With the latest Xbox being revealed in the upcoming weeks, Microsoft has been busy with other projects which are likely to follow afterwards. After being seen for the first time at January’s CES show, the Illumiroom is latest in immersive technology thanks to the use of a Kinect and a projector. The Kinect scans your living room and takes measurements, so that the projector can display graphics around the room creating the play space to increase dramatically, which could be particularly useful in first player games. The colours are matched using a technique called “radiometric compensation” and the Kinect and projector can be mounted wherever is convenient in the room. The “illusions” that are projected can differ from special effects around the images on the screen, enlarging the game as a whole, or transforming your room to look totally different, for example, turn it into a cartoon style. Below is a full demonstration of how system looks.
If you’ve had the pleasure of embracing a festival environment, you’ll know that it isn’t just the music that creates such an atmosphere. Bristol’s ARC festival, which took place recently, is one of the only festivals that highlights the importance of audio-visual whilst also celebrating electronic music. Several small domes are used as stages and each one has a 360 degree live projected light show in action. Company RFID and AV experts Luma use specialised software, which can design art on impulse to match the mood or speed of the current music playing. Other AV “artists” can bring along their visuals to be calibrated onto a curved surface, which uses six projectors around the dome and each portion is adjusted with millimetre precision.
The curved concept is bound to receive more mainstream interest in the future, particularly from live music events and RFID have already had a few offers. Below is a fan video of one of the domes in action.
As 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.
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.
With what is probably the most anticipated gadget of the century, Google has added yet another feature to the technological attire that is likely to push it even further. A lightweight, monochrome laser projector has been mounted on one side of the glasses and a camera on the other, to create a projection that can be beamed onto any surface, including the user’s palm.
Its touch capabilities mean you can transform your hand or another surface, into a keyboard or controls for a game you’re playing on the Google device. With some similarities to the Microsoft Kinect game, the further developments to this technology mean that despite head or hand movements, whilst say walking, the interface will stay centred, creating a smooth journey.
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.
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.
Here at Paragon Multimedia, we are always trying to further our team’s knowledge when it comes to the audio-visual world. Whether it’s newer staff learning the basics, or keeping up to date with the latest trends, we like to keep a close contact with other experts in the industry to help develop out product knowledge.
This time round, help came in the form of Medium’s James Osborne, who managed to break down the mathematical formulas for projection to some of our latest recruits. He also bought along Chris Ault from LG, who updated the team on the latest innovations from the display gurus, including the vivid transparent displays available and this year’s biggest, current talking point – the video wall. Make sure to keep checking in on our Tech Zone for product information from these specialist areas.
Chalene Chandrasiri was representing Peerless AV for the day, who are slowly becoming more and more recognised here in the UK for their large variety of mounts and brackets. Again, video wall compatibilities were brought up and Peerless is likely to be a name you’ll be hearing much more of in the near future.
Thanks again to our visitors! If you would like to partner up with us to teach us more about your products please feel free to contact us.
If you were unfortunate enough to miss this year’s bustling BETT show, do not fear, for our team were able to catch some of the stand-out products live in action! From interactive whiteboards to ultra short throw projectors, there was something for every educational establishment at the new ExCel venue in London. Click the video below to find out more and for more information on products at BETT, check out our Tech Zone section for features on some of the key factors for future education.