CES 2019 Trends and Innovative Tech

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Brand Experience, Creative Services, Design Thinking, Digital Signage, Education, Engagement, Event Trends, Exhibits, Expo, Industry News, News, Product Review, Touchscreens, Trade Shows

CES 2019 Trends and Innovative Tech

By Victor Paan

National Director, Digital Innovation

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provided a scope and scale of technology that had a common thread. Ai and 5G provided the foundation that powers smarter TVs, smarter homes, smarter cities, and the vehicles that will navigate them. The future is here. Below are a few of the biggest trends we noticed at this year’s CES.

Screens: Flat, Roll-up and Holographic Displays

A few of the trends we observed when it came to screens included the roll-up OLED screen that, not unlike Saran Wrap, rolls up and back into a long rectangular box. Its pure futuristic eye candy design holds promise for live event activations as it’s space efficient, easily portable, and overall awe inspiring technology.

Mostly every brand that offers flat panel displays on the show floor featured 8K LED screens. These screens have beautiful detail and colour that would allow PIPs over High Res backgrounds to be displayed at a high resolution, whether 4K content or HD 1080 content.

Although not something that is defined as a ‘screen’, HYPERVSN’s 3D Holographic Display System provided a wow-factor via their new LED rotor units.  Upgraded in size and framerate, the new units are breathtaking and provide an extremely crisp hologram.  A showstopper.  Along with a new customer portal to easily turn 2D content into 3D content for these displays, makes jumping onboard with this technology an easy uptake.

Headset advancements and eye tracking

A much subdued presence at CES this year.  Some headset advancements of note are to do with ocular tracking.  The HTC Vive Pro Eye adds eye tracking that allows users to control in-game experiences using eye-movements.  This also allows developers to track what users are attracted to and spending time looking at within an experience, providing user data that can enhance future development of products/designs through the VR tech.

To take this further, the company responsible for developing the aforementioned eye tracking, Tobii allows for this type of eye movement capture for any digital assets seen on a screen.  Stakeholders can obtain data on user’s habits as to what they focus on during a browse of a soon-to-be-launched website or service.

Compounding this, and providing a use case for the events industry, is the ability for individuals to wear glasses that track what an attendee’s eyes are drawn to while, say, walking an exhibit floor or a creative staging setup.  This data can provide insights towards best practices on brand and design elements; honing the process in how designers deliver on realized projects.

Ai (and the IoT) in action!

If VR & AR were the buzzwords of recent years past, Ai was the newly crowned monarch of CES 2019.  Everything from TVs that ascertain what you are watching and adjust picture and sound settings to match the experience, to smart home appliances powered by your favourite voice assistant that communicate and learn together, Ai was everywhere.  The real shift in the idea of what Ai means to the masses is that no longer are we expected to adapt to the technology, rather, the technology is shifting to a model that adapts itself to each of us and the context of our experiences.

Robotics, from a concierge standpoint, remained stagnant for the most part.  Designs felt either overly stylized (read ‘cute’) or were downright creepy. The rush towards 5G connectivity is absolutely being driven by the onset of Ai and the Internet of Things.  All of this connectivity will only benefit from the accelerated speeds and bandwidth of 5G… which is really what the hype is all about; more things online, faster!

Victor Paan
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
Director of Digital Services

Victor Paan is Director of Digital Services for Freeman Audio Visual Canada. Since joining Freeman in 2002, Victor has worked diligently for his clients, advancing his career from a delivery technician role to his current position as the Director of Digital Services. In this capacity, he draws on his technical and sales experience to support Freeman’s teams and clients in integrating state-of-the-art event solutions that will transform, grow, and extend the world of live engagements.

Event Staging: TD Canada Trust’s Touching Displays

By | Breakout Sessions, Event highlights, Touchscreens

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Cumbersome, wasteful flip charts and posters have had their day, as TD Canada Trust demonstrated at its recent company conference. Inside four breakout rooms at its conference in Ottawa, TD associates gathered mid-year to brainstorm and develop plans for the second half of the year. They were faced with the challenge of how best to display ideas and content and record thoughts collected for future consideration.

Freeman Audio Visual provided three vertically-positioned 60” monitors displaying data and trends, and two 55” horizontal touchscreen monitors running the Microsoft Paint program to capture and save notes from their discussions. A truss arch was installed and drape was uplit with LEDs for a clean, focused finish. This arrangement created an organized environment conducive to productivity for the TD thought leaders. They were able to record all their ideas and feedback, present it the next day, and make revisions to their original plans.

We would like to acknowledge the following Freeman Audio Visual staff and crew members for contributing to the success of this event: Dave Laramee, Dean Morris, Calvin Day, Cameron Marchand and Guido Guzzo.


Mise en scène d’événements: Des écrans tactiles pour TD Canada

Les tableaux de papier encombrants et peu écologiques sont dépassés, comme l’a démontré TD Canada lors de sa plus récente réunion d’entreprise. Regroupés pour une séance de remue-méninges dans quatre salles de réunion lors d’une conférence de milieu d’année à Ottawa, les employés de cette banque devaient planifier le second semestre de 2014. Ils devaient trouver la meilleure façon de présenter leurs idées et leurs contenus et de consigner leurs réflexions pour qu’on puisse y revenir plus tard.

Freeman audiovisuel a fourni trois écrans verticaux de 60 po permettant d’afficher les données et les tendances, de même que deux écrans tactiles horizontaux de 55 po, utilisés pour noter et enregistrer les discussions à l’aide du logiciel Paint de Microsoft. Nous avons installé une arche en treillis et éclairé des rideaux par le haut au moyen de diodes électroluminescentes afin de créer un effet net et bien défini. Cette configuration a permis de créer un environnement bien organisé qui favorisait la productivité pour les experts de TD. Ils ont pu recueillir toutes leurs idées et leurs commentaires, les présenter le jour suivant et apporter des corrections aux projets initiaux.

Nous aimerions souligner la contribution de ces employés et membres de l’équipe technique de Freeman audiovisuel au succès de cet événement : Dave Laramee, Dean Morris, Calvin Day, Cameron Marchand et Guido Guzzo.