The Visualist Blog

Disconnect Between Market Demand and Innovation at Projection Summit

I’m attending the Projection Summit conference today. It’s a yearly gathering of the projection-based display community that precedes Infocomm. The event has grown substantially and is better attended than the last few years, which is a good indicator of the health of the market. However, so far the advances being discussed seem incremental at best. In the first hour of the conference, I’ve heard the same concept paraphrased at least four times: that despite the general impression that projection technology is stagnant, there are a lot of interesting advances to discuss. Thou Protesteth Too Much.

Most of the focus is on obvious next steps for projection display:

1) Better light sources (i.e. laser illumination) for longer life, which I touched on in my post earlier today
2) Brighter projectors using coupled light paths and multiple (potentially hybrid) light sources
3) Framerate beyond 24fps for cinema (more on this later)

Hmm…not too revolutionary. I don’t want to give the impression I’m “Bah, Humbug!” about the industry I work in. It’s quite the opposite actually. The disconnect between what people want to experience with media, and the ability to deliver immersive, beautiful, high-fidelity video at lower cost could be an exciting opportunity. Historically, when the gap between demand and reality gets this large, technologies emerge that allow us to jump the gap.

I’d like to think that somewhere in the room with me today is the Thomas Edison (inventor of the projector) of today who is unsatisfied with incremental advances. I’ll keep listening carefully at the event here (as well as the rest of InfoComm this week) and report on what I find.

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