OK, now you might be wondering, “What exactly is Audio-Visual (AV) Week?” I wondered the same thing and found that AV week is “a week-long celebration of all things AV.” Obviously. I also quickly learned that Mersive doesn’t recognize it as an official holiday. Bummer. I was hoping to spend AV Week testing a few home theater display products that our partners have been nice enough to supply, and then I’d spend the rest of the week watching the first season of Walking Dead.

I’m not sure we need an entire week to celebrate one industry, but we live in a society where we love to celebrate everything and anything (especially if it is tied to consumerism), including frivolous holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Ferris Wheel Day and National Donut Day. So why wouldn’t we carve out an entire week to celebrate the Audio/Visual community?

Who’s going around making up all these holidays? In the case of AV Week, the perpetrator happens to be InfoComm International, a major industry player and host of Infocomm, which is an event we attend every year.  You’d think all the InfoComm swag that gets handed out in Vegas or Orlando each year would be celebration enough.

AV week was started six years ago as the brainchild of InfoComm member Ernie Bailey, who wanted a way to celebrate the industry for an entire week. Ernie clearly has lots of energy and is a strong advocate of the AV industry.  Thank you, Ernie!

Infocomm is hosting a few events throughout the week, including something called the AV-lympics.  They also ask members all around the world to host their own individual events. So, Mersive will be hanging LED strips around the office, garnishing a tree with DVI cables, and building a nativity with co-ax plugs glued together.  You too can celebrate AV week – so load up the kids and take an AV world tour.

Five things you can do to celebrate AV Week:

  1. First, go to London and check out the AVART Collective – an interesting audio-visual experience with controlled visuals, timed audio, and projected imagery produced by artists ddubble and Leon Cato.  It’s an awesome use of AV, and it’s celebratory, which is why it’s appropriate for your first stop on the AV Week tour.
  2. What would AV week be without LEDs?  At your next stop in Beijing, the world’s largest producer of LEDs, you’ll find the Zero Energy Media Wall at the Xicui entertainment complex, which is near the site of the 2008 Olympics. This features the largest color LED display in the world and the first photovoltaic system integrated into a glass curtain wall in China.  It’s also a “green” project that harvests solar energy by day and then illuminates the LEDs after dark.
  3. While you’re out there, next you should head over to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art in Taichung, Taiwan and visit the ‘Ideogenetic Machine’ and have yourself incorporated into a comic strip in real-time.
  4. If that seems too mundane and you want to sample something more esoteric, you can try to sneak into the Applied Minds, Inc. headquarters in Glendale, Calif. These guys are incredibly innovative and have rooms full of half-built and complete AV projects that would blow you away, but only if you could somehow gain entry.  What’s in there that’s so interesting?  I could tell you, but then…
  5. To finish off your week, head over Burbank and catch a tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering facilities. Imagineering is the design and development arm of Disney. It utilized Sol software in the facility to power a large projector-based display. They are known for being early adopters of new and cutting-edge technologies, so I’m sure you’d be overwhelmed by the innovation in place there.

So, what are your suggestions for other exciting AV Week-related activities?


About Christopher Jaynes

Jaynes received his doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he worked on camera calibration and aerial image interpretation technologies now in use by the federal government. Jaynes received his BS degree with honors from the School of Computer Science at the University of Utah. In 2004, he founded Mersive and today serves as the company's Chief Technology Officer. Prior to Mersive, Jaynes founded the Metaverse Lab at the University of Kentucky, recognized as one of the leading laboratories for computer vision and interactive media and dedicated to research related to video surveillance, human-computer interaction, and display technologies.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Tom Parkinson
    October 17th, 2012

    For AV week, I like to go look at digital signs like the ones at the airport, where the display is so large and the resolution is so low that you can count all the individual pixels. What’s the point of having a large display if you’re not going to going to try to present a good-looking image?

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