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Integrate opened its doors for 2016 at Sydney’s Olympic Park, returning to the venue after 2015’s Melbourne jaunt. The first day saw a great result on the show floor for the exhibitors, with a constant stream of high quality visitors. The mood was confident, with most booth staff not even able to stop for lunch until well into the afternoon – always the sign of a well-attended show.
Product-wise, an early theme emerging from the show is ‘end-user focussed design’, with companies such as AMX and Sennheiser creating user interfaces obviously driven by graphic designers, with the ultimate goal of making even high-end professional equipment as intuitive to use as an Apple product. Design-influenced techniques employed include colour coding, graphics-only user and quick start manuals, and an avoidance of technical names and acronyms for labels; not ‘HDMI’, rather ‘blue’.
Small, clever products caught our attention on the first day. AMX’s MyTurn Source Selector Button is a small, removable button that clips onto AMX cables, including USB, HDMI and Ethernet. When attached to whichever cable a presenter is using, they simply press it, and the MyTurn receiver connected to a switcher sends a signal to switch to that source. The next presenter can then press theirs, or take the MyTurn from the previous presenter. It’s the digital equivalent of ‘the talking stick’ and completely simplifies AV switching for any environment in a way any user on the planet could understand.
Whole brands and product lines now reflect the maturity of integration via network, with control, audio, and video over IP now an unremarkable norm as opposed to something that needs to be accepted or explained. Even QSC’s Q-SYS, on display at Technical Audio Group’s stand, has been pressed into use to simulate a boardroom including audio and video capture, run an automated coffee ordering system via touchscreen, and control LED lighting on their Audio Technica ‘sushi train’ display – and all this from a product that until recently was considered an audio DSP.
Integrate runs until 4:30 PM on Thursday 25 August, and is well worth a visit for any professional working in AV.
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