Friday, February 8, 2013

What's good for the goose

First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent.

Since 1901, a lot of changed in the automobile market, and a lot has changed at the show too. In the past, to catch a glimpse of the latest introductions from Ford, DeLorean or Cord, you physically had to attend the show. But things have changed. Thanks to the marvel of digital imaging technology, now that’s not even necessary.

That's because the organizers of the show have installed an array of webcams from TrueLook Professional Webcam Systems (Winston-Salem, NC, USA) to give those unfortunate souls who can’t travel to Chicago a live HD view from the floor of the show.

Not only are the TrueLook webcams accessible via the Chicago Auto Show’s website, users can simultaneously view and control them as well, aiming and zooming them to see the over 1,000 vehicles on display from their favorite auto manufacturers.

The webcams also let users save their photos, either to their computer or in an online photo album. Alternatively, they can be shared Facebook or Twitter. According to TrueLook, these interactive features, along with the ability to control the motorized cameras, have led to an increase in visitors to the website.

While the deployment of such cameras at an auto show might have a lot of benefits, I can’t really see the advantages of such a system at one of our own industry trade shows that focus on vision system design.

You see, visitors to our trade shows don't just come to stand and stare at a new USB3 enabled CMOS imager or the attractive model that stands next to it, but to interact with company representatives to discover whether any of the products on offer might solve a particular challenge that they are facing as systems integrators.

I can't help but think, however, that perhaps it's a little ironic that some of the camera technology on display at such shows has not been more effectively deployed by the show’s organizers in the same way that it has at the Chicago Auto Show!

The webcams at the Chicago Auto Show can be viewed here.

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