Pipe & Base 2.0(tm) expands European market in 2017

2017 is starting off with some exciting news for our European market expansion. All-Areas has been added to our growing list of Authorized dealers. Headquartered in the Netherlands, All-Areas serves the events industry throughout the EU with sales and rental of Pipe & Drape 2.0. Versatop looks forward to working with All-Areas to bring the Pipe & Base 2.0(tm) technology to more companies across Europe.

All Areas also has a German based sales office: www.pipeanddrape.de

The Global LED Display Market Now $5.4 Billion Market

According to the latest report from Futuresource Consulting, the global LED display market closed 2016 with a mounting value of $4.5 billion, up 7 percent from $4.2 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile, 2016 saw the value of the monochrome/tri-colour LED display market value fall, year-on-year by 5 percent, now contributing less than 25 percent of market value. Much of the decline can be attributed to falling pricing of LED package, coupled with wider market saturation for this more basic option.

“Several sectors dominated the LED video display market in 2016, including media/advertising, stadiums/venues and retail,” commented Chris Mcintyre-Brown, Associate Director of Professional Equipment at Futuresource Consulting. “These segments delivered over half the market value in the video display category. Notably, 2016 experienced a further drive into the retail space and a growing trend toward indoor applications. These included corporate, transport, and control room, which grew in value by 62 percent comfortably surpassing $1 billion. Much of this growth was driven by narrow pixel pitch (NPP) LED which has been hugely disruptive in the commercial display space, challenging LCD and projection platforms,” added Mcintyre-Brown.

This professional displays report maps out the LED market in terms of geography, reaffirming that the LED video display market continues to be dominated by APAC, where over half of all sales originate, largely dominated by China. Whilst not entirely surprising given its ascendancy in global production, the APAC region is regularly overlooked as large, headline grabbing ‘spectaculars’ are often found in key western markets.

According to this latest Futuresource ongoing tracking report, the LED video display competitive landscape continues to remain fragmented. Contribution from 1st and 2nd tier brands accounted for well over two thirds of total sales value in 2016, the remainder being formed of 3rd tier Chinese brands. Over 400 LED display manufacturers are located in China with many currently focused in international expansion, benefiting from driving scale in the large domestic market. “In the main, these vendors have been focused on price driven volume strategies, with incumbent LED specialists still able to hold share in key verticals via long established service and support operations,” says Mcintyre-Brown.

“Product quality is of course another key differentiator against Chinese brands but as acceptance of LED grows and new technologies open up opportunities in volume verticals, the mix of high price and high quality becomes a harder proposition to take to market. Indeed, the disruptive impact of Chinese vendors has never been more keenly felt, forcing some established vendors to exit key LED segments and others to transition more rapidly toward ‘value’ lines, something which requires a completely different operational approach,” comments Mcintyre-Brown.

“The LED space is incredibly fluid at present,” continued Mcintyre-Brown. “We expect to see a shakeout in the competitive landscape, either through vendors exiting the category, increased M&A or completely failing in the face of increasingly pressured trading conditions. The days of high margins and huge profits, at least in the key value NPP LED category, are still with us but very much numbered.”

Futuresource is here.


Rants and rAVes — Episode 580: Almo to Launch Hospitality Division During E4 AV Tour

Rants and rAVes —

Stephen McKay has been helping the Hospitality industry with AV services and products for over 15-years – now he’s doing it with Almo ProAV. As the Senior VP of Special Markets at Almo ProAV his role is to help Almo’s integrator partners sell and integrate products and services into he Hospitality market (i.e. hotels, dorms, hospitals, etc). And, it’ll all be launched around the E4 in Chicago – including a pre-show “Hospitality Day” the day before the E4 AV Tour on Tuesday, March 21st at the Drury Lane Conference Center.

