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2018: the year in review


Business opportunities


JULY


Logitech has announced a premium modular conferencecam, called Logitech Rally, which is said to deliver studio-quality video, exceptional audio clarity, and an automated video conferencing experience that can be tailored to the meeting space. Rally fea- tures Ultra-HD 4K video, modular audio components, expansive PTZ capabilities and Logitech RightSense technology that auto- matically frames people and optimises colour and luminance for human faces.


Avocor is working with Microsoft to introduce Windows collabora- tion solutions - a new category of large interactive displays that will help teams connect, collaborate and perform. The new category of displays is said to feature the world’s most advanced touchscreen technologies to enhance collaboration and enable teamwork.


SEPTEMBER


‘Teamline by StarLeaf’ is a new range of premium meeting room solutions for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. In the cor- porate space, StarLeaf argues that video meetings should be of a high quality, reliable, always on and offer investment protec- tion, which is a key differentiator when comparing Teamline's co- dec-based architecture with a PC-based solution.


NOVEMBER


Barco announced the launch of Barco RigiFlex, a brand-new rigid yet very flexible powerwall screen. Described as “the first rigid, rollable powerwall of its kind”, the Barco RigiFlex combines ex- cellent visual performance with amazingly easy transportation, installation and maintenance.


UC News, AV News and Maverick AV Solutions have created a boundary-pushing event that was great to be a part of. Connect – Age of Collaboration whichtook place at the iconic Design Mu- seum in London on the 26 and 27th September.


BlueJeans has announced a U.S. distribution agreement with In- gram Micro, extending the relationship after successfully selling together in Asia Pacific and EMEA for the past year. The deal will allow a comprehensive network of U.S. channel partners to build meeting solutions for any business for a measurable and secure increase in productivity and collaboration.


DECEMBER


AVMI’s acquisition of the UK-based Focus 21 will significantly en- hance AVMI’s capabilities to design, deliver and support a broad range of audio visual, collaboration technology and digital media solutions. The combined business reinforces AVMI’s market lead- ing position in the UK, whilst growing and accelerating AVMI’s vision for becoming a major player in the global AV market. Digitavia has been acquired by Diversified, one of the largest tech- nology firms in our industry. The two companies have been suc- cessfully partnering for the last two years as part of the Global AV Partnership, to deliver audio visual solutions on a global basis for our mutual clients. The success of this partnership made it apparent that Digitavia was a natural fit to become the European arm of Diversified.


AUGUST


Leading US distributor Stampede has been acquired by the tech- nology division of DCC plc - a £14.3 billion revenue, London Stock Exchange listed (LSE) international sales, marketing and support services group that employs 11,000 people in four divisions oper- ating in 17 countries.


Kevin Batley, Founder and Managing Director of the Sahara Presen- tations Group PLC, Sahara AV Distribution, Clevertouch Interactive Panels and Sedao Digital Signage, will present the 2019 AV News Awards Keynote Address. “As Managing Director, my business life has focused around Sahara and has dominated my thinking for 30 years. The Sahara Presentations Group today is recognised as one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of AV technology around the globe.”


OCTOBER


Saville Audio Visual, the leading AV integrator and live event special- ist, is set to launch three new visual identities and revamped websites after enjoying a period of strong growth. ‘Saville Group’ has been re- vealed as the new parent brand. It will be joined by Sparq and Visavvi as the company’s live events business and the AV systems specialists respectively.


ViewSonic Europe has announced the UK launch of its newest in- teractive display – the IFP2710. Intuitively designed to be used in both educational and corporate settings, the 27-inch panel enables up to 10 users to annotate and edit content simultaneously – making collective discussions easier and more engaging.


Absen enables Etisalat Gitex booth features 3D robotic video walls, which added a completely new dimension to the content on display. This striking display was employed to showcase Etisalat’s efforts towards the development of autonomous transportation and connected car technologies in UAE, which form an integral part of Dubai’s Autonomous Transportation Strategy.


In an event co-hosted with Intel, Vestel revealed new display, in- cluding a stunning new PCAP model. In a number of solutions jointly developed with Intel, using the latter’s Unite technology which allows the user to control any display from any other con- nected display. Intel demonstrated a variety of possible use cases, including options for pairing its NUC and OPS platforms. Use of Intel’s vPro certified technologies will provide reassurance for uses tasked with mission-critical and compute-intensive applications used in corporate and organisational applications.


Sharp will launch its first Windows Collaboration Display (WCD) – the next generation of interactive displays designed to support and improve team work. The 70” 4K interactive display for enterprise and SMB offices, which meets Microsoft WCD specifications, com- bines Sharp’s award-winning touch technology and sensors that can work with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins to monitor collabora- tion spaces.


A study by One Pulse and Owl Labs, the smart video conferencing company, has revealed that over half of UK employees feel their companies aren’t doing enough to meet the modern day needs of remote and flexible working. An overwhelming number of work- ers also say communication and collaboration declines immensely when working from home, with nearly 4 in 5 admitting they have a hard time staying engaged when joining meetings remotely.


Midwich has announced it has acquired Sound Directions France, which trades as Perfect Sound, a value-added distributor of profes- sional audio products based in France, serving predominantly the French and French speaking Swiss market.


CTOUCH Europe has announced the Laser Nova, the new versatile in- teractive touchscreen designed for “maximum ease of use and fun in classroom collaboration.” The new interactive touch screen is specifi- cally designed to stimulate the development of “21st century skills.”


AV News January 2019 P17


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