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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Industry news

Futuristic Floors

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Rumor has it the two inventors from London South Bank University got fed up with using their mobile phones to light up their doorways when coming home late. So they built a prototype of an electroluminescent rug that lights up when you walk across it.

“Responsive surface” such as their “Footlume” may be the NBT (next big thing) in interiors. Think about the applications: a rug that lights up when you step on it could replace night lights around the house, in kid’s rooms and bathrooms.


Or they can provide ambient mood, flash in time to music, or simply act as a talking point at a party."

The electroluminescent rug uses rechargeable batteries and that may be its weakest sales point unless the lady inventors from LSBU can also figure out a different wireless power supply.

Go Footlume

Sony to Accelerate OLED

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Sony will invest US$204 million to strengthen its OLED panel production technology by accelerating the shift to medium- to large-size OLED panels.

Sony began researching OLED technology in 1994, and has since positioned OLED as a future-generation display technology. Sony launched the world's first OLED TV, "XEL-1" in Japan and had a big hit at CES with their smaller OLED models.




LG Philips Name Change & New Formats

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LG Philips LCD will become LG Display after approval at the company’s GM on February 29.

The new corporate name reflects the reduction of Philips’ equity stake and LG’s intention to pursue display technologies beyond LCD.

They debuted the world’s highest res 14.3-inch flexible color E-paper display at CES 2008. The 14.3-inch E-paper display, the size of an A4 sheet of paper, has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, and an ability to display 16.7 million colors, making it perfect for use in high end multimedia apps. The displays are less than 300 micrometers thin, and the use of metal foil and plastic substrates (rather than glass substrate) makes the display bendable and durable.

The flexible display market is projected at a US $5.9 billion market by 2010, rising to US$12 billion by 2015.

LG Display, is also planning to roll out 18.9-inch 16:9 LCD monitor panels at the end of Q3.

Go LG Display

2008 EMEA+InAVation Award Winners

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The second annual 2008 EMEA+InAVation Awards were announced at ISE in a Gala Dinner just before the show opened.
Lead by InAVate magazine and supported by significant media (including us), the industry voted for those vendors and installers) most deserving to be recognized.

  • Audio Product for Residential Use (Non-Loudspeaker)
    Escient Fireball FP-1

  • Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product for Residential Use
    Kramer Electronics VS-42 HDMI

  • Loudspeaker Product for Residential Use
    Genelec AOW312

  • Display Product for Residential Use
    Mitsubishi HC6000

  • Control Product for Residential Use
    Stardraw Control 2007

  • AV Accessory (Commercial & Residential)
    NTI Minirator MP Pro

  • Residential Project (Small – Medium)
    Dark Side of the Room – Marmonier - France solutions –  Bristol Cinema - UK
    IAV (India) Pvt Ltd - Prakash Residence - India

    Winner: Smart Business - Alberto Aguilera - Spain

    Winner: Smart Business - Alberto Aguilera - Spain

  • Residential Project (Large)
    AVI Pro – Grand Cinema – Spain
    Design Logistics – Hertfordshire – UK
    DSE Digital – Heathfield – UK
    Global Technology & Control Solutions – Quinta Verde – Portugal
    Marmann Bau GmbH – Niedrigenergihaus – Germany

    Winner: SmartCom – Villa Oasis – France

    Winner: SmartCom – Villa Oasis – France

NVidia Buys Ageia

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Computer graphics board maker NVidia buys the dedicated Physics Processing Unit (PPU) maker.

The industry leader in gaming physics technology, AGEIA's PhysX® software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software has more than 10,000 registered and active users of the PhysX SDK.

Go NVidia Buys A PPU

ISE Success Highlights Residential Systems

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Record numbers of attendees, the euphoric show-floor atmosphere and the sold out exhibit space distinguished this year’s Integrated Systems Europe 2008.

A total of 22,199 attendees (up from 16,269 in 2007) were drawn to 481 exhibiting companies (up from 363 last year). Many noted the significance of the custom home install market in Amsterdam..

Collaborative conferencing, lighting control, and home automation technologies are all expected to be drivers for expansion in 2009, say the organizers.

Sister publication RAVE EUROPE did their bit to make ISE an even more exciting event by demonstrating a virtual studio with live streaming, direct from the show floor.

There was no glass booth, no hermetically sealed environment. They were in an island stand, open on three sides with a rock band playing behind (one aisle away), a very large wall-mounted LED flashing onto the stand from the front, and a constant flow of passers-by (who became the audience).
Interviewees sat in front of a green sheet and used technology from Darim Technology to do live interviews on the show floor.

Want to see how they did? Listen to Wendy Griffiths, Director of CEDIA Region 1(that’s us in EMEA), distributor BMB Electronics, Waterfall Audio, display specialist PSCo, …and even more.

Go Virtual Studio

End of the DVD Wars as Toshiba Yields

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The war has ended: Toshiba says it will no longer develop, make or market HD DVD. Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida told reporters in Tokyo, "We concluded that a swift decision would be best."

This makes Blu-ray (backed by Sony & Panasonic and five major Hollywood movie studios) the winner in the battle over high-def.

Nishida cites the decision by Warner Bros. to release movie discs only in the Blu-ray as the pivotal battle. WalMart’s decision to go exclusively with BluRay and Netflix (the US rental king) also piled on the layers of inevitability.

Both HD DVD and Blu-ray deliver high-definition and many think the conservative Toshiba mainly lost to the Blu-Ray camp because of superior marketing (which includes alliances).

Toshiba says shipments of HD DVD to retailers will stop by end of March. But every war has victims: an estimated 1 million people already bought HD DVD machines and videos. Toshiba will continue to provide product support for the technology but these consumers now own phased-out technology.

While these consumers will need to re-invest in their high def future, pulling out will improve Toshiba's profitability between $370-$460 million a year.

The HD DVD camp included Microsoft, Intel Corp and NEC Corp. So you could also conclude the consumer electronics boys outmaneuvered the IT guys that in this war.

Read The Surrender Document