ISE holds the premium position in Audiovisual (AV) Integration Systems exhibitions. Over the last few years, ISE has officially become the largest platform for AV integrators in the world and hosted in excess of 1 200 exhibitors and welcomed 73 000 visitors during the four-day event in 2017. The turnout represents a 12% increase from 2016 numbers as confirmation of its popularity.

ISE is the launch pad where various research and development (R&D) teams unveil the results of last year’s undisclosed “Project X’. Manufacturers reveal new products and developments in an attempt to position themselves as chief amongst their peers. At ISE we see bigger and better, and big brands aim to get consumers’ nod of approval.

ISE 2018 – What will we see this year?

The first thing to know about ISE 2018 is that it will be even larger than previous years. Hall 15, with an additional 4 000m2 of exhibition space, was added to the front of the RAI Convention Centre. The latest addition allows delegates to showcase more toys to the tech-hungry visitors. The question on everyone’s lips: “What will we see, this year?’

As the ISE show covers a large array of vertical markets within the audiovisual industry, there is no short answer. It may be impossible to cover all of the industries that exhibit in a single article, so I will highlight a few technologies that appeal to most sectors.

Video at the forefront

Generally, when one speaks about new technology in the AV industry it means bigger, thinner screens and fewer (if any) cables, but what can really be expected from this year’s show. The main component in an AV exhibition is almost always video.

Video forms the cornerstone of most AV solutions and the first thing to expect from manufacturers on the video front is higher resolutions in smaller size displays. Professional and consumer displays are adopting the trend to standardise to UHD (Ultra-High Definition) for smaller size displays. Large Format Displays will boast with 8K resolution even though 8K content is still few and far between. The technology exists, however, and will be showed off.

LG will most definitely flaunt their OLED (Organic LED) technology. The technology has been around for a couple of years, and an improved product display can be expected. LG recently demonstrated the OLED canyon at CES in Las Vegas. In response, Samsung launched an impressive competing product, MicroLED, a new emissive technology based on an RGB sub-pixel design, similar to OLED, but using a brighter, inorganic substance – gallium nitride. MicroLED claims to be brighter with a longer lifespan than OLED.

Speaking of video walls, one of the highlights will be the new Unisee product that Barco launched late in 2017. Other brands such as Vestel, NEC, Planar and Sharp will certainly also show off their improved video walls and mounting solutions. Interactive video wall technologies will be put to the test, and it will be interesting to see what technologies were developed.

On LED display modules, smaller resolutions are to be expected – but nothing recently launched. Leyard will exhibit their 0.9mm pixel pitch LED solution that, while not brand new, seems to be the finest around. Maybe ISE2018 will deliver even finer. Leyard will also showcase their LED Multitouch version which is now available in DirectLight models, which is remarkable for LED modules. Other leading players, like Absen, has many alternative LED solutions such as floors and louvre types, on show.

Projection possibilities

Considering projection, the major focuses will be solid state light sources (mainly laser) and true 4K resolution. NEC may reveal a lower brightness (10 000 ANSI lumens) 4K unit in their PX installation range which should be much more affordable than the top end PH models in which 4K was launched. In contrast to the high-end NEC, Sony revealed a brand new rechargeable, handheld projector that outputs 105ANSI Lumens with matching low contrast and resolution. The specifications are not the key features, but the mere fact that it is literally pocket-sized and designed for the travelling salesman is emphasised. Something else to look forward to is Epson’s recently launched Ultra Short throw projector, which is aimed at the digital signage market. With a laser light source and a maximum screen size of 130′, it would be a remarkable unit to see.

ISE embraces all the verticals of the industry and offers visitors an unforgettable experience. It is the highlight of the technology innovations year where the experience shines a bright light on the future of the industry.