Friday, January 12, 2024
In this episode, Walt Zerbe Sr. Director of Technology & Standards at CEDIA Talks with Stuart Tickle, Managing Director and Owner of AWE Distributon and new CEDIA Board Member about his experience and perspective as a distributor catering to our industry of the 2024 CES show.
A few links/notes:
Video about older adult who doesn't want to be a slave to technology, "Unvited Guest": https://vimeo.com/12887338
Walt Zerbe 0:01
I am CEDIA, I am CEDIA, I am CEDIA, this is the CEDIA of CEDIA podcast. Hello and welcome to another CEDIA Podcast. I'm Walt Zerby, Senior Director of Technology and Standards and your host for the CD podcast and welcome to the day three podcast of the CEDIA, or sorry, wow, that was Freudian slip because we're just I'm sitting here with a good friend Stuart Tikal who just had something happen with CEDIA, but we're gonna get into that in a minute but the CES show, and maybe you can tell with my voice I think the smoke and the dryness out here is starting to take its toll on me. What do you think Stuart?
Stuart Tickle 0:41
tough gig. But somebody's got to do it. Right?
Walt Zerbe 0:44
That's exactly right. So Stuart tickle and you are with Aw, E and you are what the managing partner is? official title.
Stuart Tickle 0:53
Well, managing director is what's on my business card. I'm the owner. Okay. fourth generation family business. Oh,
Walt Zerbe 1:02
Stuart Tickle 1:03
we go we go well back and I've been at the helm. Well, why don't
Walt Zerbe 1:06
you start out doing well, you always electronics.
Stuart Tickle 1:09
Myself personally, the business. The business has always been electronics of one form or another. Okay. So when I was growing up, I didn't actually know the origins of the business because that was my great granddad. So for I was around. And it was a company called Radio Mendez, south of London. But we now actually have in our showroom their original sales and book because it turns out they sold the original his masters voice radiographs. So we've got the HMV that
Walt Zerbe 1:47
is so cool. Older with hand
Stuart Tickle 1:49
written information. I love that. It's it's a lovely thing to look back because the company actually did a full circle. Because that second world war kind of got in the way of selling radiograms Yeah.
Walt Zerbe 2:06
Got away a lot of things. Yeah.
Stuart Tickle 2:08
So the company is going to be 90 years. Wow,
Walt Zerbe 2:11
that is so cool. You're gonna have like a giant bash when you when you turn 100 I suppose?
Stuart Tickle 2:16
Yeah, yeah, we'll save it another 10 We're gonna mark it we mark every five years with something. Special Event. All right. And, you know, because long standing company, sometimes those those landmarks come round. Right times and other times they come round. Shouldn't Yeah, um, so yeah,
Walt Zerbe 2:40
that's so true. modulate how you separate the setup. Fortunately, it didn't happen during COVID, your five or 10? Year? Yeah, that would have been weird to the height of COVID. Anyway, yeah, I think the history of companies is interesting, I'll just bring up one I worked for which is the grond. They started out in Limoges, France as for making porcelain, making dishes, and then electricity came around. And porcelain was a good insulator for electricity. So I love that story. It completely changed the direction of that company from, you know, plate where flatware to do electric to electrical.
Stuart Tickle 3:15
It's amazing. Now, I mean, any company has been around for a while it has to pivot. It has to change. I don't know for a fact. But there were very few companies when you look at them, how they were founded. And what they do is not always what they do now. Because times change. And companies might be the best in their field at a particular thing. But then that field dies. Yeah. So they're at the top of the game. And companies like Philips,
Walt Zerbe 3:43
yeah. Well, they've definitely changed. Yeah, and that's sort of like a wellness company now. Yeah, right. Yeah. They've
Stuart Tickle 3:50
got like three axis of medical, a lot of medical so that things like lighting, which was sold off, that was live and factory was a light bulb
Walt Zerbe 4:08
pronto. Back in the day? Oh, my gosh, I did so many presentations. They were actually reliable. They were good at them.
Stuart Tickle 4:15
They were great. And I know my staff right now when they're listening to this. I love them. There's their stories because this links actually to to where we started with how the business evolved because the the middle period of the company was ran out and dad was running and it was an engineering company making ran components tronics and my dad moved into Background Music Systems in tape decks based on varying car audio, systems integrators, ups and bars, retail stores companies called Audio light. The manufacturing business that was hearing Cypher transform lecture wines. And there's the three initials, V W. Ah, that's so cool and an AE because we merged the two companies. Okay. But Ew, a sounded like a defunct airline. You came higher up the yellow pages as it was in the day at the listing. So Aw, E and people can play on it. Ew,
Walt Zerbe 5:30
I think is a commercial speaker brand. So yeah, right. So what works? Yeah, yeah. So funny.
Stuart Tickle 5:36
So there we are. Aw, II and I was we started selling CD players because pioneer bought out the 60s. Yeah, PDM one. And the old premises we had had a shopfront. And that that's it? Well, we've got a retail shop, count on a shop and I started is that the volume reduction?
Walt Zerbe 6:06
All right, and now Aw, e today, you are a distributor that focuses on the customer installation community. And you sell a whole bunch of brands you can you can tell some of the brands that you sell, and then you and you're also a little bit more full full service. You just don't sell stuff. Yeah.
Stuart Tickle 6:25
And we were what I suppose industry would know. I've heard calling calling like a value add? Yeah, you have broadline Justesen. Yeah, value add this. Yeah, I'm going abroad. Not
Walt Zerbe 6:39
a lot of people claim to be something in there. Exactly.
Stuart Tickle 6:42
It doesn't matter how much you say.
Walt Zerbe 6:45
That is not AI. Yeah, that's it. That's it.
