30 technologies ushering in the future for education

AV technologies leap forward in agnostic touch capabilities, live streaming during this year’s flashy Infocomm.

If the bright lights and casino bling of Las Vegas weren’t enough to dazzle conference-goers from around the world, the awe-inspiring displays of futuristic technology littering the Infocomm 2016 show floor certainly were, such as Epson’s trippy Infinity Room and LG’s mind-bending OLED curved tiling display.

Epson’s Infinity Room and LG’s curved display.

“We’ve seen a lot more traction with education leaders, not just the typical IT folks,” said Tracie Bryant, VP of sales at AVI-SPL. “We already have thousands of pre-orders for our collaborative Microsoft 365-based surface hub. The investment in innovation is really taking off in education.”

Indeed, this year’s Infocomm was officially the largest on record: 1,000 exhibitors, including 211 new exhibitors, filled the Las Vegas Convention Center June 8-10, occupying 527,105 net square feet of exhibit and special events space—also a show record. Attendees registered for more than 12,000 seats at InfoComm University sessions throughout the week, more than double the number engaged in training and education in 2015. The show overall welcomed more than 38,833 visitors, 4.8 percent more than the last time the show was held in Las Vegas, affirming it as the best-attended annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers in the Western Hemisphere. More than 35 percent of attendees were visiting InfoComm for the first time.

Though many vendors offered a diverse multitude of AV solutions that could geek out even tech-phobic luddites, including some like Elmo’s next-gen portable collaboration Huddle Space that’s not even on the market yet, two AV technologies were the most touted among vendors and attendees alike: hardware and software-agnostic touchscreens, and live, on-demand video streaming technologies.

Elmo’s not-on-market Huddle Space.

“There are so many different live streaming technologies on show at this year’s Infocomm, so it’s never been more important for institutions to know how they differ to decide the best technology for their needs and mission,” explained Claudia Barbiero, director of marketing at LiveU. “The explosion of live, on-demand video services on campuses right now is really exciting because it’s moving past the sports events to innovative areas we never even thought of, like pop-up classes and different aspects of online learning.”

From the editors of eCampus News and eSchool News, here are the 30 companies that displayed future-ready technologies at Infocomm 2016:

[Listed in alphabetical order]

The portable VoD streaming solution.

AVerMedia: AVerMedia Technologies displayed its latest HEVC encoding and streaming solutions, encompassing top-tier 4K HEVC/H.265 compression for UHD content to standard AVC/H.264 compression. The company’s professional products offer codec support and quality, while supporting multi-display streaming and processing. Their live encoders can ingest up to 4K content and simultaneously encode it into HEVC and H.264 streams, turning a single capture source into multiple output streams for a multitude of devices. Click here for the full news.

The software and hardware-agnostic touchscreen.

AVI-SPL: This collaboration tech solutions and AV systems integration company revealed its enhanced collaboration services designed to simplify the AV and IT convergence for end users. These features were the focus at AVI-SPL’s booth at InfoComm, highlighting added service capabilities to Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMR) including Unify ME, the global integrator’s interoperable VMR service. This includes “one-click” collaboration, meeting recording and streaming capabilities, Microsoft Exchange integration, as well as Symphony monitoring and management platform allowing organizations to measure the quality of the meeting experience. Click here for the full news.

A living lab.

Barco: The global provider of collaboration technology partnered with Televic Education, and ed-tech provider, to explore how technology can help educational institutions implement a whole new way of learning and teaching. Under the TECOL project (Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Learning), the three partners will set up a living lab at the KULAK campus. There, they will investigate the power of technology to foster interaction, collaboration and, as a result, student engagement in traditional classrooms, multi-site environments and virtual, worldwide classrooms. Click here for the full news.


BenQ: The RP Series interactive flat panels from BenQ feature full HD resolution and range in size from 65 to 75 inches. They include including 20-point multi-touch design, multi-platform compatibility with driver-free touch connectivity. Click here for the full news.

Canon - see comment
Bowling display layers images from two interactive short throw projectors.

Canon: Just prior to InfoComm, Canon released its REALiS WUX450ST Pro AV LCOS — a short throw projector (with a non-interchangeable lens) that includes native WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), 4500 lumens of brightness, and proprietary technology that helps project highly detailed/contrasted and color accurate images. A new single-chip DLP projector with a laser phosphor light source (up to 8,000 lumens in brightness) was also shown. Click here to read the full news.

(Next page: Projectors, audio tech and more)

Casio projector interior
Projector interior.

Casio: Seven new lamp-free (laser) projectors from Casio — including three from the Core Series and four from the Advanced Series — were on display, all in a compact design. They consume half the amount of power per unit than lamp-based projectors: Power consumption at the brightest setting is only 180 watts and eco modes can reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent. Click here to read the full news.

