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