Tag Archives: digital signage

ISE 2014 preview

One of Europe’s largest electronics shows ISE will be returning to Amsterdam in February and we hope to be reporting from their to share all the latest news. We’ve been researching and have found a few top picks we feel will get a lot of attention of the three days at the RAI centre.

Proficient Audio Protege speakersProficient-Protege-Speakers-610x465

With a thin-bezel design on all 31 models of their speakers and subwoofers, Proficient Audio will be ones to listen out for at ISE. This new Protege series sees the largest product line change for the manufacturer and by eliminating the plastic rim these sleek speakers can blend better into walls and ceilings. Despite their minimalistic aesthetics, the acoustics and engineering behind the product are still the up to speed with rival products, making the Protégé series a real hit for interior designers and modern working environments.

4K Video Distribution from Crestron

4K is bound to continue being a buzzword you hear around 2014 but many in the business have been worrying about the lack of content available Crestron have tried to bridge the gap in the market with their latest DigitalMedia matrix switchers. Ranging from 8×8 to a gigantic 128×128 input/output, the switchers embody a new range of HDMI over HDBaseT extenders, which can transmit and receive 4K content using standard CAT5e cables. The HD-EXT4-C and HD-EXT3-C models can support 4K signals and send content up to 100 metres via the HDBaseT without any degradation of signal. The transmitters can be easily rack mounted or mounted in a single gang wall box.

crestron

AMX’s Enzo the latest in revolutionary meeting roomsamzenzo

Presenting and collaborating is an area many manufacturers are concentrating on due the fact a lot of research has returned problems with log in speed and sharing data. AMX’s ENZO series tackles this instantly – from logging in, to access documents, to sharing them. By using the cloud, you can access your documents via the cloud on popular application DropBox and instead of the faff of signing in, a QR code linked up to your mobile while allow you access. The QR code concept is also used for when your audience wish to access the documents so passwords aren’t needed but security is kept due to ENZO deleting all documents from the machine when you log off.

Vutec Theater Art System Multi-Vu

After winning awards at CES, and CEDIA, ISE displays Vutec’s all-in-one entertainment experience. What appears as a framed piece of art (or a personal photo if you wish) descends at the touch of a remote control to unveil a flat panel and a motorised projection screen. The projection screen offers several masking options and the system allows you to add multiple screens if you wish, making it ideal for a style-conscious environment.

If you would like further information on any of these products or a similar concept for your business, please do not hesitate to contact the office.

BETT is back!

Print Despite only just settling back into the daily grind after the Christmas holidays, BETT has once again come around with a bang and it’s time to start planning your visit. The annual gathering of all things education and technology is back in London from 22-25th January and after 30 years the devices may have gotten smaller but the market has gotten much larger.

When you look back on how much the classroom has changed in the last 30 years, the next 30 look to be truly game changing. With the current generation of children in education becoming almost instinctive when using technology, its usage within the classroom should be seamless. This year, you are bound to find products that allow a faff-free set up and instant, simultaneous access to information for teacher and pupils. Collaborative devices and cloud sharing are slowly becoming the norm and when the likes of Google are pairing up with Smart for such devices, you know it’s something worth looking into. BETT is the perfect opportunity to learn about the possibilities available as well as the individual products but we know it can be a lot to take in.

As always, Paragon Multimedia will be present at the event and happy to assist you, whether it’s reporting back with the latest innovations, recommend the best solution for your system or grab information for you if you’re unable to attend the event yourself. If you are planning on attending, here are a few tips to make sure you get the optimum from your visit:

Plan! Think about what resources your establishment currently requires or needs so that you know what you’re looking for before you get there, as there is a lot to get lost in. Do some research on manufacturers exhibiting that supply these resources so that you know where you’re heading on the day. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to give us a call and we can guide you on what you should look out for depending on your specific requirements.

Learn! There are several seminars and presentations going on around the ExCel over the three days so make the most of your journey by extracting wisdom from industry experts. A timetable can be found on the BETT website and all sessions are CPD accredited.

Chat! Many of our partner suppliers will be on hand to do demonstrations of products and answer any questions we may not have answered for you before the event. If you don’t get all your answers, or are interested in taking your ideas further, we can book a meeting with you at your site to discuss this further. Furthermore, if the stall is too busy and you’d like to experience a product one on one, we offer free demonstrations that we can bring to site, so if you see something that interests you, please let us know. Our team will be picking out all the highlight products from the show and our post BETT report is bound to assist both those who did attend and those who were too busy to visit.

bett-2014arena]

 

Paragon Multimedia specialise in Professional Audio Visual Installations from their offices in Berkshire, UK.

