Five Fun Finds from IBC 2017

With over 1500 exhibitors and distances to make your footstep tracker proud, I’ve brought you my favourite fun finds from the International Broadcasting Convention – IBC 2017.

Holography

Holographic shark

Star Trek fans, the holodeck is closer than ever! John Karafin spoke at IBC’s big screen talk on future display technologies. His company, Light Field Lab is creating holograms, initially via small face-sized projectors, but moving to wall-sized holographic systems that project scenes into a room. Alas, photos of the presentation weren’t allowed and this wasn’t on display.

What was on display was the Mann CG NovaLine holographic shark tank. Visuals projected in layers of NovaFabric screens create the illusion of holographic fish, porpoises and sharks swimming in water.

Parallax 3D

3D Shark

Just when you thought it was no longer safe to mention the words 3D and TV in the same sentence, Vision III showcases parallax visualisation which creates the illusion of 3D on a 2D TV screen – without glasses. Their primary market is advertising.

Sheet-type OLED

2mm OLED

Displays are getting thinner, lighter and wall-sized.  NHK, in collaboration LG Display and AstroDesign, demoed a 2mm thick Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen. Currently constructed from four 65-inch 4K displays with a total resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, the aim is to create a single 8K sheet. The panel operates at 60 or 120Hz. Due to the fragility, NHK is looking at replacing the glass with plastic.

Flexible OLED

NHK Flexible OLED

I chaired at a smart home and video technology conference a few years ago. A delegate complained that his wife had stopped him from getting a monster display. He wanted a huge TV on which to watch sports. She wanted a feature fireplace. I told him I had two words for him; one stared with F and the other with O. He was a little surprised when I said, “Flexible OLED”.

Replacing the glass layer (substrate) in OLED panels with plastic enables Flexible OLED. Flexible OLED can scroll down from the ceiling, much like a projector screen but without the light issues.

One of the problems with plastic-based OLED has been that the plastic substrate is generally unstable in air because of the penetration of oxygen and moisture. NHK has resolved this by inverting the cathode and anode layers and adding a new electron injection layer.

Inverted Flexible OLED

The Flexible OLED panel on display was the largest they’d achieved to date, but now that the instability issue has been resolved, look for larger panels in the future.

Immersive Reality

bcom VR

b<>com had an immersive underwater demo – without sharks. As a diver I was represented in Virtual Reality (VR) as a diver’s helmet and hands.  They moved just as I moved in reality. I could use my hands to take photographs and bring up an Augmented Reality (AR) display which provided information on the fish I tagged with a laser pointer. b<com> aim to create the full-body experience next.

This currently has a two-diver mode with a four-diver mode to follow. As a shared experience, I felt a moment of glee when the other diver saw me and waved to me and I waved back.

In addition to a few scattered VR demos, IBC hosted some talks on VR. The DASH Industry Forum and the VR Industry Forum (VR-IF) co-presented. The VR-IF has put together draft guidelines. Public comments can be submitted until 31 October, 2017.

Unfortunately, Immersive Reality (VR / AR / MR) lacked cohesive representation at IBC. Attendees and press seemed to leave the show without understanding why Immersive Reality was useful, what it could do for business and customers and how to create the right experience.

Furthermore, with the focus mainly on technology, we also still need to ensure accessibility, diversity and inclusion in Immersive Reality on both sides of the camera. That’s why I’ve joined VR-AID (Accessibility, Inclusion, Diversity) to help establish a manifesto, training and policy in those areas for Immersive Reality.

With a background in computer games, 3D animation, video, film and wearable tech, I demystify Immersive Reality (VR / AR / MR) and develop strategies that generate revenue.

If you want to find out more, contact Maria for demystification, strategy and innovation.

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