Stuart Tickle 6:50
We can come on to AI actually make a note there because some definitions of AI today, which Oh, I'd love to hear. But yeah, so we are specialists. We call ourselves a specialist distribution company, and our primary customer base our efforts. But we have worked very hard over the past 15 years to build a portfolio and grow a retail. Well, so
I've done a lot of work trying to encourage retailers to install which sits very well with a brand full portfolio we now have
various different agreements, our channel agreements, somewhat exclusive. We could say the brands that come on to the Massimo banner then on rants and just in the last two years I was when we were kids Yep. We distribute that in the ranch to the car channel is they have a direct route to market through reps. So we exclusive customers, right? That was a milkins That was the same but last year we became UK exclusive for the entire custom Okay, so effectively if anyone in UK wants to buy Bowers and Wilkins custom product
Walt Zerbe 8:23
Stuart Tickle 8:25
that sits alongside so that's kind of a lot of the amplification speakers but yes, it's perfectly alongside Epson and Sony projectors. And Sony TVs. LG TV. I sense Ultra. Right. So it really is audio and visual. Be URC control. Yep. So you know, there are other brands I can go on. But you can see them all
Walt Zerbe 8:49
in one room. Been very reliable. I've just put
Stuart Tickle 8:52
it into I live with lots of
Walt Zerbe 8:55
different systems because I just want to experience them so it don't have any one thing at
Stuart Tickle 8:59
once. The total control system just does what it says on the tin works. Yeah, yeah, that's what you need it to
Walt Zerbe 9:07
do. All right. And then I would be remiss if I didn't mention that you just became a board member. Yeah, on the CD aboard so congratulations. Thank you for that for a getting that appointment. But be I know you're gonna be volunteering time to fulfill those duties. So thanks for the this is my little pitch for CD volunteering. You know, we have Mao who's who's one of your one of your employees has done a ton of volunteering for CDA as well I think on certification. All right.
Stuart Tickle 9:39
Yeah. Was it p DAC it was called P
Walt Zerbe 9:41
DAC professional development education. Yeah, he did P DAC. That's right. He did PTAC and anyway, we have a whole host of great great people that volunteer please just reach out you can reach out to me if you want w email@example.com. That's Z RBE courage you to to volunteer because it is You've just learned so much and you network so much it actually, you'll want to volunteer after you start. Yeah, it's not a pain. No,
Stuart Tickle 10:07
I think it's, it's a, it's a great thing to do. Sometimes you know, the time isn't right just now. But you need to, you know, the time is never right. Unless you actually put yourself forward
Walt Zerbe 10:21
and get a stake in this industry you like give give back? It
Stuart Tickle 10:25
is I am a firm believer cedar as a whole. Get out more than you put in. So the more you put in the more and might sound a bit selfish. That's not why I've put myself forward. But I began
Walt Zerbe 10:39
reactively. Because yeah, kind of voluntary. Yeah.
Stuart Tickle 10:42
I mean, the reality just is, the more you're involved, the more connections you make. And the better perspective you have on other businesses. They face and you learn from that. Yeah.
Walt Zerbe 10:52
All right. Let's move on to product people. I've got a whole bunch of stuff to talk about. But you, you kind of kicked it off. You heard definitions for AI. Huh?
Stuart Tickle 11:04
What's that mean? So I took some photos.
Walt Zerbe 11:07
Yeah, go through. Yeah, there. And then while he's getting his photos together, there's just so many products here and so many things to see that you do need to take notes, you need to grab takeaways that they have them or scan barcodes. So you can remember everything that you want to talk about. There's a lot photos,
Stuart Tickle 11:29
I think are the basically the best way. Yeah, has reminding yourself what the stuff is. So the the one which I actually took note of, I'm going to wrack my brains to remember the second one. But a I noticed on two different booths, rather than just saying artificial intelligence, which pretty much was the headline of what was it? 2020? Yep. 2020 show everything was artificial. They've moved on. So LG, for example, smart home has affectionate Oh.
Walt Zerbe 12:07
Oh, it's so cute.
Stuart Tickle 12:09
Affection intelligence. This is it's kind of you walk around the shows. And you read the signs. And you can't help us mobile. marketing people. Oh,
Walt Zerbe 12:22
there's some terrible marketing. We've talked about this almost every year. And I love the booth where you stand there for 10 minutes trying to figure out what they do. Yeah. And you have no idea what they do. Ask them. They.
Stuart Tickle 12:37
They all improve your life. Oh, yeah. But they've got this world's first
Walt Zerbe 12:42
everywhere. By the way. Oh, world's first everything. Yep.
Stuart Tickle 12:45
Yeah. welds only welds first. Absolutely. And I mean, if you if you could just compile I almost thought about just compiling all the different claims.
Walt Zerbe 12:56
Oh, you should do the eight. That would be hilarious.
Stuart Tickle 13:00
The world doesn't have any problems. Now,
Walt Zerbe 13:02
because he solved it all on the floor. Yeah. Yeah.
Stuart Tickle 13:05
And if you buy technology, you also green. Every everyone is saving the planet. And he's improving our lives for the better. And that's the that's, that's the thing. I would like to think we do as an industry, improve people's lives. But we can't change. Bad stuff that happens we can just hopefully make
Walt Zerbe 13:30
their living environment and take their attention away from some of those things. Yeah, if you can. That's a really good point.
Stuart Tickle 13:37
Yeah. I mean, you can't, you're never going to make your two year old put if you put the shoes on when you ask them to, or your teenager to shirt ready
Walt Zerbe 13:45
for school shock thing that if they you know they get they get shocks on?
Stuart Tickle 13:50
Yes. What do you know you could? How do you? Yeah, you see getting them
Walt Zerbe 13:54
the intimidating robot? Yeah. All right. So you said hi, since yesterday, we talked about the surprise of seeing Barco Yes. And high sense booth that you have. We did a pretty extensive talk on that. I just wanted to get your quick take on Were you surprised and what do you what do you think of that?
Stuart Tickle 14:13
Well, it what I what I noticed with high sense. In fact, a lot of the booths but high sense showed more products than the other brands is Yeah, ton. Mostly other brands were showcasing direction of travel.
Walt Zerbe 14:31
As they were last year too late and Sony there's like I don't even think they had any displays anywhere.
