ISE 2023 show report

There were plenty of new products at ISE 2023, with many trying to solve the challenges posed by hybrid working and MTRs. Reece Webb and Paul Milligan choose their favourite new additions.

Despite the AV industry being in the midst of an 18-month long supply chain crisis, there will still some new launches at ISE 2023, and probably more than most people would have imagined, give the bare state of some exhibitor’s stands at ISE 2022 in May. There were a few technologies visitors probably knew for sure they would see at the show this time around, but maybe a few others that would have taken them by surprise too.

The Inavate team spent four days trawling the many halls of the Fira in Barcelona to pick out the best tech for the corporate market, be that for meeting
rooms or MTRs, and the best in presentations tech too. We have also picked out the best new launches for live events, virtual production and some new tools to give visitor attractions the wow factor they so often crave.

Starting with AV tech for the corporate market, before the show began, there has been a steady increase in talk about the potential use of the Microsoft Teams Front Row 21:9 format. Some believe it may only have limited adoption, but others obviously feel different, as Samsung and Avocor were both showing new 21:9 screens at ISE. Samsung’s screen is coming later this year, but Avocor’s has been on the market for a few months already and it will be interesting to see how many other display vendors follow suit, my guess is a few more at least. If you have followed the discussions about 21:9 you will see that projection has also been thrown into the mix of technologies. At the show Epson launched the EB-810E projector (see below), a 4K, 5,000 lumens display delivering super-ultra-short throw ratios of 0.16:1 and scalable display sizes up to 160-in. Super UST (SUST?) seems to be a completely new category altogether, but it has been created specifically for hybrid working. Its 21:9 ultra-wide display options make it perfectly suitable for MTRs Front Row, and it was getting a lot of attention in Barcelona as system integrators look for solutions to 21:9 set-ups.

The return of Pepper’s Ghost
One of the more interesting meeting room concepts at ISE 2023 was Logitech’s Project Ghost. Created alongside Steelcase, it is a walk-in video conferencing booth which uses the speakers, mics, cameras, and displays from its Rally Plus teleconferencing kit, but combines them with the Pepper’s Ghost effect to make it look as though the person is sat across from you in the booth. To make it seem more real Logitech has hidden the webcam behind the glass so the participants can maintain eye contact. Logitech is taking the Project Ghost concept to several trade shows in 2023 to gauge interest before it commits to concrete production plans.

One meeting room technology that seemed to be on every stand with a meeting room design to show its own products was the Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2 (TCC2) microphone array. New at ISE 2023 was the launch of a smaller sibling, the TeamConnect Ceiling Medium (see below). Designed to expand the product’s reach to mid-sized meeting rooms and lecture or collaboration spaces (hence the name), it offers coverage of up to 40 sq m. At a time when demand for high quality meeting room audio is at an all-time high, it’s great to see this product expand into more rooms. One interesting bit of business announced at the show was that Sennheiser’s TCC2 is now certified for Tencent Meeting, opening up the product to a huge amount of users in Asia.

Hybrid challenges
Launched 11 years ago (!!) this April, Barco’s ClickShare has helped defined what meeting room technology has become. The second generation of its ClickShare CX-50 product, launched at the show, brings dual screen support, allowing content to be shown on two room displays side-by-side. During video meetings, one of the screens
is dedicated to the remote participants, where they remain visible at all times. This is to meet the main challenge of hybrid meetings – to make sure it feels the same if you are in the office or at home. Another nice new feature is automatic switching between Room mode and BYOM mode, which allows users to switch between the fixed room system setup and other videoconferencing systems.

From the big boys of the display sector, we saw a new line of 4K LCD screens (in 43 to 98-in in size), with high brightness and an anti-glare treatment to reduce reflection, for boardrooms, meeting and learning spaces from Panasonic. Among a host of new LED products, LG was in Barcelona to launch 55-in transparent OLED digital signage and introduced CreateBoard, an interactive display for collaboration (its riposte to Samsung’s Flip).

One really interesting product at the show that probably won’t get the same headlines as giant LED displays was the 'zero power' Philips Tableaux digital signage range. It’s an evolution of the technology more widely known as ePaper (ACeP). There are two units available, 25-in (16:9), and 28-in (32:9), and more sizes are coming says PPDS. The key innovation is that each screen is capable of delivering content 24/7 while running entirely unplugged and without using a single kilowatt of electricity. The older units often resembled a Kindle you might use in your home, but this new iteration is not just in black and white, it’s capable of 60,000 colours and only needs power when the content is being updated. Content can be managed manually or remotely using PPDS’ in-house or third-party management platforms. This product has the potential to be huge in retail, corporate, public spaces, and transport installs as more clients push for more sustainable AV systems.

