ISE 2016, Amsterdam – The Day before Opening

ISE2016-a--216Well, the signs outside read “Welcome to ISE 2016”, so I’m sure I’m in the right place. However, the show is still in a state of uproar at 6:02 PM the night before opening. Folks, this show is massive. I’ve been part of setting up for many InfoComm shows (in fact, many shows) and have seen very few run this late in set up the night before opening. Part of this is the difficulty in delivering freight to over 1200 exhibitors which is labeled in at least a dozen languages. Another part is the giant, spread-out nature of the RAI, which is housed in a dozen buildings. This year, I am working on shooting interviews with the assistance of Annabelle Kayye, and the two of us have just been several hours searching for people who were far enough along in setup in order to talk to us. We’ve posted a few interviews tonight, but will start in earnest tomorrow morning, so watch for it.

In the meantime, my first impressions of the show are that it is by far the largest and most complete audiovisual show I have ever been part of. Nearly everyone is here, the exhibits are large, and lots and lots of companies are releasing new technology here. I can well remember when, in our industry, products were mostly released at the US InfoComm show, but that is certainly changing. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my love of this show largely stems from the fact that it is a combination of both InfoComm and CEDIA, and features all the products we see in the U.S. show and a huge number that we don’t.

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Midway through this setup day, I had a chance to catch Gary Kayye (which, on a tradeshow floor, is like talking to a moth fluttering around a bright light) for a podcast, to get his outlook on the show and what he had been so far. I could recount it here, but better that you listen to it. Suffice it to say that tomorrow morning this will be one packed show floor (best guess is 68,000 attendees, or nearly twice the size of the U.S. InfoComm show) and there will be a LOT of new technology shown for the first time.

The hot topics:

First, “Collaboration.” If you attach that term to nearly anything, you can launch the product all over again. The term is being attached to anything with a touch screen, camera, or writing surface. But it IS the hot market, and alongside the chalkboards are a LOT of hot new electronic conferencing products.

Second, it looks like 4K is coming into its own, especially in the conferencing market where it allows 4 windows of uncompressed HD, making multipoint conferencing a lot more usable. However, there are also a number of 8K displays being shown — meaning that, if it catches on, the 4K generation of product could (possibly) be brief.