CES Show- What to watch in 2014

CES2014The largest electronic show in the world is back in Vegas and CES is filled with innovative technology set to amaze as always. Unfortunately, Paragon were unable take a trip over the pond but we have been keeping an eye on all the latest news to share with you. This year’s main attractions may have been in the gaming and wearable technology spectrum but there was still plenty of AV equipment and concepts set to stun, with Samsung particularly catching our eye with an array of products. We’ve listed our top three products from the show.

98-inch 8K screen

Whilst many manufacturers are filling the floor of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with 4K screens of all sizes, Samsung are skipping a step by unveiling a monolithic 98-inch screen in 8K. Also known as Quad Ultra HD, this 7680 x 4320 resolution was on display with a super sharp image but it seems bizarre when it seems 4K hasn’t quite flown off the shelves yet. We discussed 8K in detail last year,  after Sharp showcased their screen back in 2010 and although it appears to still be in prototype format, it will be interesting to see if we all skip 4K and wait for the next best thing.

Home Automation IS the Future

It’s apparent this year that the home automation market has grown thanks to the increased use of tablets and wireless connectivity. In the corporate market, the likes of AMX and Crestron still appear strong when controlling an entire system but domestically Samsung is trying to get ahead of the rat race. Last year LG showcased its HomeChat system, which allowed users to text their controlled devices with commands from afar. Samsung plan to incorporate their new wearable technology along with features including the following:

  • Control will now be possible over devices such as lighting and air conditioning from a smart device app elsewhere and voice commands will be possible via new TV remote controls.
  • Cameras will be built into TVs and other appliances to allow Home View. This provides real-time video feeds to a user’s smartphone so that they have surveillance over their home whilst on the move.
  • A new customer service technology allows appliances to notify the smartphone app if anything needs cleaning or replacing. For example, if a light goes out, you will receive an alert on your phone instantly.samsunghomeautiomation

All of these features could become very useful in a corporate environment and it wouldn’t surprise us if other manufacturers catch onto this in the future.

Flexible screens

There is an array of curved screens on show at CES, a concept that seems to have had mixed reviews, including Samsung’s 105-inch 4K TV but a couple of prototypes appear to have taken it one step further with flexible OLEDs. Both LG and Samsung are exhibiting bendable screens, which allow the user to decide when they want an immersive curve and normal viewing can be restored with ease. On the Samsung, we’re not talking Rolf Harris wobble boards here but the opportunity to slightly curve either side of the display so that it rises out of the bezel, giving the impression of more depth.

bendablesamsung

Interactive digital signage is far from despicable

140-Grand-VIsual-Despicable-MeHave your children dragged you over to a Despicable Me 2 sign yet? If they have we don’t blame them, as Universal Pictures have come up with a promotional campaign that integrates smart phone control, interactive digital signage and social media sharing. The ‘Command the Minions’ campaign allows users to control the characters on screen with their smartphones and then watch the movements instantly, with the viewer’s name displayed to say thanks.

The interactive campaign was set up by Clear Channel, planned and coordinated by TED@MediaCom and powered by an app designed by Grand Visual. By either texting or tweeting a shortcode, the technology links from an SMS or web app to allow up to 30 animated sequences to be commanded. OpenLoop, the campaign management dashboard, helped create the real time interaction and personalised response in the specific mall. To continue the promotion, the user will then receive a text with a code that can share your “movie” on your social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign is currently running on 259 screens in 51 shopping malls across the UK, France, Spain, Norway and Finland, so keep an eye out and give it a try for yourself. Below is a video to demonstrate.

If you are interested in implementing some interactive digital signage for your business, feel free to contact us to discuss some ideas.

Is the hype of 3D already dying out?

3DTV_glassesIMAGEEntering a 3-dimensional world through our screens became all the rage when the likes Avatar created an immersive experience filled with colour. The thought of putting on these magical glasses was exciting and previous films were reborn with this extra technology. Then we wanted it in our living rooms, to make home cinema even greater and while we’re at it, let’s watch the football with it too.
Obviously, every company caught on and televisions were made with built-in 3D capabilities and glasses sold additionally, as families crowded round the flat screen for a futuristic night in. Nowadays is another story, with those who have the necessary hardware not tending to bother with it, especially just for television and this is why the BBC will be abandoning the idea until 2016 at least. ESPN also decided to ditch the extra dimension last month with 3D sports broadcasts being shut down by the end of the year.

