The futuristic possibilities we thought were only possible in the sci-fi movies are slowly but surely catching up with us. With touch, gesture and even eye control becoming a reality in recent times, Samsung, who created that Galaxy S4 phone which is controlled by eye movements, have proved that by concentrating, you can make selections on a tablet.
Users currently need to wear a cap with EEG-monitoring electrodes but the inventors are looking to create a dryer version soon. Many companies, including IBM have shown serious interest in this technology particularly for gauging moods. Although it may be a slower transaction from thought to display and far from general public use, this technology will be invaluable to those with mobility disabilities. Seeing as a lot of systems are now controlled by tablets, this technology could prove to be life changing for those needing AV equipment.
It may only be a concept for now but this car is bound to catch people in its headlights. Car manufacturers Mercedes-Benz will be showcasing their latest vehicle, the Concept GLA, at the Shanghai auto show over the coming week, which uses projectors as headlights. The front headlamps laser sourced projectors which have the capability of displaying media from formats such as smart phones, a hard drive or from the net.
There are also two cameras in the front roof rail which can capture 3D images, which can then be used externally on another device, so you can bring your journey to life.
Although the first thing we thought of when seeing this was a personal drive in cinema, Mercedes believe this technology could help road safety by projecting symbols for direction or warnings onto the road to give other users a heads-up.
Check out the video to see the car in action.
With the projection industry continuing to shine brighter after a continual advance in technology, our team visited RGB Communications to keep up to date with the latest products. Drew Rogers, a product specialist for projection, helped breakdown the pros and cons of each technology including DLP, 3 chip DLP and LED as well as the more upmarket LCoS systems. With products from NEC, Barco and Canon, some of our staff were shown demonstrations on the increases in resolution and quality available from each projector.
However, RGB do not just supply projectors. Covering an array of equipment including mounts, VC systems and control systems, their latest product that caught our eye was the Savant control system. Using an Apple device, this home automation system could also be used in a corporate environment, and with everyone owning an iPad, Savant is bound to become a favourite, as it has already proven popular in hotels. Keep an eye out for a blog coming soon on this product.
Thanks again to Drew and the rest of the RGB team for such an informative day.
A tall building in Sao Paulo, Brazil has transformed into an enormous game of retro classic Tetris. The passers-by on the street were able to play on the extra-large monitor (300m2) via iPads, whilst the coloured blocks were projected onto the building’s surface with 100,000 LED lamps. A version of the Space Raiders game was also available and attracted a lot of attention from tourists and residents alike. The project, coined “Play!” by its digital artists, was available for two weeks in the city, an extended period than what was expected, due to the success.
With interactive LCDs continuing to prove popular among both educational environments and offices, manufacturers BenQ have jumped at the opportunity to join the likes of Clevertouch and C-Touch models on the market. Their interactive displays, which are available in 42, 55 or 65 inches are simply connected to your PC via USB thanks to Optical Sensing Touch technology and are ready to go. Turning into a dual touch LCD flat panel with a thin frame has proved to be a more engaging tool for learning and has also been researched to show extra efficiency in offices.
An ambient light senor built into the TL range helps the user and viewers to achieve an optimal picture quality, regardless of the lighting in the room, whilst an integrated speaker means that the screen can be the home to all sorts of multimedia, including video with sound.
If you would like more information about this project, or any other interactive classroom equipment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We’ve all gotten used to the idea of pinching, sliding and prodding our touchscreen devices but we’d never expect to actually pick up a piece of the action. MIT’s Media Lab has created the option with an elasticated touchscreen that lets you experience “2.5D”, a dimension that has not been mentioned in the technology world before. The prototype, which has been named Obake, looks to bring even more touch to the touchscreen — using actuators, depth cameras, a projector, and a silicone screen to make pinch-to-zoom and other gestures a 3D reality.
The silicon display is supposed to mimic the fluidity of water whilst still allowing the gestures to create geometric shapes. Due to the large set up needed to create this dimension, it’s unlikely we will see this on the next smart phone, but it is likely to become a create concept for 3D displays in tourist attractions and educational purposes.
Check out the video below to see the set up behind the magic and see the “screen” in action.
You can always count on technology to move faster than we can handle and just as we thought we were getting the hang of what 4K is all about, the upgrade has already begun to stir interest.
With 4K technology only just becoming included in specs for most visual equipment, it’s surprising to think that experts are already talking about doubling such a high quality resolution but 8K has been predicted to be in regular use by 2020.
By regular of course, we don’t mean all your living rooms will be filled with such high definition, as the screen would need to be huge. Otherwise known as Ultra HD, 4K refers to a resolution of around 4,000 pixels in width and 2,000 high, creating a size equivalent to four HD screens. The amount of content available is still lacking and therefore some films that have been shot digitally do not reach their full potential on the screen.
The 7680×4320 resolution expected of 8K has already been achieved in certain technology, such as JVC’s E-shift projection which doubles the resolution from a 4K device and has been used recently in flight simulators. As this evolution in resolution proves, it’s vital to future proof your system as the modern age is no longer an era where old and new technology can integrate with ease. Due to its larger need of bandwidth, use fibre optic cabling to allow for this expansions and look out for scalers and players upgrading (for example, Sony have already realised a BluRay player than can upscale to 4K).