I was joined by both Stephen McKay and Melody Craigmyle, Almo ProAV’s VP of Marketing, who not only talked about he Hospitality event but also the entire E4 AV Tour. I will be delivering my all-new 4K Keynote: 4K: NO MYTHS, NO EXAGGERATIONS – JUST THE FACTS and it gives you  1.5 InfoComm CTS RUs and there are another 10 courses, during the March 22 event, that also include InfoComm CTS RUs. Plus the event includes over 45 manufacturers with new products and services and even an IoT session. 

We talked about all of this – and how to register for the Hospitality Day, on todays podcast – listen here: 

Also, if you want to attend the Hospitality Day, get in touch with Apryl Lamberti at [email protected].


Draper Shipping New Thin Bezel Screen

Draper is now shipping its newest fixed screen, the Profile+, featuring a 0.5-inch bezel frame.

Draper’s Thin Bezel-Frame Screen Experience is Now Shipping

The What: Draper’s new model, the Profile+ fixed screen, sports a half-inch thin bezel frame and is available in sizes up to 30 feet wide.

When Machines Become as Smart as Us (or Smarter)

50882921 - virtual reality projection. human and conceptual cyberspace, smart artificial intelligence. future science with modern technology.

The often tumultuous presidential campaign has finally come to an end (Yay!!!). Now that we have all had the luxury of time to reflect on the outcome, expressing either our joy or sadness, we look to the future and wonder what the next administration will bring to the table regarding sustainability. With this in mind I recently had a great discussion about one of the key planks of President-Elect Trump’s platform regarding bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

featured-aeiforaManufacturing in the U.S. can have a dirty connotation to it, conjuring images of billowing smoke stacks, polluted rivers and barren landscapes — especially when Candidate Trump decried global warming as a Chinese hoax and threatened to get rid of the EPA. The real question is what does manufacturing look like in a modern landscape and how will it impact the environment? We have had a hint at this over the last several years despite what politicians say.

Several companies in sectors such as automotive, appliance, biotech have actually brought back jobs already to the U.S. as a result of the U.S. increasing its output of domestic energy including solar, wind and hydro electric — and yes, even oil. This easy access to cheap energy lowers cost of delivery and production making it attractive to produce in the States again despite higher wages.

The other real difference is the machinery being used to manufacture goods also requires less employees that have a higher skill level not often found overseas. Additionally machines are being built that don’t even really need supervision at all because they learn. This concept of machine learning dates back to 1959 when Arthur Lee Samuel developed his Samuel Checkers-playing program displaying the very fundamentals for artificial intelligence. This new technology was further refined in the 1990s with a focus on data mining and has been perfected by the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple.

Now we have technology in the palm of our hands that can snap a photo of people just by recognizing smiles or simple subtle gestures like blinking. The same can recognize a computer user and log in without ever having to remember another blasted password. Even more (not-so) subtle is the select advertising on a person’s social media feed reminding you of items you searched on line during your lunch hour or suggesting similar items, food, movies, and whatnot merely by learning your habits.

We now have a new intersection with Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home and others that are always listening and watching — learning — and even intuitively making decisions for you before you even think of it. For example, turning on the coffee pot in the morning when it hears you wake up then selecting music to play based on not only your tastes but whether or not it is the weekday or weekend. Additionally, augmented and virtual reality is storming at us promising to add information to our daily lives right in front of our faces as we move through the world much in the way Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit has predicted and demonstrated. Although one does have to give a nod to Knight Rider’s KIT for being pretty prescient.

So how does this fit into the promise of bringing manufacturing back to make America Great Again? And how does this all tie into sustainability? With our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement potentially hanging on a thread it may be those manufacturing jobs and semi-sentient machines made right here in the US that keeps our commitment if our politicians can’t. With the ability to recognize, predict, and respond on its own, these devices are already controlling lighting, temperature, and other energy hogging devices and could easily be set to automatically reduce our carbon footprint without us having to do anything. It will just know how to adjust through mining trillions of data point just as the human brain can and just might be the savior of us all.

Selling AV Episode 35: Be Present

SellingAV_750x400As sales people it’s typically hard for us to deliver bad news or say “I don’t know”.  However when uncomfortable situations arise, it’s better to be present than to wait for the perfect answer.  Find out why in this week’s Selling AV.


