Infocomm is many things, in particular it is about finding solutions. There are a multitude of distractions from social engagements to parties and tangential floor shows but solutions are our ROI. I come here to find answers, to find the face of exuberance. It is in the faces of the attendees, in the exhibitors even the infocomm folks who are more buoyant than ever about this show and industry growth. Yet, I have some questions as there is concern among the technorotic digerati.
There is a possible specter hanging low like a great Wisconsin fog just over the next hill and it is making folks ride the edge of hysterics and short slide into madness – peeling off clothes as they run down the aisles foaming at the mouth. It hangs in the air all around us making folks tense, taught as a bow string. To get a sense of just how close to gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair the attending are I made my way to the hotel bar for a snifter of inspiration and solace making. I saddled up to a robust and jolly fellow wearing the logo of a western integrator, his cheeks roughed from being unaccustomed to the Southern coastal humidity and the empty glasses before him. He was mopping his brow with the desperate moves of a man not wanting to but subconsciously unable to stop with his pores opening to the size of dimes.
Laying a Twenty on the bar I hailed the bartender for a Makers – Neat. My associate, now switching between dabbing his neck then the his brow and back again looked over at my drink stating “ Mighty Heavy for this weather, no? It could put you into fits with this heat. You should be by the fireplace in wool jacket with that sort”. I witnessed a flash of rash stripe across his face at the thought and he dabbed his neck even more frequently. In front of him stood a tall glass with lime, the condensation from the ice beading up on the length. My friend eyed the drink with an expression that showed the internal debate of whether it was to quell the demons or bring them forth. “Considering a bit of prognostication are you?”, I said. I could see it in his eyes – obviously he had been reading up on the mystics and their elixirs.
“I see your question, my brother”, I offered. I knew the feeling, the temptation to twitch at the anticipation of the answer which drives us into madness.
I leaned in close to him, shifting my eyes to both sides of the bar ensuring we had room to talk. My lips nearly brushing his ear as he leaned down to meet me. “I have it on good authority that the hall is empty – sans one booth with Apple and a smart screen manufacture. Apparently the Apple developers conference broadcast brought the building to a halt, silencing the hall like a punch to the gut. Then came an announcement of a smart TV with all the functions needed to control the home, with anticipatory gesture interpretation – you only have to think about making a gesture and the monitor knows it. Well this last bit took the knees out of folks – it was like watching Neil Armstrong take that final step off the ladder so quiet and still were the sales folks, techs, and assorted company representatives”. My bar-mate’s jaw began to hang low and he caught himself. I continued, “One would have expected a shrill wail from those on the floor, like the purported recordings of the damned by a Siberian oil drilling company punching a hole into Hades which Art Bell broadcast on his ‘Coast to Coast’ show. But the reports are that after a short pause a universal acceptance set in and instead of continuing to build up started to disassemble the whole lot, a weeks work swept clean in less than a day.”
As I leaned back to take another pull of my whiskey I could consider my friends expression. His Eyes were just about to pop out of his head and his jaw was making slight side to side movements as if in attempt to speak. “I, I…. I thought…. I knew this day was coming but everyone said we had time”, he trailed off, “so soon, so,so soon.” he looked up straight at me, “ What now?”.
“Well” , I began, “ I hear word that the Maker Movement folk are raising an army consisting of homemade tanks from discarded Oldsmobile Delta 88’s, Trebuchets from the remains of the Junk Yard wars show and some Tube drive Turntables. AP just tweeted that a squad of steampunk are nearly at the convention center grounds, machines hissing while the clackers report positions and tactical movements awaiting the arrival of the North Carolina Maker Faire Battalion under the direction General Jonathan Danforth”.
The expression on my friends face was full conflict – the ole fight of flight debate was churning around inside him. He reached for his drink and swallowed it whole in one swift gulp – the ice long since melted in the Orlando sun. Then a calm washed over him and his eyes narrowed. “ Be dammed if I am not going down without a fight!”. With that he shook my hand and turned heel muttering about assembling a Myth Busters inspired rice paper armor.
All of this occurred last night and now in the haze of too many O’ clocks without sleep I am preparing to head to the show floor to see for myself whether it is true. Reporting from the front lines…. I am your intrepid reporter.