Stuart Tickle 14:36
Now it's about creativity. Yeah, creativity. I didn't really get their
Walt Zerbe 14:40
booth and I didn't have time to take to take I didn't have the time to take the time to be like What is your message because I don't know the show is kind of fast paced. You can't necessarily give someone an hour just to try to figure out what they're about.
Stuart Tickle 14:54
Yeah, I think Sony I've got such depth in business but it's pretty much the kind of lens to live in room story so it's from the creator and recreating that intent through mainly visual lens
Walt Zerbe 15:18
I like to enter
Stuart Tickle 15:22
so that that is that is that is something that I think I could see came across but I remember a few years ago it was much more explicitly stated. Yeah, they showed the whole almost had it on the wall the process that Sony's involved Yeah, they've got cameras they've got the very involved with their crystal LED. Yep. And how that then interacts with the cameras so the actors are acting in front of a real scene. Yep. With some real props. Yeah, that yeah, that was here again. That's super cool. Yeah. And that's when you you're looking at it like this is the whole Mandalorian
Walt Zerbe 16:02
that way so those backgrounds are using that whole camera synced to a screen to show you know parallax and angle of incidence and they use a screen in front of the screen in the sides so they can have like the lighting as well it's it's really clever when
Stuart Tickle 16:17
you when you think of that think of Sony as being cameras and screens Do you ever doing that the processing oh yeah processing live at you know at this isn't just okay well you know, this is they've got their full gamma i don't know the right word for it but they capture far more than
Walt Zerbe 16:39
yeah there are capture a lot of data and that with their car they showed how their sensor company as well. And when he sensors and things anyway, pretty awesome. What what did you did you see and we had talked about this yesterday as well. I just I'm curious if you saw the horizon Max the the zoomy x g IMI. It's this. It's this lifestyle. The projectors is
Stuart Tickle 17:04
the world's smartest best projectors. Yeah, I saw it.
Walt Zerbe 17:08
Did you see the picture? Oh, you got your hand off?
Stuart Tickle 17:12
Sorry. Yeah, it's not. It's not Yeah. What the IMAX demo? Yeah.
Walt Zerbe 17:17
It was on wallpaper.
Stuart Tickle 17:21
It was? Well, it's just another example of when you see a claim on the outside of a bit of a booth. I'm thinking I'm gonna go in the world first. What I looked at it today, and I came away thinking
Walt Zerbe 17:36
there was like 180 inches, which is also really pushing it for that. It
Stuart Tickle 17:40
was it was it was dull, and it but it's one of the best ration award or whatever it was. It
Walt Zerbe 17:46
did. Yeah. And it's all over the press. If you like best of CES 20.4 It's It's It's like in everybody's I currently
Stuart Tickle 17:53
don't get it. What I what I took away from it is when we deal with companies like Sony and Epsom who make incredible products that their price points, you know, they're the they're the award winning, whether it's whether it's the magazines or the forums or the technology experts, these are the sort of brands that are actually buying go out and have market share. Certainly. And someone, someone they debate whether they're going to pay for a license, or when What are y'all coming out is when I said well, it's first IMAX enhanced certified projector. I didn't think well that's because it's the best projector I thought they've they're prepared to pay the license fee for the projector. Yeah. And I just don't see why it didn't it didn't create good imaging opinion. Okay, was it bad actually, this
Walt Zerbe 18:55
was specifically because I know you deal with custom install projectors and at your at your world. And I want to I just want to get your quick take on that because last night with a bit of a different opinion, but the the gentleman that focuses on on that it focuses on more of lower end projectors and lifestyle stuff. Well, I mean, he's eight, his opinion was they're going the right direction, pretty great product in the lifestyle portable kind of a thing. And I just want your take on it because you are doing Epson and you're doing other brands. This one to see how you thought I guess what I'm saying is, could you ever see an integrator deploying it as as another tool in their box to give to a customer as a hey, you know, you want something to just chuck up for the kids or something or carry around the house. Here you go. Whether or
Stuart Tickle 19:48
not I guess it depends on the price point which could be $1,000.
Walt Zerbe 19:55
And then it's 3000 lumens that's and 2001 con tries to ratio. Okay.
Stuart Tickle 20:01
I mean, make it's not really a fair comparison. Suppose if I'm just walking into a booth, yeah, but nothing about that demo impress me. Okay. You say all makes enhance. I mean,
Walt Zerbe 20:12
there enough. We did the first demo that high sense with the Barco on it either.
Stuart Tickle 20:17
No, that was terrible as well. I mean, what was what was clever about that I tried for ages to video it was, you know, the light beam steering, the fact that you could actually see if you're looking at the projector, and where the projected images coming out of projector you could see the light beam steering, working. That is impressive. I don't want obviously it's free. I'm gonna go back and look at that. Yeah, I'll show you the video. It was It won't work on a podcast, but I'll show the video because you could see, you know, you get a movie projector and you've got that whole look. Yeah, that that typical photoshopped image where, where they've got a projector on the ceiling and you've got the beam towards the screen. Right, right. So if you imagine you've got that, but then within that you've got a like a torch light like a laser beam. But you've Yeah, something else tracking where they want the specular highlights. So looking at that was really impressive.