There is no doubt one of the hottest product segments right now in the AV world is soundbars and especially videobars. The appeal for an all-in-one product that can provide good quality video and audio in a meeting room is proving irresistible to integrators and end users alike. The interesting piece of this puzzle is where the components are coming from i.e. If it’s an audio company launching a videobar where is the camera coming from? and vice versa.



Three notable launches at ISE 2023 were from WolfVision, Hall Technologies (see above) and Jabra. WolfVision’s Cynap videobar features a 4K AI camera, beamforming array microphone, and built-in speakers from German pro-audio manufacturer Fohhn. The video bar offers wireless screen presentation capabilities, camera auto tracking, speaker tracking, and presenter tracking for better meeting inclusivity and equity. The Mercury videobar from Hall Technologies features camera auto tracking, speaker tracking, and presenter tracking, it has an ultra-wide angle 4K AI camera, microphone and a built-in Wi-Fi module. Connectivity comes in multiple forms, including AirPlay, Miracast, Smart View, HT-Voyager and physical HDMI and USB-C ports. One of the early birds and now leaders in the videobar field is Jabra, and its newest product, PanaCast 50, made its debut in Barcelona. As with its other products, the PanaCast 50 runs on its own AI-powered software-defined platform. Designed for small-medium sized meeting rooms, it includes an Android-based compute unit, as well as speakers, microphones and video camera. It comes with a 10-in touch controller to manage the meeting room experience and runs Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android or Zoom Rooms.

There wasn’t a lot of spatial audio at the show this year, which was a shame. L-Acoustics was showing its incredible L-ISA product in the form of L-ISA Studio, a spatial audio content creation tool. The biggest news was probably Q-SYS announcing its support for spatial audio in Microsoft Teams Rooms, including Signature Teams Rooms (see below). For systems using certified Q-SYS audio, video and control processing in MTRs, you can now allow the audio of the remote participants to come from the direction of where the specific person talking is located on the screen, creating a more immersive and natural experience for in-room participants. Another clever touch is that the spatial audio feature for MTRs can be supported at the software level via Q-SYS Designer Software, eliminating the need for additional hardware.

One final bit of kit we saw with great potential for meeting room applications was the Humly Booking Device (see below). Launched for use in small-medium meeting rooms, it is a small 3.5-in touchscreen for room booking/occupancy. So far, so normal, the clever bit is that it can be installed in a range of locations or situations, over or under desks, on walls, it can be mounted horizontally or vertically on any material, including glass, textile, metal, and wood. It’s one of those products you see and know it will demo really well in the flesh once you get your hands on it.

LED’ing the way
Innovation was the name of the game when it came to the LED offerings at the show, and if there is one trend to highlight from vendors on the show floor, then
it is certainly the ever-shrinking pixel pitch of LEDs. Nowhere is this more apparent than with Unilumin’s UMicro 0.4mm display which hit a previously unobtainable pixel pitch. This is significant in many ways, but chiefly stands out due to the transition to more indoor LED displays that are shaking up the appearance and technological sophistication of indoor spaces. The UMicro can achieve 8K resolution and includes EBL+ multi-layer optical processing, 3D-LUT colour gamut calibration.

Not to be outdone, Samsung announced its new XHB series outdoor LED signage displays, available with 0.6mm pixel pitches, as well as 0.8mm, 1.0mm and 1.8 mm versions. Samsung also broke the mould with its ‘videowall in a box’ design. A concept that literally thinks ‘outside of the box’, the design incorporates a pre-constructed screen in a box with its own mount ready to go, simplifying installation by requiring installers to only screw the videowall onto a surface. The ease of install for this could make it a huge hit with time-poor integrators. The XHB series, also from Samsung, includes a standardised module design for flexible design and installation, offering concave (up to 2,500R curvature), convex, S shape, fascia and 90 degrees L types. With a focus on sustainability, the XHB series reduces power consumption by 15% versus its predecessor and is claimed to reduce approximately 2,492 tons of C02 emissions per year.

If there was one product that brought the entire show floor to a standstill, then it was, without question, the LG Magnit. Clocking in at an impressive 136-in,
with 4K UHD capability, the crowds around Magnit made it impossible to get past the LG stand at times. The display incorporates several million self-emissive LED pixels, with built-in streaming apps accessible via LG’s webOS 6.0 smart TV platform.