Christie - AP series 5k lumen projector
AP series 5k lumen projector.

Christie: The new  AP Series of 3LCD projectors from Christie deliver 5000 ANSI lumens; both the LW502 and LWU502 include HDBaseT (HDBT) single-cable connectivity for both digital signal and control, as well as features such as edge blending, warping, DICOM simulation, and an optional wireless adapter for showing presentations from a remote computer. Click here for the full news.

Simplified audio.

Crestron: The AV control and automation tech company introduced new solutions that aim to simplify audio in conference rooms, lecture halls, sports and entertainment venues, and other spaces. Headlining the new audio technology is the full line of Avia Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) featuring a DSP programming tool, as well as a selection of amplifiers that support audio over IP using Dante audio networking. Click here for the full news.

Pro L25000U Laser WUXGA 3LCD Projector w/ 4K Enhancement & Standard Lens.

Epson: Epson launched the Pro L25000U installation laser projector — a 3LCD laser projector with 25,000 lumens of color brightness and 25,000 lumens of white brightness; 4K-ready lenses come ready for true 4K applications. Click here to read the full news.

Ormiboard Pro.

EXO U: The software development company launched Ormiboard Pro, a visual creation and collaboration tool that aims to give teachers and students the freedom to build lessons, activities and interactive games for use in any classroom that has displays and/or mobile devices. Click here for the full news. 

(Next page: Analytics solutions, curved displays and more live streaming tech)

Hitachi - see comment
Inside the engine of a Hitachi laser projector where blue light is beamed through yellow phosphorous to create the right color laser (green).

Hitachi: Four new additions to the high-end Collegiate series are designed for medium- to large-sized venue applications with installation flexibility. Hitachi‘s first solid-state laser projector, LP-WU9750B, offers somewhere around 20,000 hours of operation with no lamp or filter replacement. Click here for the full news.

InFocus - see comment
A new projector line.

InFocus: At InfoComm, InFocus Corp. released four new projector lines, each equipped with short-throw lenses, embedded storage, and the company’s LightCast technology, which allows native casting for AirPlay, Miracast, or Chrome to wirelessly display content and enable anyone to cast content from their own device. The new lines with LightCast include built-in whiteboard tools and a web browser. Click here to read the full news.

Cloud control was a hot trend at Infocomm.

Kramer: Kramer Control was released during this year’s Infocomm, the company’s new cloud-based solution for control and analytics in any commercial Pro AV environment. Kramer Control lets users seamlessly navigate to any room in an organization and control AV systems, infrastructures and devices, says the company. Click here for the full news.

LG curved OLED display.
LG curved OLED display.

LG: The electronics innovator announced that its brand new Dual-View Flat OLED Display, which offers OLED technology to the U.S. commercial marketplace, will begin shipping next month. Click here for the full news. 

A streaming solution that can clip onto a belt.

LiveU: A provider of live video acquisition and transmission, the company has taken its 10 years of experience in the broadcast industry and put the same technology in every content creator’s hands. Online broadcasters of all sizes can now live stream HD video content directly to Facebook Live or any online video provider – from anywhere – with LiveU Solo, a ‘plug and play’ live streaming portable encoder that takes multiple signals and bonds them together for consistent bandwidth even in the most unpredictable network conditions. Click here for the full news.

(Next page: Sensor cameras, lecture capture systems and collaborative solutions)

The Exmor R CMOS sensor had attendees dying to test it out.

Lumens: Lumens Integration Inc. introduced a new 4K Ultra HD PTZ camera, the VC-A70H. The camera was designed for the broadcasting and large meeting room environments. This camera is equipped with a progressive Exmor R CMOS sensor. Compared to other cameras in the industry, the VC-A70H comes with a 12x optical zoom, 74° of a Horizontal Field of View (HFoV), HDMI and HDBaseT simultaneous video output interface and a built-in tally light. Click here for the full news.

42” High-Performance LED-Backlit Commercial-Grade Display with Integrated Digital Media Player.

NEC DisplayNEC’s 42-inch and 46-inch V Series displays feature a integrated touch overlays, NECOPS computers powered by Intel, and a directory board software solution from Alive Promo. Click here to read the full news.

Nureva Span collaboration system
Nureva Span collaboration system.

Nureva: Nureva‘s projector-based Span collaboration board is getting a new mobile option — a cart that integrates a full HD 1080p projector paired with a (school supplied) PC. When connected, it projects a 6’2 wide image on a wall-like surface. Two infrared pens provide touch interactivity at the wall. You can even link two or three carts together to produce larger collaboration spaces. Click here to read the full news.

The Optoma ZU510T projector.