Walt Zerbe 21:15
was actually it was at a dark scene with had the really bright white. Yes. Okay. So
Stuart Tickle 21:18
you could see within the light beam in the dark room, they had it in you could see the brighter, okay, yeah, that was clever. Problem is when I looked at the image on the wall, it wasn't very good. So there was something there was something not happening. My understanding because I spoke to the lady there. Who, and basically said, I said is this product? No, it's a collaboration. And this is a showcase of some technology. Yeah, what
Walt Zerbe 21:52
Barco did is a they took a high sense projector lopped off their their light engine, put their own stuff on it, when the high sensor said, Look, we did and an ice and said, Whoa, that's really interesting. We want you to do your keynote, we want you to do our keynote, and we want you to stick this in the booth. So this is a very infancy this is this is a proof of concept right now. But
Stuart Tickle 22:12
there's definitely something there. Because the you know, when you start talking HDR on projectors, it's incredibly hard. So if there is a way of directing more of the light to the specular highlights, then that yeah, got to be a good thing on the same concept. So that's, yeah, I think it's a, it's a good concept that like many things to become, to actually make the difference in the consumers home needs development. Okay. But it's definitely steering light. And that's what it claimed to do. By
Walt Zerbe 22:46
let's, let's switch, I want to talk before we get off a video, I was really impressed with the Samsung TV, which was the s 95. D OLED. It was an amazing picture, one of the things I loved about it was it was a matte screen. And it was not a shiny screen. So redic, it's an OLED. And it's, those things are really getting really good. And really, colors are great, but they're also getting really bright. So oh, let's don't have that problem anymore of ambient light conditions. And especially this one with not without having a shiny front, you can put it in a room that has a window and you won't see the window. In the television. Like, one of the demos was somebody held the phone up to the write up with the phone on up to the screen, I did not see the phone reflecting back in the screen. So that's very useful. So I think that's, that's handy. Yeah,
Stuart Tickle 23:46
it's a hard thing to do is have the matte screen or the haze screen without impacting a lot accuracy or viewing angles. So that's, that's the thing that's really hard to do.
Walt Zerbe 24:00
And they figured out a way to do it. So that was one of my video friends. I'm gonna get into we can start flipping back and forth on some products. In the Innovation Awards area, there was something called a course it's, of course it was underneath artificial intelligence. But the product was called decloak vision by decloak intelligences company. I thought this was neat. This was a camera. And it's not clear to me yet if this can be applied to any camera. But what it does is if let's say we have this camera at our house, you can say do not show me Do not show my kids do not show my wife so though all those people appear just as a white blob, but it will show everybody else. Yeah. What I thought was kind of a kind of a neat privacy thing, especially if someone I don't know hacked into your system or something. They would never see you because you're off limits. Yes, they would only see other people that aren't marked as you know, do not show.
Stuart Tickle 25:02
But that's pretty cool. Where does that bit sit? Where does that bit of technology sit in the chain? Well, I didn't
Walt Zerbe 25:06
read everything yet. So I can't answer that question intelligently right now unless you start talking about another product. And I quickly read the card and let's
Stuart Tickle 25:15
just go through which one of the things I found interesting was in the actually in the gaming section of the hall, because everything there again was AI and virtual reality and all about the busiest booth I saw there had pinball machines, analog pinball
Walt Zerbe 25:44
analogs, best I
Stuart Tickle 25:46
must be, it's like vinyl. Yeah. So. And it was really interesting, because there's always queues for everything. But these were I walked past four or five times because I wanted to go. And I think the more we live our lives in the digital world, the more actually we're going to want the tactile
Walt Zerbe 26:11
preacher preaching to the choir here, Stuart 100%, including going outside. Yeah, like getting a break from all real. Yeah, real breezes are light, right? This so you're gonna love this because I know you're into your terms, D cloaks vision. multi modal, deep neural network or dnn model ensures high efficiency in human image processing. So it's a whole system that uses decentralized AI models. I mean, they had all the words in this. Yeah, this card probably had the turbo and digital in here somewhere as well.
Stuart Tickle 26:45
It's probably you know, the way it was written by chat GPT. That's why well,
Walt Zerbe 26:51
that's hilarious. But I liked the concept of it. So
Stuart Tickle 26:53
yeah, I think this is the hard thing. And yeah, that kind of touches it. It's probably we won't, won't go go deep into it. It's a bit of a tangent, but the whole How do you know it's real thing? Yeah. How do you know it's not photoshopped? What? How is the minefield we're going into where technology is being driven in a direction that they were walking around the show, I kept thinking back to the Back to the Future scene, for example. And what's the Arnie Schwarzenegger Total Recall? Oh, yeah, yeah, there's like moments now
Walt Zerbe 27:34
people headpieces I'm like, Yeah, Cannon their brainwaves? I'm like, Yeah, I'm walking around, and I'm walking
Stuart Tickle 27:39
around the show. And, and obviously, it's just kind of like the euro. But the stuff that you saw in the 80s Yeah. Programs sorry for those that weren't born. But then the fruition isn't Yeah, it's coming to fruition and walking around and that's where my mind is. But the thing is, all those programs were bad. They were right. There wasn't much good stuff happening here. Most of those
Walt Zerbe 28:02
your reports next, I guess Yes. Even worse, right. Yeah.
Stuart Tickle 28:06
So So yeah, sorry for the downer. But now
Walt Zerbe 28:08
you know what? We have to we have to have the ups and the downs with this stuff. What else did you see that you thought was noteworthy? Any subject any product?
Stuart Tickle 28:18
I really liked? You may have covered it really likes transparent. Okay,
Walt Zerbe 28:24
we did talk about him. I talked about it with Michael hice. On our first podcast day one and Michael can be a bit of a cynic. His his one word for those would be me. And Michael, if you're listening, you know, that's your favorite word. But I couldn't I saw applications for them. And I think they're gonna apply them to a lot of products.
Stuart Tickle 28:47
beyond just being a TV, absolutely, I mean TV to me. So the LG one, the LG Signature. Yeah, can we sell those? Yes. Because what do people do? Why do art TVs exist? Because people people is what's the TV look like? When it's Oh, hi. Is that and so they have
Walt Zerbe 29:05
our TVs last year? No,
Stuart Tickle 29:07
I don't sorry. I wasn't here last year but they haven't raised I
Walt Zerbe 29:11
think so. I was shocked to see that they they're in that game now too. Yeah, cuz
Stuart Tickle 29:15
you've Samsung frame has been the one yes been around? Yes. And there's been others I've seen on booze but never really come come to life. High sense had a full range and looked really good again when matte screen I agree. So that's interesting that they had a load of stuff on their booth. Yeah. Well, it didn't have was transparent TVs whereas Samsung and LG, showcase them heavily. LG the sad just everywhere. writable display. Yeah. Now we can sell those. The simple thing, what is it when it's off? So we spend a lot of money either make a TV look like a picture. Yeah, because what hangs on the wall? And it's quite slim Well, pictures. So let's try and make it look like a picture. Yeah, sort of.