To future proof your system, use 4K now and use fibre optic cabling (HDCP over fibre optic is still being worked on) to allow for larger bandwidth in the future. Content for 4K is currently very slim, so compatibility is currently a slight issue with content having to be scaled down for say, a BluRay player. Large format displays are bound to appreciate this advancement with 8K having the capabilities of stretching across say, an outdoor surface 300 feet wide. Although it may seem like something too far in the future, it’s likely manufacturers will start to embrace the Ultra HD tendencies, so we thought we’d give you the heads up.
A chart showing the differences between resolutions.
Midwich’s technical division True Colours joined forces with many of their manufacturers on Friday to cover all aspects of a technology that continues to get bigger and bolder – the video wall. With multi-display systems continuing to spread throughout sectors other than corporate and education, the distributors bought together Dexon, NEC, Exterity, Peerless AV and AMX to discuss all elements of the technology at the Runnymede Hotel in Egham, UK.
Iain Campbell, Sales Director at True Colours, opened the morning explaining that video walls can be used for more than just digital signage, as they have personally dealt with the army and banks, proving its use in centralising monitoring. With this array of opportunities, video wall sales are expected to reach 12,800 this year, with that increasing further to 16,700 in 2014. There are certain factors which are imperative to creating a successful display system and many clients may not realise this. Dexon were on hand to explain their latest wall controller technology which offers an easy input. NEC had a wide range of screens on display with very narrow bezels and advanced fan technology to avoid overheating and prolong life usage, including the 3×3 display being used for the presentation.
With IPTV becoming a popular part of digital signage and therefore video walls as well, leading networkers Exterity provided a lesson in how internet television can be streamed across a building without using up all your bandwidth. AMX’s Jeremy Slater provided a success story to demonstrate how key personalised control systems can be for large displays, while more recent recruit Peerless AV brought mounting to the foreground, as many clients forget the importance of a secure and adjustable bracket.
After LG’s 3D video wall grabbing so much attention at ISE this year, it’s apparent that 2013 could be the year for the video wall, so if you would like more information on how it could benefit your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Paragon Multimedia was lucky enough to be one of the 45,000 visitors through the doors of the rammed RAI in Amsterdam, making it the best-attended AV trade show ever held. With 900 exhibitors also beating the world record, ISE 2013 consisted of twelve halls filled with new innovative technologies to catch our eyes.
Mike Blackman, the Managing Director for Integrated Systems Events was thrilled with the result, explaining, “ISE 2013 demonstrated more clearly than ever that the electronic systems integration industry is capable of defying economic headwinds and encouraging its stakeholder companies toward continued growth.”
Similar to its American equivalent CES, ISE became the location of many launches by large manufacturers, including Crystal Displays touchscreen transparent LCD, Lighthouse’s flexible LED and Sony’s lamp-free 3LCD projector – the first of its kind.
One thing that was lacking was any evidence of OLED, which we have reported on previously and is supposedly the future of large display screens. Instead, 3D seemed to be the main interest by the visual enthusiasts, with LG’s beautiful video wall taking centre stage with its almost bezel-free frame.
Wireless audio was another focal point with the leaders being the likes of Peerless Audio, Sehnheisser and NuVo. Although the technology was often showcased to benefit a home cinema environment, it’s apparent that less cabling will be appreciated by all sectors, including corporate and education. We will have more on this coming soon to the Tech Zone, so make sure to keep a lot out if your audio system needs a revamp.
We hope that whoever attended ISE had a great time and we plan to have much more of a presence next year, as it continues to grow and grow. If you would like any more information on any of the products of concepts mentioned, please feel free to drop us an inquiry via our Tech Zone.
Despite taking up half of the term “audio-visual”, the impact of audio on offer at BETT seemed to be lacking. Although many of the latest interactive screens had integrated speakers, there was only a small cross-section of companies offering speakers or microphones to enhance both the classroom and a presentation theatre within an education establishment.
Studies have been carried out to prove the impact that classroom noise can have on students and Lightspeed’s latest Exciter technology takes this research into account. According to a study from 1994, a professor of Audiology proved that ELL (English Language Learning) children were affected by ambient noise in a classroom. Word recognition by these pupils was affected by volume, distance from the speaker and how the audio was distributed, but all of the children; both native and non-native had better understanding when little or no additional noise was created, through issues like feedback, or buzzing electronics. In a current situation where classrooms are full to the brim, distance cannot often be altered, so teachers need to be as audible as possible, regardless of the room size.
Lightspeed have taken these ideas to create a speaker that enhances both audibility (the volume) and intelligibility (the clarity) in the classroom by using a panel style instead of a cone-shaped speaker. This helps distribute soft consonant sounds and creates a clear sound without having to use maximum volume. This simple yet effective technology creates a natural voice for the teacher and feedback is eliminated regardless of where the teacher is located in the room.
Lightspeed’s TopCat speaker
If you’re interested in enhancing your audio in either the classrooms or would like to upgrade your school hall acoustics, our free health checks can offer you advice and support regarding your specific needs. We can carry out acoustic tests, as well as finding ways to minimize feedback and ambient noise, so contact us via our query forms and we can get back to you.
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