Home Again After ISE 2014

JoelWrapUpimageI arrived home last night after a whirlwind day of post-show meetings and goodbyes in Amsterdam. Now, with a profound case of jet-lag, I am sitting down with all my notes and recordings to put this year’s show into some perspective.

First, however, let me say something about the effort in which I was fortunate enough to play a small part. Over the course of the three day show, I did over a dozen interviews, both video and audio, with exhibitors, association executives, and attendees.

But that was nothing compared to the journalistic feat that the ever-enthusiastic rAVe crew does at this show, and I want to give some credit where credit is due – to the team of young journalists who travelled to Amsterdam with rAVe.

The rAVe [NOW] coverage of a major tradeshow like ISE is a truly massive effort and a very ambitious use of new media technology. There were a number of news organizations at the show, bringing you the highlights and press releases that they could find out about, and that they decided were important enough to cover.

rAVe is the only team with the incredibly ambitious goal of bringing you ALL of it.

To that end, a troop of young reporters shot hundreds and hundreds of videos in all the stands, capturing new lines, new products, interviews and backgrounders — over 1,200. We record dozens of podcasts with movers and shakers and even random attendees. And a team of people work 20 hour days in the rAVe Show Office, located right on the main show floor, to post them all to the web and social media as quickly as possible. They work on the fly to make them cataloged and searchable, so that you can find out all the information you need to know from one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive electronics trade shows, and from all the events that surround it. And, while all that is going on, another team back home is working around the clock editing, composing and keeping the whole system humming along.

My hat’s off to all of them. It’s a massive undertaking, and the results of their unflagging efforts and energy speak for themselves. Check out all their achievements at www.ravepubs.com/ISE2014.

The Show

Now, what about the show itself? Well, if you want my reactions to many of the individual exhibits, events and announcements, you can check out all my video and audio podcasts on the ISE microsite. But if you want my overall reactions to what was important about this year’s show, here are a few of the highlights:


Well, I have to admit to having been pretty mild about the performance of 4K technologies in the market thus far. Not because I don’t like the idea of higher resolution displays, but because display technology moved out in front of applications for a while. But this show really showcased the things 4K resolution will be able to accomplish in the market. Foremost among them were the use of incredibly detailed 3D renderings for industrial visualization. There was a set of 3D renderings of a Ford Mustang and an Audi R8, in use in a number of exhibits (quite spectacularly on a 120Hz display in the Christie stand, among others) that really showed off how much more detail 4K carries. And, of course, the use of 4K will improve conference rooms with large flat panel displays capable of multiple HD windows at native resolutions. It’s still not all there, but the show would indicate that applications are arriving quicker than a lot of us expected.

Unified Communications

Well, if 4K was the display technology du jour, then unified communications was everybody’s secret sauce. UC was everywhere, from interactive whiteboard systems that added 1080p video conferencing to videoconferencing systems that added whiteboarding. The term was even applied to furniture. It’s obvious that the unified communications market is the explosive market in AV,  and that we are applying it in broader terms than we have in the past.  The biggest talk in UC  was the upcoming participation of Microsoft in InfoComm. While past experience teaches me to doubt Microsoft’s ability to steer our industry, especially in professional conferencing standards where their track record is dismal, there is no doubt that their participation is yet another sign that our market is maturing to the point that even bigger players are going to play. I am eager to see how everyone is going to react their presence.

In short, ISE  was a great show, and its growth points the way to its being an even better show in the future. If you want to see why, check out the  whole thing at www.ravepubs.com/ISE2014