MHO 7: Pokey Plans

MHO 7: Pokey Plans

The MHO gang dive deep into what Pokemon Go! means for AR Integration.  Will AR bring new revenue with location based interactions or is it a threat to traditional display?


Malissa Dillman: https://twitter.com/MalissaDillman

Micheal Shinn: https://twitter.com/axpmike

Chris Neto: https://twitter.com/chris_neto

Video Only:

Audio Only: 


Tucker’s 25 years in audio visual has had him involved with nearly every aspect of the industry. His career has included time as a systems programmer,live events video tech, working on automation for theater, repair tech, managing national support for a major industry manufacture, social media manager, lighting sales, museum and education installations.


graphene-battery-0816My company has been knee deep in the design of high end audiovisual technology for a major new health education client and one of the main drivers of the project is to allow for as much portable wireless technology as possible – laptops, cell phones, tables, etc. There are a few major concerns with this directive in which we have to overcome – power being a really big one. This one rises to the top of the objectives as the client is really big on sustainability and has been recognized by not only their industry but even the current presidential administration as being a leader in environmental consciousness.

With most of the students and faculty expected to have multiple devices in which to use for everything from class work, labs, research and even socializing these devices will need to be powered and recharged constantly. This is in addition to any of the audiovisual technology that is powered via battery that will be integrated into to project for everything from presentation to collaboration. The design team has taken care to explore what the current state of power demand is and to look into the crystal ball as to what it might be when this facility opens as a leading example of medical education in the future. As a result of this permeability of technology, the power demand has the potential to be significant by sheer quantity, not necessarily by the individual power draw of each device.

Currently most of these devices, as well as other technologies that run on batteries, rely on lithium-ion battery power. Lithium-ion has become the standard bearer of battery technology for its ability to store dense energy and recharge rather quickly compared to nickel-cadmium, nickel metal hydride or older alkaline batteries and others. The benefit of being able to recharge rather than replace has had a huge impact of battery usage and what ultimately would wind up in a land fill.

Limitations of many of these technologies has ranged from battery life, recharge cycles, speed of recharge and the environmental impact of the materials used in the process and product of making these energy capsules. Recently however a new technology has emerged that is sure to have a ripple effect in portable batter powered devices. Researchers at Australia’s Swinburne University developed a new batter technology using a unique form of carbon called graphene and super capacitors. Graphene is a super strong, super flexible form of carbon that has several unique properties suitable to this application including its ability to store and transfer electricity. This works because of the honey-comb shape of the graphene material having an increased surface area. The technique developed addresses many of the shortcomings of lithium-ion batteries including the number of times you can recharge them before they die, capacity of the charge, the environmental impact and the heat generated by both the charging and discharging process.

Researchers have worked for years trying to perfect superconductor batter replacements but the storage capacity has always been the limiting factor. By inserting the graphene sheets between the layers capacity and efficiency levels soared. Additionally, the environmental benefits are immediate as the graphene sheets can be 3D printed, which eliminates waste in the manufacturing process. It is made of carbon so it is neutral and harmless to the environment as well as recyclable. Since the re-charge capacity is not only immensely faster (seconds to minutes, not hours) with also a significant increase in the number of times it can be recharged before losing strength, the technology is positioned as a prime candidate for replacing your next set of batteries. Additionally, as a result of the way in which these batteries can be manufactured, the costs should be comparable or less than lithium-based batteries and will certainly be more cost-effective in terms of total ownership due to the number of recharges it can handle of lithium. Also, since the graphene sheets can be 3D-printed and are flexible, new battery shapes are possible and could even potentially be seen in wearable fabrics or intricate designs of 3D structures with minimal limitations as the graphene can also be used to develop the electronics signal pathways with batteries built into a flexible circuit board. This is still in the research phase, but it certainly will be interesting to see how it will impact building and technology design in the future and its impact on power demand.