Integrated Systems Europe 2021: Digital Conference Recap
Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) came to us both in-person and digitally this year. ISE 2021 took place in-person at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona on June 1 and 2. You can find a short intro to ISE 2021’s schedule here. In addition to the in-person event, the show was streamed live online via a free digital ticket to the two-day event. ISE 2021 will continue on June 23-24 in London, but so far, here are a few of our favorite events and a bit of a recap of the digital show.
TUESDAY, JUNE 1
Global ProAV Outlook: Charting a Path Out of the Pandemic — AVIXA Expertise and Industry Trends
Appearing on the main stage for the ISE Digital 2021 “Global ProAV Outlook” show were two AVIXA specialists: Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, and Peter Hansen, economic analyst. Their presentation, titled “Stepping Outside,” covered post-pandemic trends in the ProAV atmosphere.
AV is everywhere; the past, present and certainly the future. Sean began by telling us how the past of AV is leading to its future. Trends in content interaction, screen and audio systems, voice control, E-commerce, branding and live events were touched before the pandemic and will make a comeback post-COVID-19. These past trends have only evolved throughout coronavirus: Esports, virtual learning technologies, virtual fan experiences and live-streamed events were all extremely prevalent due to COVID-19.
“We’re emerging from a disruptive phase and now looking into the future of technology,” Sean said. “The technology helped us adapt to the pandemic.”
Peter took us on a deep dive into the market research that AVIXA has done to better understand these markets. Research found the global economy took a 3.3% dive in growth, with some experiencing the brunt of the force — EMEA experienced a 5.2% GDP decline. While places such as North America didn’t take a huge hit, the global economy suffered. How does this impact the ProAV industry?
Vertical markets that can be (and usually are) interlaced with AV are corporate, retail, E-commerce and brick and mortar industries. These industries have been making a comeback since the pandemic, and with their growth comes ProAV growth.
“Right now we’re at levels of growth that are similar to pre-pandemic,” Peter said. “We’re feeling great because we’re seeing real recovery — real, clear growth this spring.”
Sean and Peter gave a current forecast that proposes a full recovery happening by 2022. The ProAV industry peaked at $259 billion in 2019, and data projects a second peak (most likely higher than the first) in 2022. The industry will most likely stay behind growth trends set before the pandemic until 2025. Sean said several trends are the cause of this outlook: Virtual events, content distribution and investment in infrastructure for the allowance of virtual events.
Industries that were hit hardest, such as hospitality, public venues and education, will make the strongest recovery post-coronavirus. Those that were more stable, such as digital signage and content distribution, will see a slow but steady recovery. Sean and Peter also discussed the investment of hiring new employees in AV, showing slow growth in the rise of employment since early 2021.
Lastly, the AVIXA pros offered data into how the society at large responds to crises, both in AV and outside of it. They found the way people act during a crisis directly impacts the way they recover. This is why the global trends that happened during the pandemic (virtual events, WFH collaboration, adaptation and others) will continue to develop and become more enhanced as we recover.
Though the rate of recovery does change depending on region, there is one theme that reigns true: Growth is coming. Recovery in the industry and in vertical markets will happen due to trends before and during the pandemic. Development of the labor market will also grow in response to recovery from the pandemic. The primary drivers of change in the ProAV industry (and global economy) — strength, diversification and experience- will continue to allow us to adapt, change and grow as an industry.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2
Opening up the day with a session titled “The Integrator of 2025: What’s Next?” CEDIA began with a white paper discussion on how integrators must use four cornerstones to guide the future of their careers: Presence, Comfort, Safety and Sustainability. Why and how will these cornerstones aid the future of integration?
Speakers for this session were Walt Zerbe, senior director of technology and standards, CEDIA, Peter Aylett, HTE acoustic interior design and Christiaan Beukes, owner of Sphere Custom. They discussed how the four cornerstones are the future of integration, and what they each mean. They also stressed that the integrator’s perspective on these four cornerstones needs to change to a more holistic design.
Unlike the other three cornerstones, Presence is an outstanding theme for the future of integrators. This is less a meaning of a technological presence and more about focusing on what is stimulating the user.
“Presence is acting in the moment; it’s all about your consciousness,” Peter said. “We’re really talking about how, as an industry, we are leveraging technology and integrating that technology into buildings to improve the human condition.”
Comfort as a cornerstone is in charge of making us feel….Comfortable. Comfort can be viewed as a product that makes the human condition more comfortable, easier or better. This is in experience, lighting, sound, heating and cooling, water and many others.
“Comfort is part of our being,” Walt said. “The goal with Comfort would be to try to get more human-centric design and better marry people with technology to make people feel better.”
