This was my first time attending InfoComm and while I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, I knew I was in for a great experience. If you’re unfamiliar with the InfoComm conference, it showcases the latest audio and video retail technologies in one massive tradeshow. The expo floor is overwhelming at first– gigantic booths and incredible electronics from corner to corner, featuring some of the biggest players in the tech world. As I began to explore and speak to the many different vendors, a few technology trends began to emerge. The most obvious trends for digital signage were 4k screens, glass projection displays, and interactive video walls. There also seemed to be two distinct categories of technology that I saw: innovative products that clearly have a future in retail space, and then emerging technologies that are still finding their purpose. For this initial post, let’s take a look at that second category of products, emerging technology that were so mind blowing that I thought I had stepped into a parallel universe. Watch the videos, read our reviews and let us know what you think in the comments!

Projection Mapping:

Imagine a solid object that is constantly changing its appearance from moment to moment. Yep, projection mapping is pretty cool! The first great example of projection mapping I saw was a pyramid model that had lava running down the side– but not really lava, just pixels projected onto the model. The most compelling example was a model car that could be customized– including color and rims—by using a tablet device sitting in front of the model. A separate projection screen surrounding the model displayed a variety of backgrounds, placing the model into a familiar setting with realistic, dynamic lighting. This technology is absolutely amazing, especially when you give the user control over what that projection looks like through a tablet app. This emerging technology could create some very impressive displays in a retail space, but it’s unclear to me if it will catch on and become an affordable option.

Virtual Airport Assistant:

This involves having a piece of glass cut out into a human form, then using rear-projection to display video of a person giving a recorded message to the audience. The example in the video below is an airport greeter who instructs people about TSA security checkpoint requirements. The human shape might grab more people’s attention than if the same video were to be shown on a screen—but is it practical?

Interactive 3D Video Wall:

I saw quite a few video walls at InfoComm that were both beautiful and interactive, but one sticks out. The reason this one stood out was not because of any hardware or new-fangled display, but because of the media they had coupled with their interactive video wall— fully interactive 3D content that is updated dynamically via the web. It’s hard to imagine or explain, but watch the video below and you will see exactly what I’m talking about. As a guy who creates media for a living, I was blown away with what this Finnish Company, MultiTaction, had managed to accomplish. Most video walls use static video— and in some cases interactive media that is relatively simple HTML5 or Flash-based content. In their InfoComm demonstration, MultiTaction really took it to the next level with their media.

We’re going to post We’ve posted a series of blog reviews covering the following topics in depth: Glass Displays, Interactive Design & Displays, 3D Screens, 4K technology, and Video Walls. Be sure to check back soon!