If you ask my friends and family what I really love, probably the first thing that will pop out of their mouths is “cricket!” This will no doubt be accompanied by massive eye-rolling and head-shaking on a scale not seen since I came home from college with an earring, zipper-front Michael-Jackson-style shirt, and parachute pants.
Because, frankly, I think and talk about it a lot. In an obsessive-compulsive kind of way. Cricket is to me like baseball is to many other people: full of action, excitement, strategy, and metaphors. Metaphors for everything: life, work, kids, and yes, even projection screens and CEDIA.
Yes, you are about to read a blog post about projection screens, CEDIA, and cricket. Hey! Stop yawning! Pay attention!
The thing about cricket is that, while it appears old-fashioned and stagnant, it has evolved pretty much continually, to the point that those who first played the game 9 billion years ago somewhere in England might not recognize it today. Way back in the mists of time – sometime in the 1600s, allegedly – gentle folk played cricket in top hats, using curved bats and bowling the ball underarm. Diving for balls or perhaps even running with too much enthusiasm might be seen as outside the spirit of the game.
Over the years, people came to expect more action and came to expect more from themselves as athletes. Technical innovations came into the game: bowling first sidearm and then overarm; straight bats; accomplished fielders throwing their bodies at any ball hit their way; and batting helmets, to name a few.
Nowadays, cricket has forms designed to fit the modern lifestyle. T20 cricket, for instance, takes the same time as a baseball game, and scoring can run to 200+ runs per side. Many games at the top level use an electronic review system with cameras, microphones, and “hot spot” technology to reduce mistakes in umpiring.
What, Pray Tell, Does This Have to Do With Projection Screens and CEDIA?
Did you notice all the talk about innovating to meet the needs of the changing marketplace? The incorporation of new technology to improve the experience for players and spectators? The changes to attract new fans and investment? “Aha!” you may well say.
Whether you date the concept of projection and projection screens as starting with the so-called “magic lantern” of the 17th century, the work of Etienne Gaspar Robert in the late 18th century, or Edison’s Kinetoscope and Lumiere’s Cinematographe of the late 19th century, the point is that projection and screens have been around for a long time.
They started out as a way of sharing entertaining images with a group of people gathered in a place where it was fairly dark. Over the years, content was developed that drove the need for screens to get bigger and perform better and in different ways.
Screens were introduced into classrooms, auditoriums, boardrooms, conference rooms, and even homes, where many now enjoy a theater-like big-screen experience.
Today, while many people may view screens as the old-fashioned equivalent of cricket’s standing in the sun for several days watching paint dry, in reality the concept has changed beyond what those original developers would have recognized.
From a plain white piece of cloth, to other materials such as vinyl, to silver, then various tints of white, then gray, and now black, screen materials have evolved to match changing needs and reach out to new audiences.
Things like ambient light can now be tackled head-on by certain materials. 100% recyclable screen material has even been developed. Most projection screen solutions can be integrated into a network – whether at home or in a commercial setting – and can be hidden away when not in use.
Meeting the Needs of a Changing Industry
CEDIA has not been around all that long in the scheme of things. The first EXPO
took place back in 1990 in Amelia Island, Florida. Throughout those early years and continuing today, CEDIA EXPO has been a place where the latest and greatest technology could be seen. Whatever new market was developing; whatever new technological innovation was being developed to meet changing needs; whatever ideas for attracting new audiences and customers were being generated; CEDIA EXPO was the place to find it all under one roof.
From a small gathering in the early years to the sunburst spectacular of technological goodies and educational opportunities filling today’s agenda, CEDIA EXPO has grown and evolved along with the industry. This year in Denver, it will be bigger and better than ever, of that you can be sure.
I doubt you’ll see any cricket being played, but I know for sure you will see some awesome projection screens (I wonder how I would know that? Hmmmm) and other products that may very well make you rethink how you’ve gone about your business in the past. And why would you want to miss that?
Click here to register for CEDIA EXPO 2013. Use the code CT9 to get in free. And when you do make it to Denver September 25-28, don’t forget to stop by and see Draper in booth 3318. We’ll talk about cricket and look at projection screens (and related items as well)!