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Technology Zone: Multi-Technology

Professional AV has never been about a single technology or a point product business. The reason pro AV exists as an industry and the absolute driver of its continuing expansion is its integration of different, evolving audiovisual and networking technologies into outstanding creative and practical solutions.

This diversity is also the reason why many tech vendors cannot be easily corralled into neatly defined categories. Their innovations are used in a multitude of vertical markets, cross-pollinated by the skills of specialist integrators to deliver new and exciting experiences.

Anyone wanting to appreciate the sheer scope of the AV industry’s innovation should head to straight to the Multi-Technology Zone which lies at the heart of ISE (Halls 3 and 5). In particular, Hall 3 is the location of many of ISE’s flagship exhibitor brands.

The clearest examples of the broad range of technologies in AV projects lie in visitor attractions and live event venues. Many of these are combining cinematic techniques, interactive content and theatrical design to give visitors a sensory experience of fantasy or photoreal environments with a depth of immersion they cannot enjoy at home.

The ability to engage in-presence audiences and remote guests in an interactive way is also crucial to AV going forward. That goes for the AV/IT team in the office as much as the live event producer. 

An overlapping technology which will increasingly tap into data points gathered from our sensor-laden Internet of Things is artificial intelligence.  AI is set to play a bigger role in our workspaces and our creativity, meaning that design skills and our ability to ‘collaborate’ with AI tools are going to be increasingly valuable.

Multi-dimensional formats also point to the future of out-of-home visuals which hitherto have been displayed in 2D on LED screens or projection mapped onto architecture. Three-dimensional illusions created using autostereoscopic techniques are advancing toward true holography of which there will be examples no doubt in the Multi-Technology Zone, given its concentration of projection and image display solution providers.

Related use of technologies such as game engines and powerful processors are fuelling virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences. Extended Reality (XR), which is the catch-all for VR, AR and MR experiences, is playing a fundamental role in shaping our future real-life realities from digital learning and museum tours to CAD design and the digital twins for industrial research and engineering.

XR is entering the enterprise space too, with innovation here an expectation of Gen Z as they join the workforce post university.

Key vendors in the Multi-Technology Zone include manufacturers with a broad range of technologies such as Crestron, LANG and Kramer; makers of displays and/or projectors that serve multiple verticals, including Samsung, LG, Epson, Sharp/NEC, Panasonic, Absen and Christie; and broad-based audio companies including Harman, Shure and Biamp.