EI Live!: A place for UK innovation

This year’s EI Live! showed the best in UK innovation with new products and solutions for the home automation, AV and technology industry. Amy Stoneham has a look around.

EI Live! returned to the Farnborough Exhibition Centre in September, attracting a large gathering of professionals from across the UK home automation, AV and technology industry. With a show floor packed with various manufacturers and distributors, visitors were able to check out new products and solutions as well as receive various demos from experts at the show.

Last year’s show was the first year back following the pandemic and while there was product to see, not a lot of it was new. Of course, this year brings its own challenges stemming from the pandemic and chip shortages, but there was certainly more new products this year compared to last year.

A common theme across the show floor was ultra-short-throw (UST) projectors. Epson was showing its new EH-LS800 UST projector on AWE’s stand. Available in black or white, this laser PRO-UHD projector offers 4,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1. Away from UST, Epson also had its own demo room, showing its well-known EH-LS12000 projector and the new EH-TW6250 projector alongside each other.

Hisense also had two of its UST projectors on show. The L9 Triple Laser TV features a 4K UHD image through its red, green and blue lasers, delivering a rich image exceeding Rec. 2020. A step up from the L9 is the PX1 Pro Triple Laser 4K UST Projector, also from Hisense. This projector is designed more towards home cinema, featuring Dolby Vision, filmmaker mode and deeper blacks.

LG also came to the show with a new CI exclusive with its Objet Easel. Priced at £5,999.99, this 65” 4K OLED TV features an easel-inspired design and has a motorised sliding fabric cover, allowing the client to change the appearance of the LG Objet Easel between a floorstanding TV, a piece of art, or a discrete piece of furniture at the press of a button.

Snap One was another company with a lot to show. As well as carrying out training with its partners, the company’s stand was showcasing a host of products including its WattBox Wi-Fi solutions or power conditioning, its first showing to the international market. Visitors to the stand could also discover how to create colour presets that customers can personalise and include lighting colour as a key element of lighting scenes and programming.

Triad’s new PDX Architectural speakers make their debut at EI Live! on Snap One’s booth. The new speakers provide high-quality audio performance with simple and efficient installation using PushLock technology. The stand also had Episode’s new Mini 5.1 Amplifier, 2.1 Active Soundbar/Sub, and the Mega subwoofer range on show too.

Elsewhere on the exhibition floor, DbM used the show to announce some new partners, including Amina’s invisible speaker portfolio, and SurgeX returned to EI Live! with a new distribution partner, Invision UK.

Lighting and shading control company, Rako, showcased the capabilities of its new app, showing visitors how it will give users more functionality over their lighting and shading control, including control of colour temperature and light intensity using a touch slider.

Simplifying an integrator’s job, D-Tools launched its cloud-based platform into the UK market thanks to its partnership with UK distributor, Pulse Cinemas. Already serving almost 1,000 system integrators in North America, D-Tools Cloud is an easy to implement cloud-based platform that offers an alternative to system integrators in the region seeking ways to close more business faster and drive increased productivity from any web-enabled device.

In addition to the exhibits on the show floor, the Technical Theatre had a full two-day schedule providing training and thought-led presentations on a range of topics within the industry for visitors to sit in on.

If space allowed, I could talk a lot more about the products on show at this year’s EI Live!, but these are just some highlights instead. Next year’s show is already in the books for 13-14 September at Farnborough Exhibition Centre with registration opening soon and stands already selling.

Images: EI Live!

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