Though the speakers did not dive too deep into what Safety means, we can connect it to the other cornerstones. A safe product will also be a present, comfortable and sustainable item that the 2025 Integrator will need in their toolbox.
Sustainability is important because an integrator will need to make all the cornerstones sustainable, as well as their products. Sustainability means a dedication to long-term product survival, which is both good for the planet and for the user.
“We can sell products that are sustainable. We can design systems that have longevity but touch on Comfort to appeal and appease the human condition,” Christiaan said.
How do these cornerstones tie into branding? Branding is the identity of a company or business in the consumer world, but it is only a stepping stone. Integrators consider brands they sell to be important, yes, but the Integrator of 2025 will need to shift from brands as a product towards branding themselves as an integrator.
Using architects as an example, Peter said people do not come to architects for the brand of bricks they use to build a home. They come to an architect with the expectation that they will deliver a “…holistic experience that embraces all of the cornerstones.” A good integrator (architect) will understand the Presence that drives a project, design products with Comfort in mind, ensure Safety is a priority and will choose Sustainable materials and practices in their product’s design and creation.
“It is our duty to use these cornerstones along with human-centric design to fufill and meet those needs of the future, to push the human condition as a first and foremost priority, rather than a product,” Peter said.
ScreenBeam Conference, offered by ScreenBeam, adds support for major video conferencing services to ScreenBeam’s contactless wireless presentation platform. With ScreenBeam Conference, users can host meetings using their laptop and conferencing client tool of choice while connecting to room meeting gear such as speakers, mics and displays.
HDBaseT – Workspace Planning
This session focused on the opinions of AV professionals in relation to the future of the hybrid workspace. Moderator Clive Colwell, group editor, AV Magazine, discussed this topic with Gabi Shriki, SVP and head of audio-video at Valens, Stijn Ooms, director of product strategy for AV and digital workplace at Creston and Simon Truby, director of communications and workplace services at Ricoh. Clive started the questions with an opener: Just what is the new workplace going to look like?
Simon and Stijn both dove into this question with various pointers. The workplace will look much like a journey, Simon said, as people use old and new spaces as collaborative workspaces. This will create more challenges but also more opportunities for development as traditional workspaces will not disappear.
“Almost anything conventional will change,” Stijn said. “We’re human; it’s in our DNA.”
Gabi answered from a wider perspective, arguing the need for connection after the pandemic will also be a driver in the changes workspaces will see. He said people do want to be in-person to brainstorm and work together on projects. Traditional workplaces are not gone forever – but they will need to undergo changes. This is why cloud-based, collaborative platforms are the future of conferencing; cross-platform meetings need to offer a better connection and better experience than they currently do.
Gabi also shared that internet connectivity and cloud connection will need to be perfect. Connectivity is where WFH and in-person collaboration will come together: USB, in-room, internet, cameras, sensors, AI and video-audio streams all rely on connectivity. Humans do, too. A connected and context-aware system is also needed. Imagine a system that could predict when a meeting needs to be moved online because over half the participants will not be in the office.
Simon discussed the range in which the industry will tackle these challenges, and where we are in the process. He pointed out that the AV industry’s approach needs to focus on technology that will simplify the user experience, offer connection, clarity, quality and capability. There needs to be less time wasted on fixing connections and errors. The industry is in a bit of a lull currently as we are working on recovering from COVID-19. The pandemic (and vaccines) are major drivers in the changes the AV industry has made and will continue to make.
Stijn pitched in on how the separation between AV and IT must be forgotten. People want infrastructure security and a boost in quality and accessibility at work and home. Gabi agreed, saying AV needs to understand IT, and vice versa.
“We have to stop this disconnection,” Gabi said. “It will all influence each other.”
Simon summarized the overall theme of the future of workspace planning. He said change will not be in one area as there will be a total digital transformation. From digitizing documentation, changing mail delivery to the office and more, the key to workspace planning remains the same – digital transformation.
Designed for Digital Signage – The New Vivitek NovoDisplay
In a product reveal, Vivitek announced the new Vivitek NovoDisplay that offers wireless collaboration and video conferencing. The NovoDisplay also offers a unique feature — an instant switch to digital signage. The NovoDS offers a retail application of digital content. Users can work on the cloud-based interface, create playlists and pages and can share and see content from various users.
The all-in-one collaborative panel has a 4K display, boasts wireless screen mirroring with BYOD for full interoperability to connect and share ideas from any device and acts as a digital signage board. The NovoDS signage allows easy creation of playlists, system management and the publishing of documents such as calendars, schedules, training lists and more.