Walt Zerbe 30:12
Like in their display, I think it was Samsung's display. That one was off, it looked like one of the one of the, the tiles of the wall. So it was inset in the wall. And it just looked like the wall. And which I thought was super. And this
Stuart Tickle 30:24
is the point you can with that technology. The LG one had came, it looked to me like it was going to come with shelves that are either side of the TV, it had the same trim same bezel to them. So to me they had because it had a bit of depth to it. I don't know if you notice, yes, yes. 20 centimeters deep, something like that. And what that meant is there was a there was a shelf, either side that had the same trim. So it blended into that. Now what was interesting there is when you turn it off, you can have it clear. But also, you could make it look like shelves with lighting on it. It could be a fish tank. Yeah, it can be you know, whatever it is, but so I think the thing with those are, if you want it to disappear and look like the wall it can if you want it to become a feature of a different type like a fish tank, it can if you want it to kind of blend in and be quite acute shelving system it can then
Walt Zerbe 31:27
din one of them have an ability to have a black. go blind it. Yeah, so this was LG Yeah. So you could literally put that TV in front of a fish tank, be looking at the fish tank, and then you engage the black and all of a sudden the fish tanks gone and you're watching TV.
Stuart Tickle 31:40
Well, the point the point is you don't need the fish in the tank. Because when it's transparent. But I guess I guess the point
Walt Zerbe 31:49
with this is that
Stuart Tickle 31:49
you just simulate the fish tank era. And what's interesting is when it's when it's in transparent mode without a basically like a roller blind. Yeah, at the back. You can see it from both sides. So you can actually have a partition in a room. Which is like a fish tank because you see it from both sides. You can see the reverse from the other side. But when it's in TV mode, literally a little roller blind comes up that does is it made it look and this was the thing that I found incredible. It looked like a really good 4k OLED TV. Yeah,
Walt Zerbe 32:22
I was shocked, actually,
Stuart Tickle 32:24
because that's the thing that doesn't normally happen. You get a mirror TV. It's not a great mirror. It's not a great TV.
Walt Zerbe 32:29
Yeah, like whatever. You can all season tire on your car. Yeah, exactly. It doesn't
Stuart Tickle 32:33
do either thing. Well, right. It just does a bit of both. That was really impressive. Yeah. But the applications for transparent I think, you know, we're gonna sell those for resi. We're sure I think there's lots but
Walt Zerbe 32:46
I think they're gonna sell on commercial too. I could see them and all these hotels.
Stuart Tickle 32:49
Well, I think this is where the money really comes from the brands. Okay. So you imagine you're in I use two examples today. One, I think it was Samsung that showed an example, which had, I couldn't really figure out to start with and then I worked out what they were trying to simulate. It gave wasn't the best example of what they're actually trying to do. But effectively, the real life equivalent would be Imagine you're in a stadium, and you're in hospitality. And you're in a box, and you're looking at say football. Yep. So you've got the whole stadium in front of you. Now imagine in that hospital is hospitality, you have a window in front of you very often you do all the stats sack Yes, all the stats for you can even go further than that. So one of the technologies I saw was a shop window. But there was a lot of body tracking going on with a various booths. And one of them went to the extent. Again, I think this was LG when it says it works out your demographic. And as you you have like the shop window display, and it's maybe fairly static, it's highlighting a few things, but as you walk closer, it's assessed your demographic and then it's now becoming a much more interactive display of what you're looking through the shop window. So now it's highlighting certain things based upon you know, who figures out you know, are you are you a young girl? Are you an old band, you know, as just as two broad brush examples. It it could give you a different responses, you approach the window with its graphics that you're looking through to the real product behind.
Walt Zerbe 34:35
Alright, sold. I could see this totally impacting our industry. Yeah, yeah. And
Stuart Tickle 34:41
then so I'm not the one because you walk around I went to automotive side there was Amazon controlling everything. Yep. But they're the number of brands that work with so including
Walt Zerbe 34:50
matter. Yeah, yeah. Which is often a slow start, but
Stuart Tickle 34:55
yeah, I think he's gonna I think he's gonna get there. But yeah, final one. I'm transparency because this is where I think the real money is for these brands. So, hotel suite, so Vegas hotel suite, I met window, you're looking out of it, you can see the attractions. Yes, you've bought a room with a view, you're looking at the view, you can see the Eiffel Tower restaurant. See, Caesars, fountains, you imagine as you approach. So it's kind of highlighting what these things are. So as you approach it kind
Walt Zerbe 35:29
of, you could touch like I was appointed POS
Stuart Tickle 35:33
point of sale, you can physically move the Eiffel Tower restaurant that you're looking at 300 Want to learn more about that? You touch it, and it's telling you more now in front of your eyes, and it says you want to book and you want to get really freaky is then I see you're free this evening. We can give you 10% off if you book now. Like we're screwed.
Walt Zerbe 35:55
We are we Yeah. I agree with you on the transparent thing. I think that's really cool. I saw a cool company called metamaterial transparent acoustical panel. This was another CES Innovation Award. These are clear plastic panels that are used between I forget what he said, I think he said 500 Hertz to 5k or something and they can make him or whatever. But they're an architectural way of being visible. They're completely clear. And you can use them to tame acoustics. So I thought that I had direct application in our channel. It was also a form of sculpture or art. So it is meant to be seen, but it's not an eyesore. I thought that was cool.
Stuart Tickle 36:43
That is full acoustic damping. Yeah, well, yeah.
Walt Zerbe 36:48
Cuz it's hard plastic. So it would be reflected when it's yeah, it's not it's, I guess, the holes are really, really, really small. So it did absorb. But you do know it also reflected, but it absorbed? Yeah. So it didn't diffuse.
Stuart Tickle 37:02
Um, was that the purpose? They were presenting? Or was it the purpose you
Walt Zerbe 37:08
took from it? No, the purpose of them is they're they're a different way of doing transparent acoustical panel. Yeah. That's their whole deal.
