This year’s IBC 2017 was very exciting! If by chance you missed out on any of the action, we will catch you up! This year’s IBC celebrated its 50th anniversary with a record attendance of nearly fifty-eight-thousand people. However, it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. The latest developments in IP, the cloud, UHD, HDR, OTT, VR/AR/MR, 5G and bots were showcased and debuted across 15 different exhibition halls. Exciting new launches and visitors with diverse backgrounds flooded Amsterdam from September 13-18.
Awe-Inspiring Future Zone
The RAI convention center was buzzing all week with discussions and debates on industry hot topics and rising challenges. The conversation was even more vibrant and thought-provoking at the Future Zone. The Future Zone was home to the latest innovations and ideas with incredible technology back ups. This year’s theme was multisensory virtual worlds and imagery of the future.
Alongside the smart AV tunnel, Igloo and BBC R&D was G’Audio Lab, which made its first debut at IBC this year. We showcased two new interactive 3D demos that transported visitors into a completely new world. Annabelle, sound designed by Matt Bobb from LA-based sound studio Spacewalk Sound turned heads at the conference. He used G’Audio’s spatial audio plugin Works on Pro Tools to spatialize sounds for the Annabelle 2 movie trailer. This exemplified how sound can be the cue to direct people, lead the story and even amplify emotions. Another demo was the three-dimensional Hans Krása Quartet’s 360 music concert, spatial sound mixed by Petr Šoupa. In this demo, two violinists, a violist and a cellist play their instruments circularly around the listener so one can truly enjoy sounds from 360 degrees. This inspired creators and consumers to imagine a world that lies beyond reality, and what can be achieved in VR. If you want to see the best of IBC Future Zone, check out this video, thanks to Focal Point VR.
The Future Zone also showed room for improvements. NHK, for example, showcased an impressive ultra-thin, 8K UHD OLED display for living room settings. It was made up of four 65 inch panels, which inevitably created black barriers between the panels that broke the immersive experience. Booths using mobile VR devices struggled with phone charging, adjusting the strap and focus, as well as phones crashing, etc.
VR, AR, MR as Next Frontiers
The show proved that tech buzzwords, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cloud were certainly driving the next wave of innovation, where XR took center stage. The successful case studies, challenges and workarounds, and predictions were discussed.
The Co-founder and CEO of LucidWeb, Leen Segers, mentioned that players driving VR/AR/MR are not just startups, but companies like Barco and Zeiss are also extremely active in the conversation, as well as studios, media, education, distribution, gaming, social media, sports and health care.
Brian Sullivan, President/COO of Digital Consumer Group at Fox Networks mentioned that disruption in TV is perfectly natural . When he was addressing potential alternatives, such as streaming services (Netflix and Amazon Video) and social media-based platforms, he also mentioned VR. “Like everyone, we are learning and we are investors in the VR concept.”
Audio continued to impress with enlightening and innovative conversations. The discussion held on September 18 explored the EU-funded Orpheus project into object-based audio, sound source extraction, as well as localization for use in next generation audio. BBC R&D actually showed an interactive radio drama with the use of object-based audio.
Realistic audio experience in VR applications was highlighted and appreciated. Presence authority, Matthew Lombard, Associate Professor of Media Studies & Production at Temple University in Philadelphia, said one can effectively have presence illusion with audio only. If one doesn’t think of the technology or realize its vital role, then one can have a presence of mediation. Sound achieves this because it’s not as unusual to have sound without a picture as it is to have a picture without sound.