Round Up

ANFLED is the Chinese company that we reported on as selling 218″ FullHD LED TVs at IFA for just $315,000! The company had the same displays at Gitex and told us that the Middle East market is much better than Europe as the houses (or perhaps residences is a better word) are much bigger and there are plenty of wealthy individuals.

We reported on the products that NEC has developed using Baanto’s ShadowSense technology from last week’s NEC event. At this show, Baanto had its own booth to demonstrate the technology. It had a demonstration showing that rival infrared-based systems could be upset by the light from a 500W lamp, while the Baanto technology was working well even with twice that amount of ambient light. NEC has applied the technology to its P series monitors, but Baanto has already heard that there is a demand for the technology on lower end monitors, such as the V series, so the firm sees potential business for overlays from its partners such as U Touch. It has also talked to others, such as DisplayLite of the UK, but 10 touch performance is needed (6 is supported at the moment). NEC said last week that 10 touch would be supported with a firmware upgrade, but Baanto would not be drawn to confirm this.

BenQ was highlighting the use of NFC to establish a quick Wi-Fi connection to its MX666 projector (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 22). At the moment, this only works with Android devices, but now that the iPhone 6 has NFC, the support will be extended to support iOS. New on the booth was a 50″ FullHD monitor, the TL500F which has 4,000:1 contrast.

Blackberry launched its innovative Passport smartphone design a few weeks ago (Mobile Display Monitor Vol 21 No 38) and the firm told us at Gitex that it is currently sold out in the region. The design looks like a good option for those that like physical keyboards. The display (square at 1440 x 1440 and 4.5″ diagonal) looks good and works well with the combination of Blackberry’s OS, while making apps available from the app store. The battery is a big one at 3450mAh and the firm claims that in typical use it can last three days. It also supports the Slimport interface and USB2Go, so it can be attached to displays, or even SSDs for data access.

We first reported on the Brightsign UltraHD digital signage players some while ago, at ISE. Now the units are starting to ship and we got notice from the firm’s UK supplier, Pixels Ltd, during the show that it now has stock. The unit also supports H.265/HEVC compression and the firm believes that it is the only digital signage player that supports this standard and UltraHD at the moment. The production unit is a little bigger than the prototypes as it was found that additional cooling was needed, but the box is still passively cooled. The improved cooling means that the system remains fanless and can operate in temperatures up to 50 deg C. There are three different versions with different I/O features, but they can all be powered over Ethernet, using POE technology, eliminating the need for a power brick. There is a simple player version, while another also has GPIO, RS343 and USB input for interactive applications and the top unit also includes HDMI 2.0 in, a microSD card reader and an M-Sata connection, allowing the use of an SSD for really large files.

Brightsign told us that in every stadium contract that it is quoting, 4k/UltraHD is being specified. Part of the reason is that the cost goes up only from $450 to $600 and stadiums expect to start to show UltraHD video before long.

Christie had a booth in the main Gitex area, but although we had a good chat, there were no new products since our IBC report.

Dimenco of Eindhoven was at the show with its local partner, Aries Epica, promoting its latest auto-stereoscopic displays. We were impressed by the lack of artefacts when we moved from one pair of images to another – a less “tutored” viewer might not notice them at all – which is apparently the result of better lenses. The display was based on an UltraHD panel. There is one particular demo video, featuring the view from the front of a surfboard which is apparently driving significant demand in the region.

Local Telco, Etisalat, had a big booth and was highlighting smart home technology as it prepares for the IoT. Security was a priority and the firm had an NFC doorlock that also could be remotely operated so that you could decide to let someone into the house, having checked who it was, using a video camera.

Granteq Distribution was showing the CTouch range of large touch displays, having recently been appointed to sell the company’s products in the region. The 84″ was shown on the CTouch Balance Box mount which allows the display to be moved up and down. The monitor had the latest CTouch speaker add-on and the firm told us that there would be a 94″ UltraHD monitor “soon”.

Huawei had a booth that was mainly focused on infrastructure and telco systems, but there was an area devoted to client devices. The company has been teasing about a version of its P7 smartphone which has a very decorative glass back, but there was no sign of it – just a version with Gorilla Glass 3. This is already shipping in China and will start to ship in the UAE in November. The company also had the Mate 7 phablet that we reported on from IFA. The firm told us that it would soon have an upgrade version that will have 4GB of RAM and also Dual Sim support.

Intel has been developing special reference products for schools and for children for some time – we’ve been reporting on developments for at least four years. We caught up with the company on the Etisalat booth where it was showing rugged tablets for children, developed to withstand a 1m drop onto a hard surface. The company also had a very neat 2 in 1 laptop/tablet that had a snap-in lens that converts the system to a microscope using the integrated camera. The notebook is also supplied with a range of sensors that turn the PC into a mini-lab. There are temperature, sound level, pressure and ph sensors. A cool demo was of a syringe that showed the immediate effects of Boyle’s law (well they said it showed the relationship between volume and pressure, but we know what they meant!)

Intel also had its logo all over the HP booth and to a lesser extent on the Dell booth – presumably some “co-op” dollars were involved! In fact, initially we thought that the HP booth was an Intel one, until we saw the number of printers!

We have reported on JNM of Korea before, but this is the first time that we have met with the company at an event in EMEA. The Korean company specialises in special displays such as stretch displays and high brightness products from 1,500 to 2,000cd/m