Industry Opinion: How will you be spending ISE this year?

ISE 201 vox pop interview panel featuring companies cornflake, henri and novus automation

Integrators travelling to Amsterdam from across the globe tell us what they will be on the lookout for this year at ISE.

Interviewees: Leon Beuyukian (founder & MD at Novus Automation, UAE), John Fitzpatrick, (technical manager at Cornflake, UK) and Michael Sherman (managing director at HENRI, France).

What was your highlight of ISE last year?

LB: Last year’s highlight was the fact that GAFA had penetrated the sector with all their gadgets and voice control offerings. The  Smart  Building  Conference  did  raise some  eyebrows:  the  dominance  of  IoT, the  data  silos  and  the  interoperability  of the equipment were all at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

JF: For us it had to be the Crestron stand and tour. They really impressed especially with  the  launch  of  NVX  and  the  Sonos integration,  which  was  early  days  this time last year.

MS: Last  year’s  show  was  really  great! I  remember  being  surprised  by  the attendance, and I think the show is growing every  year  which  is  very  good  news  for our industry. In terms of highlights, I had once again some great experiences in the 3D  audio  cinema  demo  rooms,  but  the most impressive thing I saw was probably the CLEDIS Sony display.

What are you looking forward to seeing and doing at the show this year?

LB: What  I  am  looking  for  this  year  is seeing  how  far  IoT  expanded  and  what are the challenges integrators are having dealing with GAFA products. What would be interesting to hear now is what’s next: what is the latest gadget for 2018? Where do  we  stand  with  IoT?  What  have  we done with the data we have gathered for the  last  12  months  from  all  the  devices, and how did we use it?

JF: We  have  a  fairly  short  agenda  this year,  but  at  the  top  of  the  list  is  4K distribution.  Many  more  network-based video  solutions  have  come  to  market, but with the battlefield of HDR standards still  emerging  we  would  like  to  find  a product that is suitable for ALL projects, ALL  budgets  and  capable  of  ALL  4K HDR  formats;  but  that  may  be  wishful thinking.

We  are  also  hoping  to  have  good discussions with manufacturers on 10Gig  networking  (fibre  based),  handheld remotes and sourcing a reliable method of  delivering  international  content  via streaming to our clients.

MS: Of  course  we  come  to  discover the newest products, but in my opinion the  most  important  reason  to  come  to ISE  is  to  interact  with  other  attendees. Being  able  to  directly  discuss  with  the sales rep, engineers and others from the manufacturers is very rewarding for us.

We  also  like  to  use  this  great  event  to  engage  in  team-building. Engineers, project managers, technicians, administration  staff  all  mix  together  to enjoy  the  show,  whilst  gaining  a  better understanding of our industry.

What do you predict may be a strong theme among the residential stands this year?

LB: Voice control should still be the talk of the town, but I am also expecting to hear new things about AI. I think one of the strong themes could be also Audio over IP.

The  most  important  factor  must  be interoperability  of  products,  however. The  integration  business  and  smart home will not fly until we all agree that interoperability is a thing to reckon with. People  might  say  that  will  always  be there,  but  what  are  we  actually  doing to  make  everyone’s’  life  much  simpler and  easier?  Will  IP  be  the  medium  for redeeming the interoperability question?

JF: As I’ve touched upon, I think 4K HDR video distribution, whether it is copper/fibre-based or HDBaseT/network will be a large part of the show this year.

MS: This is always a tricky question. The essential  thing  for  us  is  staying  up  to date  on  the  new  technologies,  getting information and testing them so we can advise our clients whether to follow the trend or let it pass. I think it’s imperative to  find  an  equilibrium  between  latest modern  technology  and  mature  reliable products  –  that’s  why  it’s  so  important for  us  to  come  here every  year,  so  we can  discover  them,  and  follow  their evolution.