ISE 2022 review: Pro-AV is back in the sun | Industry trends
The numbers were down, to 43,691 (from 81,000 in 2019), not that you can see in crowded theaters.
“We are short of about 300 Chinese customers and a few Americans due to [US AV trade show] InfoComm being so close to ISE this year,” said Mike Blackman, general manager, Integrated Systems Events. “So these are challenges, but I don’t regret having moved [the show] to this date ; It was the right decision. We see it in the commitment of the exhibitors.
Blackman was keen to point out that ISE was poised to grow again had Covid not intervened.
“We would have been even bigger,” he said. “Here, we have 48,000 m² on the ground and 840 exhibitors. But we had signed contracts at the end of the 2020 show for 67,000 m² with 900 companies. We still had around 400 companies that we hadn’t spoken to yet, so we would probably need another 10,000m².
This will be the goal of ISE’s return to Barcelona at the end of January 2023.
A new generation of audio
No area of professional broadcasting has suffered more than live events during the pandemic. But remote mixing has helped keep some shows on the road by allowing engineers to stream shows remotely. “It should be seen as an additional tool rather than just a substitution in the traditional facade setup,” said Stew Hume, president of Live Events Summit at the conference.
“On a massive stadium tour,” says Hume, “50,000 people will always want to go see the artist. But with a sophisticated remote mixing option, a high-quality live stream could be created with sound from first order mixed in a studio rather than a broadcast truck.
Surround sound has long been used for live concerts, but the new generation of immersive audio systems could put an end to the traditional stereo format.
“The term ‘immersive’ has become a misnomer because people think all it means is that the sound will appear behind you,” Hume said. “But he has the ability to give every member of the audience a better live experience.” Bjork and Bon Iver were already among the artists doing it, he added.
An immersive sound project called Adamson Fletcher Machine also points to the future of sound in auditoriums.
“We have seen continuous improvements in professional audio, but there has been no real evolution since the invention of the line array,” said Jochen Sommer, director of EMEA operations, Adamson Systems Engineering. “Object-based spatial audio is on the way – and it’s revolutionary.”
The Fletcher Machine is an object-based mixing solution that uses amplitude and time localization for the rendering and placement of sound objects. It uses a dedicated hardware audio processor and remote control running on a separate computer to provide “spatial unmasking” of sound sources.
“We can create a larger spatially coherent listening area for a more natural sound field,” Sommer explained. “You don’t create the mix entirely in the console. Instead, you introduce individual objects – a snare drum or a violin – into the soundscape. The result is a more direct connection from the listener to the sound.
Artificial Intelligence is gaining ground
“By the end of the decade, AI will surpass humans in intelligence,” predicted self-described futurist Amelia Kallman. “Think about it: in eight years, we won’t be the smartest thing on the planet anymore – which is really scary.”
“As AI plays a bigger role in our workspaces, our creativity, ideation, design skills and, most importantly, our ability to collaborate and connect are going to be all the more valuable.”
With an impressive live demo of AI in the workplace, Cisco showed how AI simultaneous translation can help break down barriers for the smart workplace. During a video call, the colleagues spoke several languages and were translated live. Its AI was able to rearrange the faces of attendees around a table into individual photo frames to make it more inclusive for those joining remotely.
XR – treating reality as a “medium”
Virtual, augmented and extended reality plays a fundamental role in shaping our future real realities.
Open University professor Fridolin Wild leads a project using augmented reality to deliver digital learning. Half-Sync AR, he explained, is something that looks live but is actually pre-recorded. “Reality is treated as a medium,” he said. “It’s the idea that captured experiences can be used in ways that make them feel more alive and delivered in real time.”
Wild presented a live stream of an inner space replicating the surface of Mars in which an AI avatar – pre-recorded, appearing live – was introduced to educate the viewer about the planet.
Showcasing its immersive product development and design solution, Lenovo demonstrated how Aston Martin is exploring mixed reality to develop new high-performance vehicles. Lenovo’s solution is displayed at “human eye” resolution in VR and XR environments.
Kallman believes we will reach a tipping point for XR in the enterprise space around 2026, coinciding with the entry of Gen Z into the workplace. “These guys are already in the metaverse,” she said.
Illuminarium is a tourist attraction in Las Vegas and Atlanta and uses cinematic techniques, interactive content and theatrical design to provide visitors with a sensory experience of environments like a safari or a space station. Its CEO and co-founder gave a speech revealing that new locations are opening in Chicago and Miami, and that in five years, he aims to have 25 worldwide.
“What we really do is bring reality to life,” said Alan Greenberg. “We use some of the techniques used in the big movies, some of the techniques used in virtual reality to create a multi-million dollar experience.”
The company does indeed make money from ticket sales and concessions and an immersive nighttime bar experience. “We hope to welcome 15 million visitors a year and have a business worth billions of dollars,” he said.
Sergei Sagas, chief innovation officer at Hyperreal, showed how his company is exploring the idea that actors, singers and other “talents” should have more control over digital versions of themselves, especially as the metaverse sets in. “Let’s create one universal avatar that belongs to the person it represents,” he urged.
360 degree digital illustration is the future
Artist Refik Anadol coined the term digital painting in 2008 and is the creator of ‘In the Mind of Gaudi’, a digital artwork displayed in the Gaudi Cube, the world’s first room with LED walls in six sides. “Data is my main medium,” he said in a keynote. “Visual experiences don’t just look good, they can be practical. This is the future of the medium. »
Anadol will show what he means next year when he opens Dataland in Los Angeles. It will be a collaboration with neuroscientists, architects, AI developers and biologists.
A special immersive art exhibit at ISE 2022 invited attendees to find a comfortable lounge chair or cushion, and relax as they were surrounded by the vivid paintings of Vincent van Gogh. Iris and Almond Blossom, oil paintings from 1889-1890, are among a dozen classics by the Dutch master softly animated, projected and set in a relaxing Japanese home with tatami floors and sliding doors.
The rise of immersive workspaces
Immersive workspaces are transforming office spaces around the world and were a major trend at ISE2022. These are designed as a way to connect building staff with colleagues working remotely.
“People have the ability to not only see the information, but to be inside it – to be part of a different sensory and informational experience,” said Massimo Pizzocri, vice president of sales and marketing for video projectors at Epson.
Its solution combines three projectors displaying images on three walls with which users can interact. This is the type of technology traditionally found in bespoke and very expensive computer-aided virtual environments. Epson and its technology partner Igloo Vision aim to bring the concept to the mass market.
“University departments, academies and colleges are a key market,” said Jake Rowland of Igloo Vision. “One in ten meeting rooms in a company could be a fully immersive collaborative space with surround projection and videoconferencing. It could be an interactive space shared between different departments.
Impressive with visuals
The pitfalls of ISE tend to be projection-mapped visuals and giant LED screens playing kaleidoscopic imagery. But different multidimensional formats point to the future.
“We believe 3D will be the future of digital content, especially digital signage,” said Kiryl Chykeyuk, CEO and Founder of Hypervsn which has deployed over 20,000 holographic displays worldwide. “We live in a 3D world and we need to see digital content in 3D.”
The digital signage industry faces a number of challenges as it grapples with a range of factors affecting the supply chain, including ongoing lockdowns in China and price inflation.
In a keynote, Florian Rotberg of German consultancy invidis said that although the industry is returning to growth, with a 2.1% increase in units sold worldwide in 2021 to 6.9 million, it is less clear what awaits us.
One of the most pressing topics, Rotberg said, is sustainability, with 80% of the carbon footprint generated by operational factors. The key is to focus on energy consumption and recycling to improve the industry’s green credentials.
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