Nvidia’s 3D Vision Pro

I spent a good bit of time at the NVIDIA booth talking about the NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro system. For $150, you get a pair of active shutter glasses (that are timed with the graphics card) as well as the RF receiver hub for the glasses. When combined with a compatible NVIDIA QUadro graphics card and monitor or projector, you get a really cost effective system to play back 3D content without requiring “mastered” content on say a Blu-Ray disk.  We are currently considering this technology as the basis for the DDI 3D project the “3D Exploration Station”.

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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:

Facilis Media Shared Storage

Shared media storage differs from standard shared storage that is used for normal computer files. It has to be fast and provide a lot of throughput. Facilis has a unique solution for shared media storage in that it is relatively inexpensive (starting at under $15,000 for around 12TB), charges no fees for clients and can be integrated with Avid, Final Cut, Pro Tools or even LINUX workstations. Multiple Windows and Mac OSX clients may simultaneously write to a virtual volume without any third party software, you can dynamically change volumes on the fly and it can be connected via Ethernet or Fibre Channel connectivity. As we continue to talk about shared media storage for places like the MPS Lab, this is one company we should consider.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5

Adobe announced version 5.5 of their Creative Suite which includes Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere among others. These packages are quite deep and feature rich so I have to imagine that it is getting more and more difficult to introduce new versions and compel people to upgrade. The biggest advantage to this new version is 64-bit operating system support to allow more efficient use of memory and thus increase performance as well as an enhanced process across all the tools to deliver your content to multiple platforms – including multiple mobile formats.

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Squeezing In The Clouds With Sorenson’s Managed Encoding Solution

Sorenson Media makes tools to convert video from one format to another.  They sell licensed software solutions that are usually installed on premise. They are now offering this as a managed, cloud based service.  Depending on cost (not released at this time) and minimum subscriptions, quantities, this could be a good solution on a project or as needed basis for some folks around campus.

Costs range from $499/month to $1500/month depending on the version you need – with a 1 year commitment.  Squeeze Server for On-Premise installation pricing is: $5900/license, per server due upfront for the 1st year which includes all on-boarding, upgrades, maintenance and support.  Then is it $900/license, per server from years 2+ that you wish to continue using the on-premise license.

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.

FileCatalyst Direct – File Transfer Speed Enhancement

FileCatalyst DIRECT is a client/server software product that claims to both encrypt and speed file transfer by up to 100x. At a cost of $5000 which allows for up to two concurrent transfers, this could be used by programs such as our School of Medicine that transfers large amounts of media files to their campus in Singapore. As we create more campuses around the globe, a product such as this may be helpful to share large high definition video files or other large data sets.

On a plus side, they spelled HIPAA as “HIPPA” which is  a mistake I always make so it made me feel a bit better.

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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.