Widgets Magazine

Notes from the Drop Zone- Observations on ISE 2016

Notes from the Drop Zone
‘I love it when a plan comes together’, the adage of John ‘Hannibal’ Smith is apropos of the travels into the strange alternate universe of trade shows
Arrival time 6:30am local time, Day One of the exhibit floor showing.
A bit bedraggled and fuzzy headed, but bushy tailed and eager. Straight and simple path. Deplane, pick up baggage and jump into the super comfy and slick Mercedes cab. Iron the shirt and suit up at the rented apartment.  
Just where is my bag?  No seriously, where is that bag?  In the same place two hundred of my fellow flight friends were asking.  After 45 min of the same droning voice booming over the speakers apologizing for a ‘mechanical issue’, the bags arrived. Bloody hell, brother, I have a video shoot in 15 min.   
End result ? A complete strip down and suit  in the middle of hall eight – good thing the Dutch are comfortable with such things, and I have long since lost any sense of humility.
Wait, we are here for the gear right?
Middle Atlantic shoot was hoot- loving the UTB under shelf mounting kit ~link to video~ just a perfect solution to a persistent problem. The discussion provided a mind blowing tidbit that the mesh mounting grid is actually a patented design created by a team of engineers.  You can screw mount nearly any small box to it using the existing product mount holes. No More Zip ties!
Vantage: has some very nice new interfaces and third party widget controllers and Nuvo has added, Spotify to its Player Profile system.  
Legrand: the parent company for the collected above are showing off some very nice sculpted corners and configurations only available in the EU. Why can’t we have these nice things in the US?  Is this Tump’s fault?, probably.
Kramer:  In a very crowded stand, Aviv Ron was kind enough to record a lengthy video discussing their full frontal entry into networked infrastructure.  A very interesting collective of software based content routing, collaboration environment tools for huddle rooms, NOC centers and education.  Aviv is always an engaging and enthusiastic interview. We left feeling as though the fuzzy feelings of 6am were wiped away, better than any energy drink.
HDBaseT:  In addition to being present and inside of nearly every product on display at the show, HDBT’s booth showed off examples of what Dana called, ‘our little universe’.  Of special note is that more fiber folks are making interfaces which include HDBT – seems like a big growth sector.  Dana also gave me a look at the special drink menu for our Wednesday tweet up at their booth.  Deliciously dangerous these look to be.

Z-Wave Alliance: It is always an enjoyable time to sit down and chat with Mitchell Klein. After many years with URC (Universal Remote Control), Mitchell is just rounding the sixth month as the executive director of the Z-Wave alliance. While we have had discussions with Mitch on our AVWeek show, this was the first time having a one on one about where Z-Wave going. When you watch the video interview, I think you will agree that the alliance is in good hands – there are big things ahead for them under his tutelage. 
Digital Signage: While there were, of course, great gobs of LED panels the space also had some very intriguing systems which incorporated tracking, push ad options and comprehensive analytics.  DS is not just about displays and mounts anymore.  Working on an Article for Commercial Integrator on this, drops in a day or so.
This is all very fine you may say, but how are you holding up? Thanks for asking.
Around 15:00 local time my condition was best described by ‘I just flew in this morning, and yeah – my arms are tired’. Seven more hours of meetings, networking parties and articles to start.
A west coast staging company used to have T-shirts which read: Grease, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine – Live Engineers Diet.
While it has been the de rigueur for us to live off of breakfast bars water and the copious offerings of booth Heineken – it is something you partake of as a necessity rather than any real desire to consume. There is a certain pining for Soylent’s liquid diet plan. There is the pang of hunger but it is white noise, it’s only five days- you remind yourself, time enough to eat again.  for now work.
The staging field tech in me simply marked the check box that a 36 hour grind was in order – all other things being secondary.  Well, that is until your associates decide that a trip to the Buffalo steakhouse is in order and you suddenly and quite violently realize that you have consumed only eight cups of coffee, four bottles of water, a breakfast bar and three cookies from the gracious HDBaseT folks.

It’s only a six hour flight with a six hour time difference, seems entirely plausible – until the fatigue monster grabs you by the privates, turns you upside down and attempts to shake free all the loose change in your pockets.
With a belly full of Argentine beef, sweet, sweet sleep with visions of dancing digital signage washed over me

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