Technology Exposed 2014 closed its doors at Ascot Racecourse last week following a successful fifth annual showcase of the latest audio, video, print, videoconferencing, broadcasting and networking solutions. Hosted by distributor Midwich, the expo attracted several hundred installers, integrators and end users who came to see more than 70 exhibitors. The event saw the first UK showing of the LG 98in edge-lit 4K LED display (mounted using Peerless AV’s revolutionary Quick Release Video Mount), and Samsung’s new SMART signage 85in 4K LED display. Further highlights included launches from Hitachi, Sony, Optima, Draper and ATEN, live audio demonstrations from Peavey, Sennheiser and other major brands, and live talks from key speakers including Futuresource Consulting and Astec technology.
In addition to the 98in LED, LG also presented the world’s first 34in ultra-wide UHD curved monitor, which aims to deliver a more immersive experience for gamers and designers.
Samsung additionally unveiled its next-generation flat UHD screen. True Colours, the technical AV division of Midwich, demonstrated four videowalls involving BrightSign, Toshiba, tvONE, NEC, DEXON, TDSi, Datapath and other vendors.
“We’ve had a phenomenal few days at Ascot and hope that in bringing all these solutions together in this unique way we will have opened the eyes and minds of visitors to tap into new business opportunities,” said Stephen Fenby, managing director at Midwich. “Walking the show floor you couldn’t help but be inspired by the new technologies and solutions on display. The vertical markets stand was a new feature for this year where our specialists laid bare the cross-over potential of technologies in different environments from control rooms, fire operation centres, airports and train stations to retail stores, museums and art venues.”
Arriving visitors were offered 30-minute guided audio tours using Sennheiser wireless headsets for a quick introduction to show floor highlights. Located near the entrance, the vertical markets stand featured an impressive glass window transformed into an interactive touch screen using Visual Planet Touchfoil. The latest 3D printers and scanners from Cube Pro and Sense were also in-action revealing the enormous potential for growth in the education and healthcare sectors.
Projectors also grabbed some of the limelight, with Sony showcasing the world’s brightest 3LCD laser light source projector and Optoma demonstrating its new 1080p short throw education and business projector, capable of projecting a 100in image from just a metre away. Also, for the first time in the UK, Hitachi showed its portable Smart Projector, an ultra-short throw projector capable of showing a 40in screen from a 1cm throw distance.
Further new product launches included the 4K ready projection screen from Draper that uses TecVision Engineered Surface Technology and, from AV systems specialist ATEN, a new 16x16 high end matrix switcher shown for the first time in the UK that enables seamless switching for time-critical activities.
Outside in the Audio Suite, visitors could see, hear and compare top-of-the-range speakers from Peavey, Sennheiser, RCF, Bosch, Electro-Voice, Traction Sound and TOA designed for houses or worship, university lecture theatres, airports and shopping centres.
Live streaming and IP network convergence were hot topics in the broadcast, access control and physical security solution areas of the show. Nearby, attendees at the live talks heard from social media specialist Mark Adams on keeping ahead of social changes. Matthew Bates from Astec Technologies’ talked about interactive technology in retail. Chris McIntyre-Brown of Futuresource Consulting provided an insight into the commercial display industry. Kyocera Document Solutions’ Stewart Dudding explained the future of managed print services and HyPAS, and Midwich’s own 3D Print Specialist Ashley Camm told the shape of things to come with 3D printing in vertical markets.