It is nearly the end of September and that means the post IBC mayhem is starting to calm down a little. IBC is of course one of the biggest shows on our calendar, and also one of the most enjoyable and worthwhile.
Our booth was busier than ever this year, which was fantastic. It was also a real mix of existing partners, existing customers, and also some potential customers, with some interesting and exciting projects. It is always useful to use the opportunity to show our latest version of Portal live to the industry and this year we had a number of exciting updates, some of which are included in Portal 3.0 and others are planned for future versions. The native integration with Archiware P5 and Elemental transcoders is something I’m particularly pleased about and the response was very positive at the show.
This year, we also hosted a partner event direct on our booth, with presentations from Automate-IT, Mediasmiths, NMR and Woody Technology. It was great to see some really innovative integrations to enhance the Portal workflow. It was also of course great to drink beer and chat to partners and customers at the end of the show. However, we did have one major problem and that was the space, or lack of it for the amount of people who attended. Next year we may have to look at taking it off site, so any suggestions of where we should go, let me know!
Despite all of those things happening right on our booth, I did manage to find some time to sneak off and have a look around some of IBC. It is getting increasingly difficult to do that, but it is still really important to see the new trends emerging in this industry. Looking around IBC this year, one of the biggest topics was, as expected, Virtual Reality (VR). Every few stands there seemed to be some form of VR demo showing different aspects of how this technology can be used in different ways, for differnet types of content, and in different spaces. I would love to see some mainstream content being produced, however, as with other high end technology in the past, the stumbling block will undoubtedly be consumer adoption, especially as VR headsets are still fairly expensive. Indeed, it seems that sales of VR units are grounding to a halt.
That said, VR does offer amazing possibilities for a much more immersive experience, but the real game changer is not about broadcast content, it is about the B2B world. The largest architect firms, for example, are already using it to collaborate with colleagues, regardless of geographic location. It is easy to see why when you consider being able to search and explore 3D models in a media asset management system, drag and dropping them into a virtual world and using the assets to design and plan. This makes visualising, amending, and approving final designs a whole lot simpler, for architects and their clients. I believe over the coming years, we will see this technology become mainstream, not just for the largest vendors, but for the smaller firms too.
I am actually pretty excited about the potential of VR in this type of scenario and think it will have massive benefits in a number of different industries. Our work with Cantemo Portal will of course be a natural fit to support future workflows, such as this.