NEC showcase hailed success as big corporates head to Battersea

AUTHOR: Inavate

The third NEC Annual Showcase, held this year at Battersea Power station in London, was buzzing with partners, integrators, distributors and, most importantly, clients. Big corporate names such as O2, M&S, Odeon, HSBC and BAA were mingling with digital media players such as Clear Channel, JCDecaux and subTV.

The exhibition attracted nearly 600 attendees and saw 32 partners setting up their tailored solutions using NEC screens and projectors. The hall area was divided in six zones: NEC innovations, DOOH, Control Rooms, Education, 3D/Entertainment and Professional Office.

A giant 82”iPad used augmented reality from White Space – which used not just QR codes but printed images. Furthermore PSCo set up a monster 8x3m interactive video wall, which dominated the back of the hall.

The day also had two seminars organized by The Screen Forum. The morning presentations focused on education. Katheryn Macaulay, deputy head operations and communications at The Abby School, talked about the use of 3D projection in education and how it significantly improves the learning process for pupils.

“When I started looking into using 3D for education, I didn’t know the results were going to be as big as they are,” said Macaulay, “It is amazing. Children understand 3D. Their world is 3D. Biology lessons carried out with the traditional way, with abstract 2D images, resulted in a fragmented incomplete learning experiences in comparison to lessons where students had the benefit of seeing the images in 3D.”

The education conference was very well attended. Aside from integrators and resellers interested in this market, fifteen education establishments and representatives from SCHOMS came along.

The afternoon presentation was focused on digital signage’s way finding applications. The case studies presented were on two of the largest public spaces in London: Westfield Shopping Centre andGatwick Airport. Gatwick is investing £1billion (€1.1billion) on updating its passenger information and way finding resources.

“Time is at a premium in an airport,” explained Julie Ayres, head of passenger information at Gatwick Airport, “Being able to quickly find what you need - be it departure gates, check in or toilets, is essential for the efficient working of an airport.”

Signage at Gatwick is growing. The airport is making use of every possible spot, including wraps around columns and Ayres said that their use or digital formats is on the up.

The showcase was busy all day long and some companies commented that they were able to generate new leads and meet with partners and potential clients.

“The NEC Showcase was a fantastic success again this year and the collaboration between our partners to show end to end solutions is well received by our customers,” said NEC Display Solutions vice president Simon Jackson, “There was a huge amount of interest around 3D and augmented reality, no doubt aided by the excellent seminars on education and way finding. 3D is now maturing from the cinema into the classroom and is set to become a useful tool in the learning process."