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The 5 top tech trends from ISE 2020

The Canon stand at ISE 2020.
ISE 2020, the world's largest exhibition for AV and systems integration professionals, was dominated by 8K, laser projection and immersive, creative solutions. Canon showcased the latest 8K technology in its 8K Experience Zone, allowed visitors to try out new products and demonstrated the best in image projection.

From new possibilities in projection to ultra-high definition 8K displays and seamless integration solutions, visitors to this year's ISE show were able to explore the future of technology.

Held at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 11-14 February, ISE 2020 brought together experts and customers from a variety of sectors for a showcase of the latest in AV and systems integration solutions. This year marked a notable shift from products to solutions, with less static product showcases on the event floor and more end-to-end systems – featuring immersive displays, virtual reality, simulators and projected video walls.

From the many live, dynamic demonstrations of solutions-led systems this year, here are our top five tech trends from ISE 2020.

A Canon XEED laser projector.
Laser projectors were the talk of ISE 2020. A range of Canon XEED laser projectors were on display, showcasing incredible optical performance and 4K projection. The Canon XEED laser projectors also featured in the 8K Experience Zone and Pro AV production simulator.
A side profile of a woman standing in front of an image of a city projected onto the wall.
Canon also showcased its projection walls at ISE 2020. Canon has used laser projectors to create immersive wall displays for German corporate security company Dallmeier, and to bring museum exhibitions to life. At one museum in Milan, 29 Canon XEED laser projectors were used to transmit over 40 million pixels onto the surfaces of the installation.
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1. Laser projectors lead the way

"Walking around the stands this year, it's clear that the industry is heavily stacked towards laser projectors, even low brightness laser projectors, which are a new trend in the projection market," says Canon's European Product Marketing Specialist, Matthew Koshy.

Lamp-based projectors appear to be a dwindling projection technology. Their initial price may be lower, but when you factor in servicing and maintenance costs, laser projection costs the same – or less – over the lifetime of the product. Other benefits of laser projection include 20,000 hours of continuous run-time, quieter operation and units that run at cooler temperatures.

"Low brightness laser projectors now output at around 4,000 lumens, compared with the 6,000 lumens the market is used to," Matthew says. "This easily competes with lamp-based projection units."

The Canon 8K Experience Zone at ISE 2020.
The Canon 8K Experience Zone demonstrated how easy it is to create an 8K image with four Canon XEED 4K6021Z laser projectors. Each projector was fitted with a Canon RS-SL06UW lens, creating an unrivalled display.

2. 8K displays are the higher-definition future

With projectors, LED walls, video walls and large format displays now offering high-resolution 8K capabilities, users seeking more immersive, true-to-life experiences now also expect more from their content creation and display systems. At this year's ISE, Canon showcased its latest high-resolution kit, including the Canon 7x10.7 KAS S portable zoom lens for 8K broadcast cameras.

"Canon is unique in that it has a full imaging ecosystem with an 8K end-to-end system," says Matthew. "This gives users the ability to create and output native 8K content."

Museums, art galleries and exhibitors will find this kind of high-resolution system really useful. The corporate world is also keen for high-resolution ecosystems, as Canon discovered when it built a bespoke 12K projection system for German corporate security company Dallmeier, in 2019. Though 12K remains a one-off, 8K benefits the digital signage sector for corporations that want to grab attention in their reception areas or shop windows.

A Canon lens and camera in a display case, showcasing the latest in 8K technology at ISE 2020.
8K was the talk of the show, and Canon showcased its latest technology, including the Canon 7x10.7 KAS S lens and the Canon 8K super 35mm Camera, both not yet commercialised, but offering visitors a glimpse of what's to come.
The Holodeck at German corporate security company Dallmeier, with its 12K curved screen for immersive projections.

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3. Projection offers creative, immersive solutions

It's increasingly rare for users to buy a single projector to create a single image – fixed displays are now a much more economical solution for this kind of task. As a result, some people assume the projection market is dying. In fact, it is simply shifting towards more sophisticated systems. Multiple projectors can create curved screens and innovative designs, as seen in flight and driving simulators, where the display needs to envelop the user in a reliable and accurate way. This also ties in with developments in virtual reality, making projection a frontrunner in terms of flexibility and cost.

"Canon has demonstrated this complex but immersive experience first-hand," says Matthew. "In 2019, the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands featured 21 projectors with a fleet of interchangeable lenses across four exhibitions."

An XEED inspired simulator being used by the robotics laboratory at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
The Bristol Robotics Lab at the University of the West of England, UK, is using an XEED inspired simulator in its robotics laboratory to achieve new levels of realism.
A Canon camera and two camcorders on the Pro AV production simulator stand at ISE 2020.
The Pro AV production simulator offered filmmakers the chance to try the Canon EOS C200 cinema camera, and the Canon XF705 and Canon XA55 camcorders. Footage of a live concert was projected from a Canon XEED 4K5020Z laser projector, with a Canon RS-SL06UW lens, to simulate a live shooting scenario.

4. The digital signage market is flourishing

Digital signage was visible on almost every stand at ISE 2020, either as an LED wall, large-format display or video wall created from multiple panels. Manufacturers are now providing their own proprietary digital signage software, offering businesses an end-to-end solution that helps to increase brand loyalty and means fixing or updating systems can be done more quickly and easily – although such designs can prove more difficult to fix when using third-party software or hardware.

"The end-to-end solutions and proprietary software being released means bigger displays are more flexible," says Matthew. "Rather than horizontal or vertical orientation, displays can now be connected in diagonal or diamond patterns to make unique shapes that stand out from the competition."

The projection market takes this flexible approach one step further, offering users further creativity with curved surfaces. Laser projectors are ideal for digital signage because they can be left on without the worry of a lamp bursting or brightness waning. In fact, laser projectors are now so bright they can easily compete with ambient lighting. Canon's brightest projector in the digital signage market outputs at 7,000 lumens, with bigger rental and live event units reaching 35,000 lumens.

Canon's European Product Marketing Specialist, Matthew Koshy, talks to a man and woman on the Canon stand at ISE 2020.
Canon's European Product Marketing Specialist, Matthew Koshy, talks about the products on the Canon stand at ISE 2020.

5. Boardrooms are going wireless

Meeting rooms and boardrooms around the world are beginning to abandon unsightly HDMI cables, adapters and accessories in favour of simple wireless systems. Most examples rely on a 'plug-and-play' approach: a receiver plugged into the display sits on the wireless network, removing the need for proprietary adapters and cross-platform compatibility, and saving time and effort both at the start and end of meetings. Alternatively, wireless dongles allow users to plug-and-play with multiple devices, without the need for wireless network connectivity from the device user. Some systems offer the option of casting multiple devices simultaneously to the display, and the ability to write in real-time for increased productivity and creativity.

Σύνταξη: Jason Parnell-Brookes


For more on Canon's presence at ISE, read Matthew Koshy's blog post ISE 2020 - The digital storytelling era. You might also like Ryuhei Kamata's blog post Imaging systems: the new end game.

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