Stuart Tickle 37:17
So it kind of is interesting, because that and the transparency, we both comes down to that whole interior design piece, which
Walt Zerbe 37:26
Yeah, I'm thinking restaurants, you know, a lot of restaurants. They're awful because they don't think about absorbing sound. And then so then they do and then they have somebody doesn't do a great job at it. And it looks awful. That would be a nice, nice solution. Because it's it's a it's now a part of it. Yeah,
Stuart Tickle 37:45
I guess the difference there, which makes it really cool is you could put it in any environment of historic significance, which needs acoustic treatment. Yeah. So the millennials still see it. It's still
Walt Zerbe 37:59
the look, yeah, modern, but but
Stuart Tickle 38:01
you'd be you'd have. Again, that's probably the way they're presenting it there. But
Walt Zerbe 38:09
I'm sure they will do it. So many
Stuart Tickle 38:10
venues have had to, again, pivot and become venues for events. And that's not what they were designed for.
Walt Zerbe 38:17
I'll put that I'll put a link to that in the
Stuart Tickle 38:19
makes me think of the CD awards, actually. The UK awards, won a beautiful venues that echo chambers I could use on there.
Walt Zerbe 38:27
The Harry Potter one wasn't too bad. That's, that's the last one I went to. That was so
Stuart Tickle 38:31
great. That's because it was magic.
Walt Zerbe 38:34
Well, your Graco us man, you're on fire. This is funny, I saw another really cool app. And this is some of the stuff that I got to see because of being able to get in here as media. This stuff happened with private events Sunday and Monday. This this, this one is called Wisp, w h i s p. And the reason why I'm bringing it up is one of our jobs is also to serve people that may have changes in their life, health changes, or they have someone or they have a an issue from the very beginning. This software basically gives you a voice avatar, and all you need to do is whisper and they found even people with which I learned people that have a bad stutter. When they whisper they don't stutter. And when they say of course when they sing I know they don't start over when they whisper they do not stutter. So you whisper into this app and then immediately live right on the fly gives you a voice. And I thought this was a great thing to be integrating also into potentially home control and our communication. So I thought that was really innovative served the need and as we're as we're looking at, you know, serving as many customer types as we need to serve, that that could potentially really help. I
Stuart Tickle 39:56
think anything that makes technology more accessible to people is
Walt Zerbe 39:59
because they could literally whisper, you know, a voice command to a system that would never be able to understand them. And now the system does.
Stuart Tickle 40:09
And that's probably obviously a technology to be compatible, but it feels like something that can be overlaid. Yeah. On to, for example, a control for you ice system. It feels like something
Walt Zerbe 40:27
I brought that up to them, you know, and told them about our industry. And they're like, yeah, they're all about trying to give people that have issues communicating and doing things to solve that. And so they're all about that. So that's so that that's my that was my next one.
Stuart Tickle 40:44
Did you Did you see the Dolby Atmos flex Connect?
Walt Zerbe 40:49
I know Dolby Atmos flex. Ah, I wasn't able to but I have not seen it in action. Yeah, I
Stuart Tickle 40:55
wasn't aware about it until
Walt Zerbe 40:57
they really haven't marketed a lot have they? No, because I found out about I'm like what is this and it's been out for a while and I'm like how did I not hear about this is the first time I've seen anyone everybody what that is because I bet you half the people listening to this also don't know what it is.
Stuart Tickle 41:11
So the demo on you know what the was was on the demo. But the principle was that let's think consumer level rather than custom install home cinema pre designed system that that you're putting in. So this is consumer level Dolby Atmos. Now we know that isn't always Dolby Atmos as we know it, as it could be surely, yep. However, it's a system, which means you could start with for example, a TV and soundbar, which has Dolby Atmos, I'm doing the quotes for those that can't see. So it has Dolby Atmos built in and you're getting perhaps that sound bar has got up firing speakers left and right and front firing. So you're getting a sort of a, you know, an attempt at recreating Dolby ama through reflections. Yeah. But with that system, what you could do is add additional speakers, so there could be wireless speakers of compatible type that you decide you're going to put the back of the room, you're going to plug them in. And these may well be speakers that use in other rooms, or other purposes, multi room audio, but you bring them into the room and calibration. The system figures out what type of speakers are there where they're positioned, because you're not gonna have perfect positioning because this might be the right ones on a coffee table to the to the right hand side, the other ones on a sideboard that's a little bit further forward than it should be? Or, you know, all white paper out more specs, yep. But the system calibrates itself, it works out the frequencies. Very simple, quick process, and then gives you the best result that that system can provide. Based upon its calibration. Yeah. And how many speakers you've got at that point? Yeah, they are. Which really makes sense when you think about the, you know, because it's not channel based, it's object based. They just need to know what you've got where, and then it has the make the most of it, they make the most of it, whatever that happens to be. Yeah,
Walt Zerbe 43:16
I think it's awesome. I think right direction,
Stuart Tickle 43:18
I think for, you know, consumer land needs, the more we can get people thinking about things like Dolby Atmos
Walt Zerbe 43:30
adoption. Awareness. Yeah,
Stuart Tickle 43:32
I don't want to agree, I want you're on board, then you might wonder what's better. Totally agree. Alright,
Walt Zerbe 43:37
since we're on audio, I had another one. This one I was super, super impressed with. I went Bluetooth introduced something called Aura cast. It's a you are a C A S T. And this is a Bluetooth broadcast system. And I thought it was brilliant. So if you are doing, let's say, a pub, or or some type of facility, or even at your home, what this basically is, is they will work with people that make transmitters and people that make receivers, your phone automatically be compatible with it through a firmware update. That'll happen through Bluetooth. And I think you may Yeah, what you do is you would download the app, the forecast app, but you put a transmitter on a source or on six sources. And then there it's unlimited for how many people can then just tune into each one of those sources. So if I want to listen to TV, one attunement, TV one, I want to listen to FM tuner that's being broadcast I pick on the app FM tuner. I want to listen to it Spanish German English, I just I pick those stations. So it's bluetooth is now not a one to one or you compare two devices or maybe three devices. It is it broadcasting and however many people are within the class one or class two range of Bluetooth, which is what, you know, 30 feet, 10 meters or 100 feet. You can you can go on and listen to it. So I see application with that. Let's say there's a bunch of people sitting around the couch and they need to keep the volume down because mom and dad are going to bed and they're, you know, it's a multi use room with a bunch of doors. There, six people there, they want to watch TV. They can all glom on to the TV now, all six of them and listen, and there's like no latency, they did a live demo where they was talking. And his lips are completely synced with that Bluetooth. So now six people can be listening to the show with the Bluetooth. Just like that. I thought was super cool.