While nobody expected anything less from an LED manufacturer, LG also took a step in a new direction by featuring virtual production on its stand for the very first time. LED and virtual production are natural friends, and it is very encouraging to see manufacturers taking advantage of the opportunities offered by growing sectors such as virtual production.

Keeping the focus on virtual production, Absen came equipped with its own virtual production system: The PR 2.5. Featuring a customised lock system, users can complete installations by hanging, stacking or other rental and staging layouts. The booth was equipped with its own virtual-production set, working in tandem with ARRI and Brompton to deliver a full virtual production package.

Over on the InfiLED booth, the curved WP series was shown, offering 4K resolution with a pixel pitch of 0.9mm and a frame size of 29.5mm. Designed for corporate spaces, control room environments and more, the WP LED series cabinets can be flat, curved or with a corner to meet a variety of installation requirements. The WP 0.9 offers a 16:9 aspect ratio, refresh rate of 3840Hz and 14-bit grayscale. Additionally, front-end maintenance can be carried out without dismantling the fixed part, meeting the requirements of EMC class B certification.

This year marked a big year in projection technology, with a focus on brighter but lighter projectors that cater not only to immersive spaces, but also for hybrid working environments that require a more personal touch. Interactivity was the name of the game, with every manufacturer offering hands-on experiences with the technology in a fun and creative way.

Digital Projection partnered with Vioso to highlight its latest projection technologies, putting the spotlight on its MLS system. The M-Vision 27000 was shown for the first time at the show, ahead of its Q3 release, alongsides the T laser range. These projectors were highlighted in addition to Vioso’s multi-playback warping and blending system, integrating more than 30 software and hardware tools on the market.

But it wasn’t just products on display: Digital Projection brought an interactive bar to life, enhanced by multi-projection and a projection mapping exhibit powered by Vioso’s calibration and playback technology that allowed visitors to interact with the bar through projection technology.

Epson expanded its offering at the show, bringing three new 4K resolution projectors to the show. These models aim to provide large displays for business, educational and immersive space settings, offering screen sizes up to 500-in with 5,200-7,000 Lumen brightness. Epson also debuted its EPPQ2000 ultra-lightweight 3LCD projector range, clocking in at 60% smaller and 50% lighter than its predecessor, the EB-L20000U.

The new range includes custombuilt 4K graphic processing, offering 4K ‘Crystal Motion’ technology, panel thermo-control and double micro-lens array technologies. Christie was also on hand to preview its 4K22-HS, offering 22,500 lumens in 4K UHD 1DLP projection. The projector was shown in tandem with Christie’s Pandoras Box content management system to create an on-stand interactive experience.

AV Stumpfl showcased its new AnyShape projection screen, designed to cater to a variety of frame shapes directly from the factory. AnyShape can be used to create circles, rounded edge screens, semi circles and more. Not just limited to hardware releases, AV Stumpfl highlighted its Pixera multi-user workflow features at the show, allowing media operators to be flexible when working on complex installations or show environments. Multiple Pixera director licenses can be synched, allowing users to choose between different levels of granularity when working within a multiuser scenario.

4K graphic processing is included, providing improvements in operating frequency, memory bandwidth and data transmission for 4K experiences. Processing the future On the video processing side, tvONE came out swinging alongside Green Hippo, providing a preview of the Calico Pro video processor. Incorporating multiwindow,
multi-screen and multi-layer based upon tvONE’s fifth generation 4K/8K, 10bit processing engine on a high bandwidth, 2RU hardware platform. Calico Pro is designed to work with Direct View LED walls, extensive projector edge blends or displays, or a mix of all three.

On the Modulo Pi booth, the company officially launched its updated Modulo Kinetic Version 5 media server, showcasing new features designed for interactive
experiences in permanent installations and live events, with no additional coding required. Modulo Kinetic V5 offers interactivity through the manipulation of physical sensors or by touchless detection and tracking, featuring the capability to interact with video, audio, lights, generative content, machinery and more.

Hologram technology always attracts a crowd, and ARHT Media certainly achieved that with its Capsule holographic display. The setup allowed visitors to see themselves as a live hologram and demonstrated how holographic telecommunication can be harnessed by businesses and global organisations in high resolution with no noticeable latency. Though it’s unclear how solid the foundation is in the industry for this kind of technology, there’s no denying that it’s a lot of fun.

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