Affordable Sennheiser For The Classroom

Sennheiser announced a new line of entry level gooseneck microphones that bring their great quality to a level that is affordable for most applications (MSRP: $250). The MEG 14-40 (pictured above)  is a 16 inch gooseneck microphone that features an integrated Sennheiser KE 10 cardioid microphone capsule with a flexible element that helps with the alignment of the microphone. It is also RF shielded to prevent interference from mobile or other wireless devices.

Perceptive Pixel Multitouch Screen

Perceptive Pixel demonstrated a multitouch screen that uses a series of cameras to track as many points as is placed on the screen. You can have multiple people interacting with multiple fingers at the same time. It also features gestured based movements like on an iPhone to make items larger or smaller and there is acceleration/deceleration of images being moved around on the screen.

They come in 27″, 55″ and 100″ sizes with the 55″ model costing around $60,000.

It is currently in use by such media companies as CNN. Here’s an example of the technology being used across multiple monitors:

Extron New for 2011

Extron had a number of new products at the show. The Foxbox HDMI fiber optic extender sends HDMI video, audio and RS-232 control over very long distances. With list prices of just over $2000 each for transmitter and receiver, these wouldn’t be a cost effective solution for digital signage distribution (as was my original thought). There could be applications however for video overflow between locations depending on point to point fiber availability. There is also a DVI version of this box.

The SMX Sustem MultiMatrix is a really flexible matrix switcher that can combine many different types of analog or digital video within the same frame by the selection of different modules.  They range in price from just under $4000 to $9500 depending on the number of slots needed.

They also have two new display port adapter pig tails. The HDMI adapter’s MSRP is $50 and the VGA adapter’s MSRP is $80.

Planar Video Wall Systems – Go big, not broke

The Clarity Matrix 55″ LCD video wall panel includes the screen, mount and controller for around $40k.  The screens are super thin and their unique mounting system makes it easy to remove the monitor for servicing and gets it very close to the wall.

They were displaying a 140″ Clarity MegaPixel wall that consisted of 6 panels at a cost of around $150k. At first look, the monitors seemed to be integrated seamlessly.  I was thinking of this solution for TelePresence custom installation, maybe the video hallway we’ve been speaking about.

Upon closer examination, it wasn’t EXACTLY seamless, but it was closer than I had ever seen multiple screens combined.

Wacom Tablet For The Classroom

The $1899 WACOM DTU-2231 LCD tablet is a modified version of the WACOM Intuos tablet that is widely used in graphics art production. Although just a few hundred dollars cheaper than its graphics sibling, this tablet was designed to be used in a classroom with specific features such as dual DVI input/passthrough to also feed a projector, security cable for the pen, a USB hub (for PC’s that may be remotely secured), a more advanced and full featured built-in scaler and the removal of the expression keys to simplify the overall interface.

Interactive projection system

Hitachi’s interactive projector (iPJ-AW250N) lists for around $1800 ( that ceiling mount is about $200) and comes with software that allows you to mark up on the screen (in this case was just a piece of white poster board) with a battery operated IR Pen. Images and Powerpoint slides have to be imported into the application, but they showed it was really easy to do this, dragging an image from a web browser right into the application and then drawing on it. It also featured handwriting recognition. You can easily create multiple pages of work and then save it all out as a PDF file for distribution. Here’s a closer up picture of the projector.

Sounds Quiet – new sound absorbtion technology from Japan

No, I’m not in a phone booth. This is a demo “room” of some sound control panels called “Room Creator” developed by a small company in Japan called House 119 Company Limited. The material is only 2” thick and can be covered in a number of different types of fabrics. It was really amazing compared to materials like Sonnex that is much thicker. A 3 foot by 2 foot panel will be less than $100. They’ve been impacted by the earthquake/tsunami so they won’t be shipping for a while, but this may allow us to build a cost effective isolation chamber for the Duke bird.