Six of Markey's staff from various departments, including purchasing and event project management, converged on InfoComm 2013 ready to find the new equipment or upgrades that will better serve our customers.
What we found in general is that many products are really improving. LED wall panels are getting brighter, lighter, higher resolution and cheaper. We discovered a wall that had a 1.6mm pitch, which is nearly invisible as far as seeing the pixels. New technology in LED/LCD monitors are making them much more crisp, with better colors, better black levels and lighter weight. Markey's will be taking a closer look at these in the fall as a possibility for digital signage, video wall monitors and display monitors.
Projectors are still improving and the trend to 3D has been surpassed by 4K. 4K resolution projectors and monitors were the showcase of the event this year. The push for each manufacturer to release a product that would either display or support 4K led us to believe that this will be the next step in display. 4K is four times HD resolution. We saw it in projection, monitors, control processing, content creation and data mapping. 3D is more of a novelty now that can really only be appreciated in the cinema.
We are also realizing that much of the trend for equipment is to connect to a network of some type - a network for control of components or communication between components. This process is making many products more versatile and more compatible with current and future technology.
We also spied new video panels, and two in particular caught our attention: Black Diamond and Blade. They are metal panels treated with a layer of prisms to refract the ambient light of the room. This means no need to lower the lighting in your venue to see the display, a plus for many events. These panels are very light and very thin, and could be used as a screen or as a modular build to form uniquely shaped projection surfaces. We will be keeping an eye on this new technology as it further develops.
We were very impressed with the new pipe and drape hardware system developed by Radius Display Products and have recently purchased this for our customers' use. Instead of conventional slot and hook connections that take quite a bit of time to install and that can leave aesthetically unpleasing bumps where the caps are, a seamless look is delivered. This new system is a ball and socket connection, so there are no hooks to dig in to the drape which again provides a cleaner look. This system is also easier and faster to set up and take down. As a bonus, there are also accessory pieces that will allow Markey's to hang screens from the drape, or the lighting for your event, or run two lines of drape using one line of uprights.
At InfoComm we are always on the look for some kind of cool, new thing that is small and makes life easier for our world. This year we found several items that fill that spot. In addition to the continuing new hand control and adaptor devices from D'San we found a Bluetooth, portable speaker called a BassEgg, a small wireless speaker that can be set anywhere in a room for background music. Many can be used at once. Great for cocktail rounds at social events, even outside.