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ISE and 2013: What to Look Out For - a Perspective from CEDIA (3/1/2013)
By Wendy Griffiths and Geoff Meads, CEDIA
Wendy Griffiths: Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is the world's best-attended tradeshow for the professional AV and electronic systems industry and will be taking place in Amsterdam from 29-31 January 2013. This is an extremely important event in CEDIA's calendar as not only are we co-owners of the show, we will be delivering 21 courses.
The 2013 programme will be significantly larger and more varied than in 2012, featuring new technology and business topics with expert presenters drawn from across the globe to share their insights and knowledge with European delegates.
Now in its sixth year, ISE 2013 will be held at the Amsterdam RAI, occupying every hall of this world-leading meeting and convention venue. The show will attract professionals from every link in the systems integration value-chain, including distributors, manufacturers, dealers, contractors and consultants.
Geoff Meads: It's at this time of year that most manufacturers (and their R&D departments in particular) are beavering away on their new products for 2013. While I'm not privy to the detail of what they will unveil in Amsterdam, I can take an educated guess. Having spent much of my career in manufacturing, I can tell you that Christmas is often a time for last-minute cobbling, testing and polishing your 'show-ware' prototypes for the expo season. For CI manufacturers, the clock will now be counting down with alarming speed toward ISE!
Without a doubt one of the main areas of interests at this year's ISE will be new developments in HDTV distribution. It wouldn't be overstating the case to say that HDBaseT revolutionised how installers approached HD signals in 2012. We can expect the key players in video to have new HDBaseT kit come show time, and I doubt if there will be a single installer who won't have these products on their must-see list for 2013.
We can also expect IP networking products to be a key feature. With IP now being the default communication standard between components in all custom install systems (with the possible exception of HD video as mentioned above!), ISE 2013 is likely to feature a wealth of IP products for both system and network infrastructure. We have witnessed a definite trend towards the use of more enterprise-grade networking gear too. Moving away from kit that you can buy on the High Street and onto more professional gear is good for the reliability of systems and for delivering higher data speeds, so expect to see manufacturers and distributors offering better products for IP networking infrastructure.
While enthusiasm for 3D has undoubtedly declined in the mass market, many would argue that it still has a place in dedicated big-screen home cinemas. We are likely to see developments at the mid and higher ends of projection in this area, but can we expect good glasses-free 3D yet?
While we're on the subject of projectors, further moves into LED-lit devices would be very welcome. LEDs have made huge strides in regular lighting, but development of good, powerful and clean light sources for projection are a trickier matter. We will just have to wait and see how the engineers have progressed on that one!
Apps, Online Content and Smart Devices
Without doubt the biggest item on the 2013 technical agenda for me is the integration of residential control systems with the world of apps, online content and smart devices. A typical custom install customer now consumes and contributes to online content every day and our systems will need to able to read, display and post back to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Spotify, with ease.
Many manufacturers have already rolled out 'first pass' apps for their products, and the honing of their user interfaces into efficient, usable and reliable architecture for non tech-savvy home owners has to be a key target for differentiating a product line. Easy integration of web technologies such as social media APIs, RSS and XML feeds will be a vital technical feature for control systems in the coming months and years, and can deliver true 'delighter' features for our end users.
Planning Your Visit to ISE
Wendy Griffiths: As an association, we are looking forward to ISE and we can only hope that the show and what CEDIA has planned is as much of a success as the 2012 event. ISE is a key date for residential systems integrators from across the world and numbers soar year on year. With 50% of the show's attendees serving both commercial and residential market sectors, ISE is uniquely positioned to offer the whole world of systems integration solutions under a single roof.
To ensure that your visit to the show is worthwhile, I suggest that you plan your days carefully: it is a large show with plenty to see, and it is easy to get distracted by the vast array of stands and latest innovations. If you need help with your visit, CEDIA representatives are available on the Association's stand (1F21) throughout the show. We look forward to seeing you there and throughout 2013!
Wendy Griffiths is Executive Director of CEDIA Region 1, an international trade organisation for the home electronic systems industry. Geoff Meads is a lead Instructor for CEDIA Region 1, and the Managing Director of Presto AV, a web design agency that specialises in the consumer technology market.
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