May 27, 2016

First time Infocomm Booth Builder?

To tack on to the first time attendee advice, here is some advice for the first time booth builder at Infocomm.

Heat - your most important consideration
Most of the dock doors will be open during the booth build times due to deliveries. This means it will be hot on the show floor. Really hot. The air conditioning, if turned on at all, is set really high. Prepare yourself. Bring a cooler filled with your favorite sports drink and/or water. Plan the booth build to take much longer than you anticipated because of the heat. Bring an extra shirt and/or a towel to wipe you head - I'm bald so the towel is a must.

Pack your main tools in your check in baggage, do not tuck them away in the back of crate #12. You'll want quick access to them. Do pack them in the crate for the ride home though. It's less you'll be dealing with when heading to the airport.

If you need help, the people from Freeman are there for you. They did an excellent job for us with extra labor for setup. They have a kiosk somewhere on the show floor in the time leading up to the show opening to assist you. If memory serves, they billed us by the hour.

Vacuum Cleaners
Bring one, or at the very least hire the show to sweep your booth. I forget the cost, but in 2014, it was an ala cart per day service. Your carpet will be really dirty after the booth build. Bring other cleaning materials as well.

Plan enough time for teardown. Note that you won't be getting your crates any time soon unless you work for the companies with the largest booths. In 2014, we did a little teardown on Friday, but left the bulk of it for Saturday. By Saturday at 10am or so, we had our crates and were torn down pretty quick after that.

May 23, 2016

Comments on an article

In reading this article, this phrase jumped out at me:

Wouldn’t it be great if the camera automatically detected the speaker? What if the camera could detect the number of faces in the room, and adjusted its frame of view to accommodate accordingly?

I respectfully, yet completely, disagree. If we're discussing any sort of user experience, I would wager that a constant fixed camera is ideal. That being said, in all transparency, I have developed several fixed camera products over the years so as usual take my opinion with a grain of salt. I look at it like this; video conferencing is a meeting. That's it. We're having a meeting. Period. It may be over video and we may be in different locations, but breaking it down to its simplistic essence, we are just having a meeting. Entering dynamics like a moving camera breaks the entire flow of the meeting. I've been in enough meetings where someone (or an AI) keeps fiddling with the camera. You end up concentrating on where the camera is going to go next and forgetting what you're talking about and sometimes who you're talking to as that person can end up out of frame.

A moving camera absolutely calls attention to itself and more often than not, it's negative attention.

As usual, I welcome all dissenting opinions.

PS: I will say this - Eagle Eye Producer does an infinitely better job than Director with the above issues.

May 18, 2016

Google Duo

Here is a link about Google's new video chat app, Duo. From what I've seen, it's an absolute step in the right direction, as long as the experience isn't like Hangouts, which is on or near the bottom of the video chat apps that I've tried. I love the live "ring" screen, but the flip side of me fears the battery drain. I also appreciate that this isn't just for Android phones.

May 13, 2016

Microsoft patents a telepresence experience

Here is the link. I'll have more thoughts on this later but the main point is that this will be used in the Surface Hub where it's intended for the user to stand close it it and touch it. Placing the cameras where they are while standing so close will give you anything but a telepresence experience. You will be looking at the side of someone's face.

May 11, 2016

Comfortable shoes

Just prior to Infocomm 2012, I purchased a sweet pair of Stacy Adams shoes. After spending years seeing their ads in GQ, I finally was able to own a pair. What better thing to do than to decide to wear them for a three day long trade show?

Sweet but deadly

Don't do that.

That year I stayed at the Riviera which was only a quarter mile walk out of the back door and through a parking lot to the entrance of the convention center. In combination of walking back and forth to the show and walking during the show I ended up with a nasty blister after just the first day. This was the only pair of appropriate shoes that I brought to Vegas. Learn from my stupidity, bring comfortable shoes to a trade show.

Tech Armor HD Ballistic Glass review

After watching a co-worker's brand new iPhone 6s screen shatter, I drank the Kool-Aid and invested in a screen protector for my 6s Plus. So here's how it went.

May 07, 2016

Why I enjoy Infocomm

My first Infocomm was about 15 years ago not long after I was promoted to Director of Product Development at Telesuite. That was back in the projector shootout days and since our product was based around them it was where I could see the best the industry offered all in one spot. The products I've worked on have changed over the years, but Infocomm is still the best place to see our industry's products.

Let's take a look at some of the reasons why I enjoy the show.

May 03, 2016

Infocomm 2016 first timers

This year after a one year layoff, I'm heading back to Infocomm. In 2014 I worked a booth representing my company in the midst of a two week span of living in Vegas. This year I'll be on my own and free to check out everything the show has to offer. Let this blog serve as a first timers guide to attending Infocomm.

April 29, 2016

Video Conferencing Problem

In this blog, I will address the elephant in the room regarding video conferencing. It is, at least in my opinion today, the biggest hurdle in mass adoption. The problem? Making a call. It's not price, the technology, the debate of hardware vs software or anything else. Making a call is the worst and most difficult part of video conferencing.

April 27, 2016

The making of a good product

When designing a product, we want to make it good. When we buy something, we also want it to be good. Well what then makes a product good? Of course, it becomes subjective because your needs may be different than mine, but I bet neither one of us want a bad product. Here are some things that could turn a bad product good or a good product bad.