Product Review: InfoComm, Were You Audio-Immersed?

Nearly 35,000 AV professionals from almost 100 countries attended the 2008 InfoComm show in Las Vegas this past June – the largest InfoComm gathering ever, in fact. Thorburn Associates has had a longstanding presence at InfoComm as an educator. This year as last, we supplemented our slate of sessions with a special feature on the trade show floor, the 2nd iteration of the Immersive Audio Experience (IAE).

The IAE was done in partnership with InfoComm and co-produced with Frederick Ampel’s company, Technology Visions, with the support of many generous equipment providers and sponsors. It is based on the concept that a well-designed, high quality themed environment with superior acoustics and first-rate audio and video produces an immersive setting that encourages the guest/customer to stay longer (and spend more money). The result: happy customers and increased per caps.

Half of the IAE booth simulated an entertainment environment (The Antarctic Experience, a chic ice bar) and the other half a hip retail setting. These two multi-channel rooms were equipped with flat panel displays and lighting for demonstrating techniques to coordinate digital signage and video content, supported by audio and effects.

As our colleague and IAE co-producer, Frederick Ampel, says, “A truly enveloping audio experience matched with carefully produced visuals will help drive sales and showcase products. We are defining the concept of using multi-channel audio to augment state-of-the-art video, and careful acoustic design to create a unique guest experience.” In practicality that means understanding what environment you are working in, and how the technology can provide the desired result.

Technology Visions provided audio and event production for the Immersive Audio Experience. Thorburn Associates provided audiovisual system design. Other companies supplying equipment and services were: Audio-Technica, Biamp, Extron, Lab Gruppen, Middle Atlantic Products Inc., Omnivex, Pioneer, Rocking M Coding & Design Co., Sony, Stealth Acoustics, Tannoy, QSC, Westinghouse, Wohler and XYZ Audiovisual.