After a tentative ISE back in May 2022, and Covid travel restrictions from places such as China impacting attendance, expectations for a supreme 2023 exhibition were naturally high. And we weren’t disappointed.
With a buzz in the air, Spain’s King Felipe VI inaugurated the opening of the exhibition hosting 1,052 companies across 7 halls and 68,000 pre-registered visitors (Vs 44,000 in 2022). With an extensive range of new products, a healthy conference programme and new show floor features, things were looking promising for visitors and exhibitors alike. So, badge in hand, we got stuck in.
Leaving the welcomed January sun at the door, and heading straight for Hall 6, we meandered through Congress Square and its array of new technologies and home to The Influencer Lounge, broadcasting podcasts from content creators, social media trendsetters and commentators across the ISE show.
As we arrive at Hall 6 – Digital Signage and DOOH, with over 70 exhibitors housed inside, and featuring a new ‘Content Production and Distribution Area,’ what strikes all of the team is the volume of LED installations striving to achieve 3-dimensional impact. We all know that content is key, even more so for this type of solution to really sing, but what many had seemed to overlook was the presentation of the solution itself. With protruding 90-degree angles of LED board, the desired theatre was only truly immersive from a limited number of perspectives, which left us longing for a curved finish.
We saw a number of brands offering LED pixel pitch as low as 0.6mm! Proof that technology is ever evolving and a medium we have been insisting will become the go-to solution in the digital signage world.
Other LED formats that caught our eye were transparent displays, not always the go-to solution or in fact that new, but very well executed as window signage displays that allow natural light to penetrate through higher-level store environments. After taking in the various solutions and catching up with partners SCALA, Dise and Advantech, we set our sights on Hall 3.
Before we delve into the delights of The Multi-Technology Hall, we have to highlight the sustainability agenda that is very much present at this year’s ISE. More stands than we could note down had chosen to include promotional sustainability credentials, not only in their signage graphics, but even in the materials used to build the stands themselves. As we visited the Google stand, we were told about the stand’s recyclable nature, with cardboard and wood in abundance, and a brilliant reinforcement for their ChromeOS Flex product launch, an operating system designed to lengthen the life of existing hardware and reduce electricity consumption.
Over at Sony, who have shouted about sustainability for a while, they were keen to explain their stance by leading the conference on sustainability and talking about their ambitions of a zero-carbon footprint by 2050. Tactics to achieve this include reducing product power consumption, product size to assist logistical impacts on the environment, and use of virgin plastics to aid recycling capabilities. Samsung were also devoting space and signage to the topic (image below).
It’s definitely something that the AV industry as a whole is thinking about more and more, and is being brought to the forefront of conversations, in our case, even down to a discussion about what happens to the carpets from the stands after the show! People are just becoming more aware, and that’s great.
Back to Hall 3, highlights included Philips PPDS who launched ‘no power usage’ digital signage solutions, the world’s first 60,000 colour ePaper signage solutions. LG showcased impressive transparent, curved and flat OLED solutions. Epsom demonstrated projection from only 6 inches for an 80” image at 5000 lumens. HYPERVSN showcased an interactive holographic solution featuring full body live-streaming and peerless-AV unveiled an LED mounting system behind a ‘top secret’ curtain, a clever exhibition tactic that got us all talking!
After 3 days at the exhibition, some long overdue catch ups, a sense of the ‘norm’ returning, and oversees exhibitors back in play, we head for the exit, energised by shared perspectives, fresh opinions, and a drive to push the industry to new heights, that is, after we all managed to get a taxi!