Reliable, Natural Voice Control
Siri has changed the way we interact with our smartphones, and similar voice recognition technology holds promise as a way to control the electronic devices in our homes. Manufacturers have taken a few stabs at product development, but nothing has really taken off. Reliability has been largely to blame. Once this and other kinks have been worked out—maybe we’ll see improved iterations at the CEDIA Expo—voice-based control systems could be a real game changer.
REVIEW: Voicepod Voice Control
We have seen demonstrations of Near Field Communications technology at recent CEDIA Expos, and expect to see more at this year’s show. The technology basically eliminates the button pushing ordinarily required to operate fixtures on a lighting system, open an electronic door lock, or activate a whole-house music system and so on. By just holding an NFC-enabled smartphone to the NFC-enabled keypad, speaker, lock, etc., lots of things can happen. It’s a slick way to interact with smart devices in your home.
READ: What is NFC and Do You Want It?
Grant Clauser, Technology and Online Editor:
Cloud-based Media Systems
The weather outlook for CEDIA is cloudy with a chance of media (sorry, that was an awful joke). Anyway, it’s a cloud-based world now, or at least it will be. We’ve heard of a few cloud-based media solutions already, such as the Sookbox, and I’m expecting more. Media streamer VOCO will be adding video capabilities. The Autonomix Mirage line will expand and likely add some interesting functionality as well.
We might also hear some new thing from Kaleidescape about the Cinema One system that’s been on the market for a short time Sony will have its 4K download server, the FMP-X1, on display as well. Discs are nearly dead, or are they?
REVIEW: Kaleidescape Cinema One
Here’s a video from Kaleidescape that offers a peek into how the company develops new features:
More 4K ?
Is 4K at CEDIA going to be a case of all talk and no action or will the display manufacturers actually show up with pixel-packing products? 4K, or Ultra HD (to use the official branding term) is big now with flat panel TV makers. Every major TV company has at least one, and most have several 4K products, yet the projector companies have (mostly) been sitting back with their arms folded across their chests until the other parts of the digital chain are worked out. One of those other things is HDMI 2.0, which just recently seemed to pass GO. Almost immediately TV markers started announcing their HDMI 2.0 TVs (Panasonic was the first).
In projectors, I look forward to checking out the Sony VPL-VW500ES which was announced earlier in Europe. It’s a follow-up to the company’s VPL-VW1000ES , but will be more affordable.
I’m anticipating some 4K news from JVC. That company already makes a line of projectors that are 4K-ish which use a process called e-Shift to create a 4K pixel density using 1080p chips. I’ve got a feeling the company may show a true-4K projector at CEDIA (JVC already manufactures 4K projectors for the commercial market and makes the light engines for other companies), but we’ll have to wait and see about that. A 4K flat panel display will definitely be there.
Even if the display manufacturers don’t show up in hoards with 4K products, Ultra HD will be at the show in other forms. Expect to see AV receivers, processors, matrix switchers and even cables all touting their 4K abilities.
READ: Where are the 4K Projectors?
Brighter, Faster, Better Projectors and Screens
Projectors are awesome and getting more so each year. The current trend is for brighter projectors to allow use in brighter rooms. When you match a bright projector with an angular-reflective (light rejecting) screen, you get the perfect combination.
In addition to brighter, expect to find more LED-based projectors. LEDs are great solutions for projection because the lamps last for years, produce wonderful colors and don’t require loud fans to keep them cool.
In projection screens, light reflecting screens like the Screen Innovations Black Diamond are a current trend for the reason mentioned above. If another screen company doesn’t have its own version, then I expect one from them soon. Smaller (or no) bezels will also be plentiful.
READ: Managing Light in Your Media Room
REVIEW: Epson 5020 1080p Projector
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