Optoma: The new DLP 4K laser phosphor ultra short throw projector displays a 100-inch image on a wall or screen from just two inches away with a brightness up to 3,300 lumens; while Optoma‘s new ZU510T will be one of the few WUXGA laser phosphor DLP projectors in the 4,000 to 5,000 lumen range currently in market. Click here to read the full news.

Panasonic - lecture capture cameras
Lecture capture cameras.

Panasonic: Showcasing a variety of projectors and displays, Panasonic’s offerings included a 3-chip DLP 4k+ laser projector; a single chip laser projector; and the BF1 Series multi-touch display with built-in whiteboard software, available 50-, 65-, and 80-inch sizes. Click here to read the full news.

(Next page: Audio systems and agnostic touchscreens)

PolyCom - Group Series camera
Group Series camera.

Polycom: Polycom is working more with schools in the virtual conferencing space, and is developing a free platform to help schools connect with one another virtually. Newly announced tech from the company also lets schools join a unified meeting with one click using any video vendor, from Skype for Business, to Polycom and Cisco, and on any device, from voice to immersive telepresence suites. Click here for the full news.

The hardware and software-agnostic touchscreen for higher ed lessons.

Prysm: To enhance offerings within Prysm Visual WorkplaceTM, Prysm announced an integration with Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Office 365, making it even easier to work with Microsoft Corp. tools and applications. Using the OneDrive for Business API from Microsoft, Prysm has made it easy for customers to connect Prysm to their existing OneDrive for Business environments to make it a seamless experience for end users to access, search for, and sync with content from OneDrive for Business. Click here for the full news.

Collaborative tech was another hot trend at the conference.

RICOH: This diverse AV company demonstrated an exciting array of more than a dozen new solutions, including collaborative-driven AV technology like an interactive short-throw projector, an interactive flat panel display line, and a huddle room area. Click here for the full news.

Sennheiser - TeamConnect
Part of Sennheiser TeamConnect audio system.

Sennheiser: The company’s SpeechLine Digital Wireless system is a wireless mic designed exclusively for speech. Hearing impaired students can use a wireless app and their own headsets (via wired or Bluetooth connections) to tune in presentations. Also: Sennheiser‘s new conference or classroom audio system, TeamConnect, features tabletop or ceiling mounted microphones that use beamforming technology to automatically hone in on a speaker’s voice. Click here for the full news.

“Relationships@Work” touchscreen display.

Sharp: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA), a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, showcased its theme “Relationships@Work” during InfoComm, demonstrating how its strategic technology alliances combine with Sharp technology to transform displays into industry solutions. The company demonstrated a technology preview of its 85″ Class (diagonal) 8K 120Hz LCD display with IGZO technology, featuring 16 times the pixel resolution of 1080p. The new wide color gamut technology and HDR functionality of this next-generation commercial display makes the image so sharp it seems as if you’re looking through a window. Click here for the full news.

(Next page: Headsets, 4K solutions and live streaming partnerships)

IH6500 Interpreter Headset.

Shure: Shure Incorporated introduced the IH6500 Interpreter Headset. Designed for professional interpreters who prefer an integrated headset, the IH6500 provides speech intelligibility, comfortable fit, and multiple connectivity options for use in multi-language meetings and conferences. The dual-sided headset has removable ear pads, allowing for cleaning, and also features a flexible gooseneck microphone boom that pivots 270 degrees. Click here for the full news.

The UCC solution.

Sonic Foundry: This provider of video creation and management solutions showcased Mediasite Join, a Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) solution. Click here for the full news.

4K was everywhere at Infocomm as the newest must-have feature.

Sony: Sony highlights a full line of display, AV and presentation technologies, including 4K and laser light source projections, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, AV over IP, 4K display panels, and live event production systems. Click here for the full news.

Viewsonic - black diffuser screen for short throw projectors
Black diffuser screen for short throw projectors.

ViewSonic: A new line of ultra-short throw, laser phosphor-based projectors also include an (optional) black diffuser screen that helps filter out ambient light in bright classrooms. Click here for the full news.

Partnerships for live streaming were booming at Infocomm.

Wowza Media Systems: The “Any Screen Done Right” media server software company, announced that it has added Unique Media TV to its exclusive list of Streaming Partners, a designation reserved for those that have achieved high levels of deployment, expertise, and customer satisfaction with Wowza Media Server software-based products. Unique Media provides live streams for a variety of events, including worldwide events with enormous traffic demands such as the 2009 broadcast announcing what would have been Michael Jackson’s final tour, and the 2011 12-camera press event to launch the Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system. Click here for the full news.

Check out the editors’ full coverage of Infocomm on the website and social media at eCampus News’ (higher ed) Infocomm site, and eSchool News’ (K-12) Infocomm site.

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