As you may know, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is Europe’s — and the world’s — largest AV show. Combining both residential and commercial AV technology in one giant trade show venue at the Amsterdam RAI, the show is nicely spread out in 12 easy-to-navigate halls that you can walk without back-tracking as it’s laid-out in a way that allows you to walk it as one giant rectangle.
But, three days is nearly impossible to see it all – and even the show organizers realized this as in 2016 the show will go to a four-day event. With well over 1,000 exhibitors, 100 parties, 255 receptions and nearly 300 educational sessions, you will need to plan accordingly to fit in what you need to see in the three days the floor is open to the public — 10-12 February, 2015.
But, I’m going to help you narrow down your search and navigate you calendar by telling you the MUST-SEE booths (or, stands, as they are called in Europe). You see, we are privy to a bunch of what is commonly referred to as “embargoed” news stories — this is where a company will send us new product news weeks in advance of the product launch so that we are ready to write about it the day it hits the market publicly. Thanks to the relationships we have with the top 400 or so manufacturers in the AV industry, we know about a lot of the new products that are to be launched at February’s mega-AV show. So, here are my top 17 (+1) booths or stands you NEED to make sure you put on your list to visit over the three day event:
First, the +1: We will be in Hall 1 this year — Stand 1-Q100 and we will be video casting, podcasting, blogging and posting new product news LIVE every single moment the show floor is open. If you’re going to be at ISE, please drop by and say Hi!
On to the Top-17 (not in any specific order):
- CAT – California Audio Technology (stand 5-S92): This is likely a company that’s not on your list. But it should be. If you do ANY HomeAV integration and need high-end speakers and amplification, this is the company that you should look at first. This is HIGH-END, though! CAT’s site is here.
- Christie (stand 1-H50): I can’t tell you what Christie is debuting, but I can tell you that if you are an integrator in the commercial AV market and do meeting rooms and classrooms, you won’t want top miss their new launch. You know Christie but here’s their EMEA site.
- AMX & HARMAN (stand 1-F6): You can’t miss them — enter, turn right — there they are. AMX will debut new ENZO products (wireless collaboration BYOD) as well as new version of their digital media switcher at ISE. Watch for 4K to play a big part of their launch: hint, hint. AMX is, of course, here. But, one other thing of note: AMX will be fully-integrated into HARMAN for the first time at ISE — so, the stand is actually a HARMAN stand and they’re going to highlight integration of AMX into the HARMAN product line. Watch for some HiQnet integration both directions, too.
- Microsoft (stand 8-K355): Microsoft purchased a company called Perceptive Pixel back in 2012 and has been quietly — nearly imperceptively — been selling multi-touch 50”, 60” and 65” LCDs into corporate installs — all without the AV market involved. But, now, they’ve just launched an 84” version called the Surface HUB and they want the AV integrator’s help in getting it into the market — think SMART Technologies and Mondopad but with a Microsoft badge. Details on the HUB can be found here.
- SMART Technologies (stand 12-A95): SMART’s best thing out right now has just started shipping in Europe — the SMART kapp. We gave it our Best Overall New Product award in 2014 at InfoComm and it’s something that EVERY AV integrator should be selling. They will debut an 84” version at ISE. You can see it here.
- HDBaseT Alliance (stand 7-E190): Although I think the Alliance isn’t doing a very good job managing its own ‘standard,’ HDBaseT (sending video, audio, control, Ethernet and power via CatX cable) is the future of AV signal routing — at least for now! So, you should really go by their stand and understand the technical aspects of it and how it works – it’s capable all the way up to 4K, too. The HDBaseT Alliance is here.
- LANG AG (stand 1-N53): The best stand in the show — three years running — so there’s no doubt in my mind they will have the best, most impressive demo on the show floor at ISE in 2015. LANG handles a lot of different manufacturers products and is well known as a rental and staging leader all over the world. Whatever they plan to demo will look spectacular! Lang is here.
- Barco (stand 11-F78): You can’t miss Barco in Hall 11 and their stand will look like a space port at this year’s show. But, the gear they will launch is the key – they will fill out every single product category that they had holes in their projector line – trust me. And, they’ll be launching an entirely new product category – so don’t miss stopping by there.
- DENON Professional (stand 9-F146): For years, AV integrators have had to buy consumer AV amps to put in to classrooms, boardrooms and meeting rooms to get surround sound. But, now, DENON has a professional line of them available to the commercial AV integration market. At ISE, they will show the KUDO for the first time — it’s a BYOD wireless collaboration system that allows Android devices, laptops and desktop computers to be wirelessly connected in a room and has both HDMI out to the projector or monitor. You can see all their ISE launch products here.
- NEC Display (stand 4-R24): NEC will probably launch more new stuff than any other display company at ISE. You’ll see larger LCDs, high-resolution LCDs and a new projector lineup. But, watch for their new digital signage stuff as there’s a reason they are the leader in that market. Do not miss going by their stand. It will all debut on their website, too.
- AOPEN (stand 10-P142): If you’re in the digital signage market, then you’ve likely heard of AOPEN as they have the largest lineup of digital sing media players on the market. They will use ISE 2015 to launch a 4K media player as well as some new cloud-based software tools and a new kiosk design. AOPEN is here.
- Listen Technologies (stand 3-C89): Listen Technologies not only provides live tour-guide wireless audio systems, but also has a new line of installed audio solutions that will impress at ISE. If you’re not already a Listen dealer, you should become one.
- ClearOne (stands 3-A106 and 2-A42): ClearOne is plagued by history as being known as that audio company — but they do video, control and collaboration systems — all over the network, too, now. And, most AV integrators see them as just an audio company. Make sure you go by there and see how their IP-based media distribution stuff works — specifically their new Spontania line.
- SpinetiX (stand 8-K205): SpinetiX makes the most reliable, easiest to use media player on the market in the HMP200. We expect SpinetiX to launch a follow-up player and maybe even make a foray into the 4K market. But, their Elementi digital signage software is worth the trip to their stand alone — it’s simple, template based digital sign-ready. I love it. Here they are.
- Cisco (stand 9-C121): Cisco will return to ISE with a totally new look in 2015 as they launched all new products in 2014 and their MX 700 dual-screen TelePresence system. Not only is it videoconferencing in a box, but it’s also got built-in BYOD in that wireless content can be sent to it to be shared via the live and conferenced in group – they will show this and the MX800 (dual-camera version) at ISE.
- Chief & Da-Lite (stand 2-C42): This will be the second year that Chief and Da-Lite have had a truly unified presence at ISE and both a leaders in their respective tech categories. Da-Lite has a new touch-screen screen system that’s already made it’s debut on the new Chief Integrated Interactive Mount systems for the Epson BrightLink projectors — it’s now finger-touch. But, everyone has to project things and mount things so how can I not put these two companies on a list of must-sees as you get two for the price of one! Chief is here and Da-Lite is here.
- Sennheiser (stand 2-A45): Sennseiser’s audio conferencing system, called TeamConnect, made it’s debut at InfoComm last year, but now it’s shipping and most haven’t seen it in action. Sennheiser is branching into the installed systems world in a way they never have before, so this will be interesting to monitor. All the TeamConnect details are here.
Well, that’s it! Well, for now. This is a work in progress. Some companies launch products we’ve never seen or heard of, Iive, at the show and we’ll want you to see them too! So, we’ll be blogging and reporting news LIVE from ISE on our site here. And, you can follow us on your mobile phone as our new website is optimized for mobile so check it often!