By Mark Warburton, Ivory Egg.
Once again ISE has broken all records with over 80,000 attendees visiting the 1200 exhibitors over the four-day event. With a new hall added to support the demand from manufacturers, the show was even bigger than ever. Even before the show officially opens, there is the Smart Building Conference along with various training courses, making it a very full-on week.
Smart Building Conference highlights
The Smart Building Conference built on previous years with a great host of speakers covering all manner of topics, from using big data in order to optimise the way cities are managed, to the latest development of wireless technology and standards.
One of the most interesting presentations was delivered by Kevin Flanagan from PLP Architecture – the design architects for The Edge building in Amsterdam. This innovative building uses IT and smart sensors to create a truly thoughtful building, and it is setting a new standard for how technology can be used to make a better, more productive work environment.
President of KNX UK, Iain Gordon from GES Digital, presented an interesting perspective on how the underlying engineering of KNX is not seen as pretty or glossy but provides a rock-solid foundation to the system, allowing all kinds of solutions of various performance and style to be offered. He also drew some interesting comparisons between the cut-throat nature of the building market and how important it is to focus on the value you can add to a project, not just on the price.
At the show itself, KNX solutions were once again visible across the event, especially as KNX had an additional stand in Hall 1, thus further increasing exposure of the KNX standard. The main KNX stand in Hall 9 was always busy, especially around the showcase of various KNX manufacturers.
With Light + Building just around the corner (March 18 – 23), it was clear that most KNX manufacturers were holding back the launch of new solutions, but there were still a few interesting developments at ISE.
One of the most advanced products was the KNX Edge IP interface from Redfish. Taking advantage of the new KNX IP standard, this interface will be one of the first to be certified by the KNX Association, and with an impressive 25 tunnelling connections and support of its ‘KNXanywhere’ cloud solution, this is a big step forward in the ability to securely link to KNX.
ABB launched its new keypads – the Tacteo range of keypads. These are designed for both hotel and residential use and feature black or white glass capacitive touch keypads. Inscription of the keypads is possible, creating a clean and simpler interface that is suitable for use in hotel or residential environments.
Lithoss showcased its new range of trimless keypads, taking its well-known Square and Select ranges and making them even more elegant by fully recessing them in the wall.
Intesis continue to migrate its extensive range of interfaces onto its new hardware platform the Intesibox V6. Along with a new programming software ‘MAPS’, this new platform is a step forward in both performance and form factor. In addition to a BACnet and Modus interface, now Mitsubishi central AC units can be integrated with this simple and easy-to-use interface.
Although not new, both Black Nova and Digi valet were showcasing their guest-room solutions which offer the ability to create a guest experience that is second-to-none. Seamlessly integrating KNX-based room control, TV, entertainment, concierge, housekeeping and booking into one app and platform creates new ways of exceeding guests’ expectations whilst streaming the facilities and service management, thus reducing costs and optimising the use of staff.
There were, of course, many AV solutions, with a lot of focus on user interaction and control, and in the professional halls, every second exhibitor seemed to have an interactive display for boardrooms and remote meetings. There were also some amazing digital signage solutions with a lot of holographic and modular screen solutions.
Amsterdam is an amazing city in which to host an event along with such a varied and interesting nightlife, but with ISE pushing the capacity of the RAI centre, it is going to be a difficult few years for the organisers as they make the decision whether to stay at the RAI or move to a larger venue somewhere else in Europe. With a total floor space of 87,000m2 it is actually quite a small exhibition space compared with, for example, Messe Frankfurt at 367,000m2. So in a way, attending ISE is a great warm up for the forthcoming Light + Building show!
Mark Warburton is the Technical Director of Ivory Egg (UK) Ltd, a supplier of leading KNX products and provider of KNX training courses.