Apparently the audience find the concept “too hassly”, due to the glasses and the arguments over the best seat to capture the quality. Not only that but many have complained about lack of colour and the fact that often television is not the sole activity you’ll be doing and therefore the glasses interfere with other activities such as checking your phone, or talking to others in the room. Although most high end TV sets available on the high street do have 3D capabilities, its likely that if this decrease continues, manufacturers will push 4K more than ever.

Its not just in the home where the hype is starting to fade. Despite many cinemas introducing new passive glasses thought to be more comfortable, films don’t seem to be grasping the use of the technology and there is a lack of objects flying out in your face, despite a hefty ticket price and probable headache. If the third dimension is already dying out in home cinema, it will be interesting to see if recent digital signage applications will hit it off. This year’s ISE event showcased LG’s 3D video wall, which received a huge buzz due to no glasses being needed.

What are your thoughts on 3D?

New touch screen technology thought to be more energy efficient

Touch screen experts Peratech have created a solution for touch screen applications that allows for a more energy efficient system. Due to the QTC Ultra Sensor being placed behind the screen, there is no loss of light from the display, meaning less battery is used.

This technology has been working best with OLED and e-paper type displays but can also be used on other products. LCD is not advised as they cannot really be pressed. Normally touch screen devices require a layer over the top of the display, which causes slight light loss, so having the technology behind the screen means brightness and quality in the image will not be lost.

QTC, which stands for Quantum Tunnelling Composite material, means the material changes its resistance when pressure is applied and only then. It means power is only used when the screen is touched, unlike previous technologies that need continual power for the active sensing matric. Apparently the QTC will also be a lot cheaper, due to limitless size opportunities regardless of the matrix interference and the company have already made examples that are 2m by 1m.

It will probably be a while until this concept is brought onto the high street, so if you have any queries or requirements involving touch screen now, please feel free to contact us.

 

Highlights from European Sign Expo 2013

vueintimannequinDespite so many experts fully believing that digital signage will soon overtake the print business, the European Sign Expo is tucked away into a small corner, whilst the rest of FESPA engrosses the London ExCel with monstrous looking printers and paper galore.

There were debates going on early in the day over at the Screenmedia Theatre regarding the battle between print and digital signage and either way the technology is consistently improving over in the European Sign Expo. With it being the first of its kind here in London, the expo is relatively full and both old and new exhibitors emerge from the stalls.

Amongst familiar faces including Brightsign and Innova, there were a few names that caught our eye when it came to fresh ideas. The virtual mannequin has been seen from several companies and is slowly becoming a more common sight in the likes of hospitals, attractions and retail. Although this is the first thing you notice at Vueinti’s stall it soon becomes apparent their innovation spreads much further. Their mannequin has some extended features, such as being muted until a movement sensor realises someone is close by. Although the stall was relatively bear, due to a last minute offer to exhibit, Vueinti were happy to showcase some other great products via iPad. Their Retail Brand Activation is likely to be a huge hit in retail as the display case senses when a product is picked up. This then triggers the digital signage screen above to display information about the product of interest and uses LED lighting to spotlight the item on the shelf. The display also incorporates analytical software so that gender and age can be picked up for market research. This concept has also been attached to their mannequins, meaning the virtual informer is only activated when a product is picked up.

vueinti

Airgoo were another name that caught our attention due to the size of their latest signage player. With a MicroPlayer the size of a USB memory stick, this cost effective solution uses WiFi and 3G to display ready to upload content. Even if your internet connection it lost, the content will continue looping until you retrieve signal, so your screen will never freeze or turn off. Unlike other brands, Airgoo’s player can transform any brand of television into a digital signage display as long as it has a HDMI port. The CMS (Content Management System) is web based and although this helps with scheduling and grouping screens, it does not offer a way of creating the content, meaning you either send over the content from your previous software via RSS, or use outsourced designers.airgoo

As you can see, many of the eye catching technologies appeal more to a retail sector and although Pyramid’s Polytouch screens on show may appear that way as well, you soon realise the possibilities are pretty vast. With a quick mounting system to upgrade when necessary, the platform also integrates a chip and PIN device, barcode scanner and even a camera to interact further. The obvious applications of self service and product information for retail may be the first concept that springs to mind, but Polytouch has been applied successfully for banking, events and hospitality as well.

