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A/V industry braces for lift off as flying video screens arrive in Middle East

United Arab Emirates: Monday, May 21 - 2007 @ 15:48

The audio video industry in the Middle East is set for lift off thanks to the launch of a revolutionary new technology that enables balloons to broadcast high quality images from the sky at concerts and sports events.

UAE-based Worldwide Trading & Investment Group (WTIG) launched the “Skyview G2” balloon, which can be used indoors as well as outdoors, at PALME Middle East, the professional sound, light, music and audio visual exhibition, which runs at Dubai International Exhibition Centre until Tuesday 22 May.

Skyview G2, manufactured by South Korean company ONK Media, contains state-of-the-art video projectors and screens that make each balloon a unique platform for video coverage at festivals, concerts and sports events, as well as for advertisements in indoor environments such as shopping malls and airports.

Disney theme parks in the US and Japan have already utilised the technology, as have high tech companies such as Samsung and Sony.

Yehya Kahwaji, Projects Manager with WTIG, said the Skyview G2 opened up a number of creative possibilities for event organisers and advertisers.

“Skyview G2 balloons are extremely flexible. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and the screens within them vary in size from 50 inches to 140 inches,” he said. “With high contrast, 4,000 lumen projectors, the images can be displayed outdoors as well as indoors, and in all weather conditions.”

Kahwaji said the balloons can be filled with helium to cause them to rise, or with ordinary air if clients want to suspend them from ceilings or attach them to platforms floating on water.

“Filled with helium, there’s virtually no limit on the height the balloons can rise to, but between six and 25 metres is the optimum,” he said. “Of course they would need to be anchored by cables, so the wires for the video technology are hidden, but we also offer a version with wireless technology.

“At large events, not only will concert goers and sports fans see what’s happening on the stage or on the field of play in detail, but because Skyview G2 floats above people’s heads, it’s not going to obstruct anyone’s view.”

As well as the attraction of floating TV images, the Skyview G2 platform can be further enhanced by eye-catching designs. Traditional round balloons can be painted to resemble footballs and basketballs, but clients can also order Skyview G2 balloons in the shape of their products, from drinks cans and mobile phones to cars.

The size of the balloons can vary according to the size of the venue, and multiple screens can be added for all round viewing. “Skyview G2 is an incredibly flexible system, and can be installed in 30 minutes or less,” said Kahwaji.

For clients who want the ultimate in outdoor promotion and advertising, however, WTIG also offers the “Skyship” airship, which is capable of broadcasting even bigger, high quality widescreen images to larger numbers of people on the ground.

WTIG, which has exclusive rights for Skyview G2 and Skyship in the Middle East, expects the Gulf to be the biggest market.

“These are products that can add value to film festivals, shopping festivals and sports events, and I see Skyview G2 working very well in malls and airports as well,” said Kahwaji. “When it comes to creative applications for this revolutionary new technology, the sky really is the limit.”

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Monday, May 21- 2007 @ 15:48 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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