom booth this year because I have reason to believe there may some new cool things coming. 😉
I recently covered VDO360’s latest offering, the Clearwater PC/PTZ Camera. I am very excited about this new product. The pairing of USB camera to small PC is more and more common in DIY huddle room design. By physically combining the camera and PC into a single device, VDO360 is really simplifying things for its customers. Please read my write-up for the full story, and we look forward to checking it out in person at the booth.
Obviously, this list is just a small sampling of the vendors I intend on visiting next week. Please be sure to check out all the articles in our InfoComm 2015 Preview Guide and visit the site for our live coverage of the event.