School administrators, teachers, and professors were among thousands at the InfoComm audio-video conference in Orlando June 15-19, where technology vendors unveiled the latest in digital signage hardware and software and LED projectors that could prove energy and cost efficient.

Projectors powered by LED (Light Emitting Diodes) technology, rather than the traditional lamp, have displayed longer life and usually require less maintenance than lamps, which often need replaced.

Some companies have introduced LED ultra-portable projectors, which weigh less than 4 pounds apiece, but LED projector costs have proven prohibitive during the current recession, according to an industry report published in March by Insight Media. The report said that lamp projectors could remain popular because they are more affordable, especially for schools and universities that have seen operating budgets slashed in 2009.

LED projectors also have fewer lumens of brightness than their lamp-powered counterparts, although lamps are often replaced after about 2,000 hours of use. LED projectors can last for years without replacements or maintenance, according to industry experts and reports. That means schools would be able to save money over time, despite higher initial outlays for the LED product.

LED-powered projectors produce a clear picture because the red, green, and blue colors don’t have to go through a traditional projector’s color wheel. LED projectors turn on and off instantly and don’t require time to warm up or cool down.

Many exhibitors featured the newest digital signage technology, which has become prevalent on some college campuses over the past year. Interactive digital signage screens, such as those on display at InfoComm, could be useful for freshman college students navigating a city-size campus, and facial-recognition technology will help marketers identify who is walking toward a digital sign and tailor advertisements to fit the person’s demographic characteristics.
 
For example, if a college-aged man walks by a digital sign, the facial-recognition program might generate an ad for shaving cream and razors.

InfoComm officials said the conference’s total attendance reported to be 29,300 eclipsed projected attendance by more than 1,000 persons. InfoComm–which had 850 exhibitors–draws fewer people when it is held on the East Coast, officials said, but this year’s turnout made InfoComm 2009 the largest audio-visual show ever held on the East Coast. Last year, the conference was held in Las Vegas and is scheduled to be held in that city in 2010.

"InfoComm was realistic about the effects of the economy on attendance," said InfoComm spokeswoman Betsy Jaffe, adding that "there are many corporate-wide and government-wide travel restrictions" that have limited conference attendance this year. 

"But for many of our attendees, InfoComm is the only trade show they attend, and they rely on their attendance for education and to make good technology-acquisition decisions.  In some cases, organizations or companies brought fewer people–but the key decision makers were still there."

(Editor’s note: For complete coverage of InfoComm 2009, visit our InfoComm Conference Information Center at eSN Online: http://www.eschoolnews.com/conference-info/infocomm/.)

News from the exhibit hall

Here’s a roundup of news from the InfoComm exhibit hall, organized by product type. (Just click each category link to view the relevant products and services.)

Acoustics and Audio

Cables, Connectors, and Accessories

Displays, Monitors, and Digital Signage

Document Cameras and Digital Presenters

Intercom and Communication Systems

Media Capture, Storage, and Streaming Systems

Networking Solutions

Projectors, Lamps, and Accessories

Video Conferencing and Collaboration Systems

Video Editing and Production


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