Sunday, June 24, 2007

InfoComm 2007
Anaheim, California

I spent the better part of two days at InfoComm this year, which is unusual for me. I try and avoid trade shows whenever possible, but this year there were lots of folks to get caught up with in the digital signage and project world.

After putting together Electrosonic's Managed Media Services group for them last year, it was incredibly interesting seeing how other firms are tackling the same issues we came up against in the Digital Signage world. It was nice to get caught up with some old friends, and enjoyed seeing their RFID triggered video source displaying clothing- something we had talked about early on.

Most of the signage engines involve a PC or Flash based device, some offered by multinationals (Cisco bought a company in December) or a whole bunch of companies that look like couple of guys working out of their garage. Functionally there doesn't appear to be much difference between the two at this point in their gestation, as neither set is truly ready to do business yet. I suspect they will be by this time next year.

Visually DynaScan's 360 degree LED signs (think a circular kiosk enveloped by 2 mm LEDs) were stunning. I suppose they should be at $30k and up each, but frankly they looked the business for a well heeled customer. I really loved their $70k model.

Scala again dominated the digital signage business, being one of the few that's figured out that advertisers need to charge their customers for playing their ads. Seems like 90% of their competitors haven't figured that out yet.

APC demonstrated some stunning new equipment rack power and cooling accessories, ironically coinciding with an article I wrote on that very subject published this week in SCN magazine. Really impressive stuff, and their sales guy from St. Louis was very helpful as well.

Steve Zink at WarrenZ Production in NYC clearly had the most impressive product at the entire show. His firm had created a custom content globe for IAC that was literally out of this world. About as close to a Killer Ap as I've ever seen in the Digital Signage world.

Spent the evening at the Astor Museum courtesy of AMX, which is about a mile from Disneyland. Art Astor must be one of the biggest collectors of antique cars (275 of them!), as well as antique televisions, microphones, telephones, and radios. I sought out the curator, who spent the better part of the evening discussing E.H Scott, Zenith, and Atwater Kent technology with us. Stunning.