While cruising through the digital signage, and all the providers of such I came to the conclusion that this really isn't my thing. I love the idea of content creation on touch screens and would love to get more into, but at some point I just have to say STOP and realize that I can't be a part of every industry represented at Infocomm. There are too many products and services in the UC/VC realm to keep up with and that alone will keep me busy until I'm ready to retire.
What I do really enjoy about this show is seeing small companies, in small non professionally designed booths. This is where the real innovation comes from. I wish Infocomm would do more to embrace micro sized companies by giving them 10x10 booths for cheap and making an effort to bring their technology front and center. Yesterday, my small booth winner was SeeVogh, and today it was Fraunhofer, who had a 360 degree panoramic camera (or really a series of cameras) with excellent real time stitching via PC and it's GPU.
While I'm thinking about it, I would like for Infocomm to have a small business pavilion where companies are looking for investment, partners, development help or acquisition. It could be a series of 10x10 booth spaces with no frills. This way, inventors could show their product or service and be in an area where they wouldn't get overwhelmed by the monstrous "booths" that have more square footage than my house. I can dream.
StarLeaf was the next company that caught my eye today. Previously I had heard of them, but that's about it and in my head they became lost in a sea of hardware/not hardware/software video conferencing companies. Their product, it turns out, is quite sexy. It's obvious that considerable time had been taken developing the GUI for their products. Unfortunately, since there is hardware involved, the likelihood of getting my hands on it to test is slim to none.
ClearOne brought out a hardware codec. WHAT? Didn't they know that hardware was dead? I didn't get a chance to ask any questions due to their guys taking care of other onlookers, but I will find out tomorrow about interoperability, resolution, and everything else pertinent. I did see that a 720p meeting was using 2.2mbps both up and down so that's a negative, but I'll reserve any other judgment until tomorrow.
I will give software this nod, it is incredibly easy to test and evaluate. With hardware, you're relying on a sales rep to come to your office, codec in hand for a demo (because you don't want to demo any product away from the premises where it will be used). I won't be getting a StarLeaf or ClearOne box in my lab for testing any time soon, unless the stars align just right. But I will be testing several software products next week.
Friday is the wrap up day and I have just a couple more booths to hit before heading back home to West Chester in the afternoon.