Stuart Tickle 45:38
That that's bandwidth and speed. Yeah, really? It's Yes, because both of those would have have to have been improved to make to enable that to happen. Correct. Which is actually quite challenging, because, you know, adding more data might be possible, but then doing it quicker. Is a whole change.
Walt Zerbe 45:57
They did a live demo. We tuned in to stuff worked great. I thought that was cool. Do you have anything else?
Stuart Tickle 46:04
Well, you mentioned audio and it was in Eureka park there was it was the coolest products that I found in Eureka Park. And it was I can't I can't pronounce or remember the brand properly. So forgive me, but it was a personal entertainment. OD. And it was Dolby Atmos 20 speakers in it. And it was quite interesting concept because you've seen this pod which was kind of like
Walt Zerbe 46:35
a cool, you sat in a pod. I'll show you richer. Alright, everybody, for those who aren't listening or looking at this. It's literally looks like a geodesic dome. It's got a bunch of triangles. Yeah. Oh, is this like just to escape the world and be immersed? So Wow. It's like a new take on the Orleans like eight chairs that and they had like those in I think in men and black and stuff. And they'll have it hanging? Exactly. Exactly. Take on that chair.
Stuart Tickle 47:02
It was it was that but with that moss?
Walt Zerbe 47:06
And I'm gonna go find that. Yeah. Did you sit in it? Yeah. And
Stuart Tickle 47:12
good. pre production demo, which is what it was, which is what it was?
Walt Zerbe 47:18
What What was her whole take on it? What What's the it says wellness? Is it just to get away? Isolate from the world? Peace? Well,
Stuart Tickle 47:26
no, no, it was it was gaming and movies. Oh, it was gaming a movie. So I was trying to think what are the applications? I was surmising with.
Walt Zerbe 47:37
And that's a singular, that that's a very isolating it, chair. It is. But
Stuart Tickle 47:42
if you but if you took what I saw is if you've got an apartment block, or you're probably going to be too expensive for the kid to have in their bedroom. But if you're if you're a gamer, you could have that blasting. It was got subs, it's called the channels, you could have that blasting and your neighbors probably wouldn't hear it. Yeah. Or your people downstairs wouldn't hear the voice because your ears are basically close to this beatus nearfield. Yeah, it's giving you much sound and it's loud, because you're right, there it is. And it's got a couple of subs behind the seat. So it's happening. So that's super cool. It's a cool product. The thing that was weird as you were you were looking out of it. When I was seeing it from the back, I thought you kind of weren't going to be fully enclosed, and there was gonna be a screen in front of you. But actually, you were looking at the screen on the wall in front of you. So it really is a singular person experience. Because that seat is then in front of the TV that's right on the wall in front of you. So nobody asked here. But I thought you can put headphones on and you get great immersive sound through center. But generally speaking, you put headphones on your stereo on something else. Yeah, and the other stuff makes you and your
Walt Zerbe 49:06
end Yeah, right. And your pain is not being completely used properly. Yeah, so this chair out is kind of making I guess, more realistic.
Stuart Tickle 49:15
It was you were hearing the real sound. So you know, watching ATM Australia or, or gaming. You were immersed. The thing I guess you were missing is the front soundstage. Yeah, I was gonna ask that. Yeah. What now? The theory where you could add a front soundstage or a sound bar or something but then it kind of seems to me it defeats it's
Walt Zerbe 49:37
disjointed. Oh wow. So I didn't figure that out. Now there's some
Stuart Tickle 49:41
stuff going on. I'm sure this is I think proof of proof of concept. It's a little
Walt Zerbe 49:45
honestly what your stick comes up with a little speaker on right yeah, yeah, I thought I thought about leasing LCR to I guess you're missing all the front channels.
Stuart Tickle 49:54
And that was so so I it was obvious when you were sitting there that there was no front end. Stage. But you did have everything going on around you. Interesting. Okay, but without the localized front soundstage. So that center channel was what was missing money, which, ironically, is what makes you more aware of the stuff that goes on behind. Yeah. So I'm not sure it's completely there. But it was a it was a fun product. It was my favorite products of Eureka Park.
Walt Zerbe 50:20
Yeah. And I would believe that because Eureka Park has gone a little nuts over the years. Well,
Stuart Tickle 50:26
the my opinion. Yeah, so the solar bench. I took a photo of the solar bench. Yeah. Now, can you can you see the floor in the design? If people sit on the bench, the bench doesn't get any light, it doesn't get any light. So the more popular the bench is, the less it works. But I
Walt Zerbe 50:46
said, See, that's great. I met my I remember having an argument with somebody. Well, it wasn't an argument. I started asking them questions. It was like yet last year, the year before they had a clear water smart water bottle. And I said what makes a water bottle smart. They said, well, there's an app said, Well, I said what does the app do? It says it tells you how much water you drank. The bottle is clear. So I know how much water I drank. So So what makes a smart is that the app? Yeah. Is this circular, circular, circular argument where they're like, well, it's has an app. So it's smart. There's a lot of products like that. And Eureka Park. You know,
Stuart Tickle 51:24
there is but a few years ago, and maybe this is what we should end on. So we'll go down a rabbit hole of terrible ideas. But yeah,
Walt Zerbe 51:30
that's a good cast. Actually, we should do Yeah,
Stuart Tickle 51:33
just just do that. And then we turn on my cast. We do another one on the on the love saving the planet phrases. But this was on the main Samsung booth. And they had a materials section and clothing smart clothing. And one of them was smart belt that they called welt. Our saying to the guy, so what's what's smart about about? And they said, well, when it gets a bit tight, and this is serious when he gets a bit tight, because it sends your app, it alerts your phone, and you'll get a message saying maybe you should stop eating. I'm like, Are you serious? It's
Walt Zerbe 52:22
already happening in my in my body?
