ISE 2022 report: Reconnecting in new beginnings

ISE finally made its debut at the Fira de Barcelona in May after two years of cancellations due to the global pandemic. While we knew this wasn’t going to be the old ISE we all know and love, I think it’s safe to say that everyone was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

The four-day event saw 43,691 attendees from 151 countries, and 834 exhibitors across 48,000 sqm of show floor broken up into six technology zones.

This year was the first time the show has been held as a full-scale in-person event since February 2020 in Amsterdam when coronavirus was just entering Europe. 2020 was the year ISE bid farewell to Amsterdam with February 2021 set to be the year the event was moved to its bigger home in Barcelona. However, after many postponements, ISE was broken down into four smaller regional events due to travel restrictions and focused on getting the industry back together for the first time in smaller groups to reconnect.

Reconnecting was very much a theme this year too, with exhibitors and visitors travelling from all over the world to meet in Barcelona for the first time in two years. This year’s ISE was also a great platform to see in-person any new products that have been released in the last two years and gave manufacturers a platform to release any new products this year… although there wasn’t too much of that thanks to the supply chain issues we are currently facing.

Hall 2 was the place to be this year with half a hall dedicated to residential and smart building technology. While the industry is facing supply chain issues, there were some new products launched in this area during the show. Despite difficulty getting hold of chips, there was a fair amount of new audio products being launched.

One of these was Steinway Lyngforf’s new Marine Speaker. With an IP65 rating, the Marine Speaker allows Steinway & Sons sound performance to be achieved in luxury outdoor applications such as yachts, patios and pool areas for the first time. Watch the video below to find out more about the Marine Speaker. 

L-Acoustics Creations also had a new audio solution on display, the Soka loudspeaker and its companion subwoofer, SB6i. Inspired by the success and design principles of Syva, Soka is a unique loudspeaker that combines line source technology with a sleek aesthetic for discerning technology integrators and projects where a smaller, more discreet solutions is required. I took some time out to talk to Nick Fichte, global business manager of L-Acoustics Creations about the new products as well as how you can achieve immersive audio outside of a home cinema. 

Another brand to launch new audio solutions at ISE was Focal. The French audio company introduced its new 300 ICA6 angled in-ceiling speaker, inspired by its flagship 1000 Series line. Joining the 300 Series, the 300 ICA6 incorporates the most successful features from 1000 ICA6 loudspeaker. Read more about this product here

Focal's new 300 ICA6 angled in-ceiling speaker

Devialet used ISE to demo its recently-launched Dione all-in-one Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 soundbar. It combines 17 drivers to deliver deep infrabass, dynamic midrange medium and clear treble. Even though it was set up in a less than ideal room in the middle of hall 2 in the Fira de Barcelona, I was pleasantly surprised at how impressive the Devialet Dione sounded. Find out more about the Devialet Dione here

Devialet Dione all-in-one Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 soundbar

On the control side, RTI came to ISE with its brand new Integration Designer 11, adding new levels of customisation and time-saving tools as well as a new template, new icons and background libraries, custom sliders and more to personalise residential projects. Bill Hensley gives an overview of the Integration Designer 11 in the video below. 

Access control company, 2N, focused on its flagship 2N IP Style intercom at the show, demonstrating its latest firmware update that strengthens the product’s access capabilities including the addition of QR code capability to open up mobile access to people temporarily accessing a site. Watch the video below for more information. 

LILIN had its multiple security solutions on display, demoing the functionality of its various solutions. In a video with ISEShow.TV, Ian Leroux looks at the benefits offered by its AI security cameras, with the ability to detect fire, animals, humans, mass detection, or a customised option to detect masks, hats, high vis, or any other project requirements. 

Airzone’s stand featured multiple HVAC solutions for the home. In the video below, Airzone’s global director, Borja Fernández discusses how HVAC systems can be integrated into any BMS, as well as a look at some its new product lines including thermostat controllers. 

KNX, the presenting show partner, had a large booth in hall 2, showing various solutions for homes, smart buildings, offices, etc. Heinz Lux sat down with ISEShow.TV to discuss how interoperability, energy management and education are keys for smart building progression as demand for better spaces ramps up. 

BMS is also becoming more talked about in the home automation industry, with more and more installers using BMS in their projects. I sat down with Richard Caton, managing director of Janus Technologies, who spoke about how AV installers can overcome the challenges with integrated BMS to access many benefits, including generating recurring revenue and gaining more visibility of a system. 

I also took some time to speak to integrators around the Fira de Barcelona. Suzanne Fitzgerald from Dmoti, a French integration company, opened up about some of the considerations and challenges a residential renovation project can bring. 

Finally, ISE was a great opportunity for the industry to meet CEDIA’s new global president and CEO, Daryl Friedman. Set to steer CEDIA to new heights, Friedman highlights that this year’s ISE demonstrated the vast amount of growth the residential technology market has experience recently as people invest more into their homes. 

The sad news is that ISE has moved back to its original dates of end of January/beginning of February so there probably won’t be as much sun and warmth as there was this year. However, Barcelona should be slightly warmer and less rainy than Amsterdam so still a silver lining.

For a comeback show after a global pandemic and starting fresh in a new venue, everyone was pleasantly surprised by the attendance at ISE. It was great to catch up with real people again in-person and experience the products, even though there wasn’t as much as usual in the way of new products.

If this year is anything to go by, ISE 2023 is set to be big! However, we still might not see much more in the way of new products but we will see how the supply chain issues progress over the course of the rest of the year. See you in January!