IMAG0487

Digital signage is continuing to grow and can be applied to any business. If you don’t want to get left behind, why not contact us for a free of charge health check, where we can recommend the best solution for you?

Medical lectures using ghost hologram

_68232054_skull

There was a huge reaction when Tupac was displayed via hologram at last year’s Coachella Festival and despite its usage for other entertainment; a London university has used the Pepper’s Ghost illusion to enhance its learning opportunities.

Two junior doctors have developed effects so that a large scale hologram can be displayed in medical lectures, with last week demonstrating a 4 metre kidney. Research in education has shown that more interactive teaching, including 3D, can increase attention span and this 3D graphic can be controlled by the lecturer, so that particular parts can be viewed. The scale of the image means attention to detail required by medical students can be viewed with ease, however both students and professors alike do not feel this will fully replace traditional methods. Dr Sugand reminds us, “Nothing can substitute dissecting a cadaver – it is the optimal and most traditional way of learning anatomy. But multimedia has become a way of complementing, not replacing that process.”

Unlike a standard hologram, the Pepper’s Ghost illusion uses glass or foil combined with special lighting techniques to make objects appear in mid-air. And three projectors are used to create the full colour images but need you’ll need a large auditorium for such big graphics.

The developers are still creating a large library of animations to utilise but it’s unlikely we will see this in action regularly for a while. If you would like more information on education or healthcare systems, please feel free to contact us.

musion eyeliner

A simple diagram to explain the Pepper’s Ghost illusion

 

InfoComm 2013 round up

infocommshowUnfortunately Paragon was unable to jet over to Florida for the week but InfoComm 2013 was still filled to the brim for its largest show ever, with over 35,000 through the doors.  Although many of our better known brands such as Vivitek, Draper and NEC were in attendance, it was newer products that caught our eye in the various launches shared.

One press preview that stood out was over on the DLP stand, where a hybrid technology consisting of a short throw projector and a multi-touch display prototype created a fully interactive screen on any surface. The 3,000 lumen projector uses sensor technology to connect the two together however there was no implication of market possibilities anytime soon.

Black Box’s digital signage players aren’t products we had personally heard of before but perhaps this is because their Q series stands for “quiet”. The fanless media players used a finned design instead, including a heat sink to avoid overheating without the noise.

4K still seems to be one of the main buzzwords for 2013 and while many are still getting to grips with the concept, Planar Inc. have taken their LCD product line a step further with multi-touch and multi-user capabilities. Being one of the first of its kind to combine collaboration with the ultra-high resolution, the image clarity and multiple touch points create an ideal solution for way-finding, product catalogues and interactive digital signage.

If you are interested in 4K, interactive touch screens or any other new products on our Tech Zone, please feel free to contact us.

20130613Texas_Instruments_DLP_Technology570

NEC Showcase 2013

IMAG0455As if the Tobacco Dock in London was not enough in respects of a great venue, the content displayed within its old fashioned frame makes for an enlightening day, in which the power of audio-visual proves it’s stronger than ever. The NEC Showcase’s fifth year of collaborating with other big manufacturers sees a serious upgrade in the retail and education sectors; however the event covers every angle including corporate, transport, media, leisure, healthcare and control. Each room had live demonstrations of new innovations so that you could experience the technology hands on, with visitors from round the world receiving live tours around the vast displays. From the word go you enter the electronic world, with a immersive tunnel that uses rear projection to create an engaging walkway.IMAG0456

Amongst all of this, there was also conferences and seminars as well as a dance troupe who were demonstrating a 4K workflow and were being filmed for playback on a 4K videowall and other 4K technology including a laser projector and using a 5K camera. 4K was seen elsewhere in the venue including NEC’s new 4K laser projector and a UHD 4K videowall. 3D had its own area, which proves this technology will continue to evolve, however it was kept purely for leisurely activities at this event.

The education room concentrated on collaborative learning including DisplayNote software, which we have touched on previously here. Digital signage within the schools and universities were pushed with AMX’s latest control panel proving anyone can keep the system up to date (blog coming soon).

The retail section was probably the most popular, due to so many interactive displays that brought to life many concepts we have been hearing so much about, yet haven’t tried out for ourselves. This included large touch screen menus, virtual changing rooms and audience analytics (blogs to come soon).

Congratulations to NEC on the event and make sure to keep an eye out for more in depth product spotlights coming soon on the Tech Zone.

IMAG0425