Stuart Tickle 52:24
Well, whatever. I mean, I said a smart belt would just loosen it for you. Yeah, I
Walt Zerbe 52:28
would think it would loosen it as well. With you. That would be good. Yeah, he'd be like, I like this much tension. And as I as I change and circumference make the tension sound
Stuart Tickle 52:37
would be a small bow. I mean, we're in Vegas that everything is bigger than life. You I think they missed the point that is I don't want to be hassled by and this is gonna be a thing. I don't want to be hassled by technology.
Walt Zerbe 52:49
Now there's a famous video I should share that is about somebody trying to make their kid's life, their their grandparents or their parents life better. He has a smartphone smart fork that shows what he's eating. He's supposed to be they know when he's in bed, and when he's out of bed. And he basically revolts and and he, you know, Grandpa, you haven't taken your steps today? Because we can see so they keep bothering him because he's not doing these things. So he gets a neighbor kid to do the walking he gives them free beer. Yeah, he gets the fork that he does. He just shoves around and food while he's eating what he wants to eat. And the forks I call your diets perfect. Yeah, and puts a bunch of books on the bed. They're like, Oh, Dad sleeping, but he's up watching TV. So the point is, he couldn't stand being ruled by all these things. And that's we got to be careful that we don't do that to our customers. Absolutely.
Stuart Tickle 53:45
It's gonna it's gonna work for us, isn't it? Yeah, because people humans are gonna find a way around Yang's. So I think biggest thing are technology electronics. And I know we've kind of joked a bit about you know, improve your life. I think these are choices. We all make choices. If you want to smoke and do things that aren't good for your body. People do it. Yeah, make a choice, no matter how many warnings you put on a packet. So I think if we can just help people have more fun when they want to have fun. You got to do the positive the encouragement. I think that's what our industry does. Best. Yep. There's, there's convenience and fun. Yeah. And I think once you're pushed down a road of strong arming, we push back.
Walt Zerbe 54:39
Yep, totally agree. All right. I'm just gonna say one quick last product and then I'm done. It was just back to power. Battery Backup is really here. And there's a company called anchor and K er that I use some of their products. I've been there. They've been around. They now have a flagship High Performance energy storage system from five kilowatts to 180 kilowatts, you know, these things are getting substantial and they also can do solar input to charge them. Now, this isn't something like an online ups, it's it's, you know, it's got, I think, a 2010 or 20 millisecond transfer. So sensitive things that still need to be on a on line ups or something that if they got a blip, they get all screwed up. But there are, I fully expect our community to now start being asked more about our backup, because they're all pushing it and everyone's in the game. So
Stuart Tickle 55:41
that there was a company called modularly. Yeah. And they're shipping well established. They're in Eureka park, but they're going in here mainly to be going through utility companies. So this is, you know, I walk around looking for things we might be able to distribute or something. Yeah, something that comes up, I haven't yet figured a way where I think long term, we can get skin in the game there because ultimately, things gonna come back to utility companies, or the subsidizing. Yep. But it's modularly product is on the residential side of the consumer board. And it just plugs in different battery packs. It looks in it, but quite attractive products. They almost look like a sideboard.
Walt Zerbe 56:28
Did you see them down in Eureka Park? I saw them last year. And they were talking about working with utilities. Yep. They tried to subsidize, I think they were doing something in Canada or something like that. Yeah,
Stuart Tickle 56:38
they've got they've got some contracts going. Yeah, it was just interesting, because it's, it's what obviously AI came into it. Yep. And it was, it's the whole thing about how to make best use of the power that we're using. And it figures out whether to use solar whether to use when to pump it back into the grid, and when to use it. And that includes electric cars,
Walt Zerbe 57:04
which is the thing that made them different. They were also you could get money and it would go back into the grid of the these other guys aren't doing that. Yeah. And they were that requires a relationship with the utilities to make that legal. Yeah, happen? Well, the thing
Stuart Tickle 57:17
I liked about this is you just plug it into a normal socket.
Walt Zerbe 57:21
If everybody had one of those that will solve so many issues when we have power around, you know, whatever issues because they had they would have distributed power everywhere
Stuart Tickle 57:32
that they go that their business plan is based around the fact that we've electric cars and everything else, the utilities will not be able to cope full stop. And we can't upgrade global but national infrastructure at the rate should go away. So So distributed power and backup is going to be necessary. These are things that utility companies it's just it's designed to sit in your home you put it in your synagogue in your your wherever it's quite an attractive looking unit. You just plug it in the wall. And if you have solar as well then it's even better. Of course not many do yet but you have solar it knows about it and it's even better. So I thought that was a another good aspect. But you're right power. Batteries backup. Gonna be huge. Yeah.
Walt Zerbe 58:29
All right. Any last comments because I think we we talked about a lot. This was good.
Stuart Tickle 58:34
Yeah, I'm, I'm done. Okay, me too.
Walt Zerbe 58:39
And I'm kind of done and like, actually, like ready to go to Vegas four days. On four days in how many days? You I was in it Sunday? Yeah. You started events on Sunday. Yes, you've got a day on me. So yeah, I'm done. And I leave Saturday morning. So anyway, we'll I'll try to do one more cast tomorrow with some other things. But Stuart would really want to thank you for taking the time to be on the cast and sharing your insights with us and congratulations again on being on the board for CDM
Stuart Tickle 59:07
like your match what was been great. All
Walt Zerbe 59:09
right. Yes, it has. And thanks for listening to the day three cast at the CES show. And you know what I'm going to say but I'm going to please ask you to always keep an open mind. For more information on CEDIA visit CEDIA dotnet
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