ISE 2018: Our favourite things

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit over to Amsterdam to ISE 2018, the largest integrated systems trade show in the world, and have just about recovered!

So what were our highlights? 

Lode - this was a company that we specifically wanted to see as we have been looking for a new audio server and thought the LA4 might be the right fit.  They are a UK based company that creates class-leading music streaming products for the Custom Install industry. Based on a real love of music played in its native form, Lode Audio was created out of a need to re-introduce high-quality music reproduction to the CI market.  We were impressed with what we saw, and with who we spoke to - Ed Stark (CEO) is one of the best examples I have seen in a long time of someone who genuinely cares about what they do. They set up the company partly out of frustration of not being able to find the right product in the market place and decided they could create one themselves ... and they have.  It ticks all the boxes for the vast majority of clients and we'll look forward to having a play with some of their kit with a view to introducing it into our projects.  They say "We care about performance and control", and judging by the support we've already had, they also care about us as the customer too.

Epson Moverio - we made an appointment to see Marc-Antoine on the Epson stand as we are very interested in their smart glasses with binocular OLED display, otherwise known as Moverio BT-300/BT-350.  We have had the pleasure of being able to have a bit of a play-around with this very cool bit of kit in our office as we have some exciting ideas for the future, as one possible platform for our award winning

.be" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Augmented Reality application.  Moving to the head mounted system really takes it to a new level, particularly in assisted living.  There are exciting times ahead!

Artcoustic - Speakers are an important part of any custom installation solution, whether the home owners' priorities are the quality of sound or aesthetics, (making a statement, or completely disappearing from view) or a particular brand.  Chatting to Charlie at Artcoustic they have a great solution with superb sound, a clean, simple look to your colour specification (or image which they can print on the speaker cover) and a easy to understand range of sizes.  They tick all the boxes!

Crestron - as this was the main reason we were over at ISE - both to catch up with our friends in Europe and the US, and to pick up a wonderful Crestron Integration Award - we spent more time on this stand than any other and, boy, was there a lot to see!  We've listed our four favourites here:
* the new HR/TSR-310 handheld remotes
* Crestron's shading solutions, which are now available to our European clients,
* the industry leading DM-NVX video distribution, finally realising true convergence of AV and IT
* and the new Horizon keypads - now we can offer clients a stylish keypad that stands up against the competition  
Despite some initial reservations, mainly fuelled by comments from US dealers, we found the new remotes are actually a great addition to the HR and TSR range.  They look great, felt good in your hand - in fact - we like them so much we've already placed an order for the office!  The blinds finally close the gap to provide a complete Crestron lighting and shade solution.  We work very closely with one of Britain's leading interior designers (janeybutler.co.uk) and their sister company Llama Architects (llamaarchitects.co.uk) who we're sure will be able to find the perfect window treatment from the vast range of options available.  A great benefit is that Crestron can provide fully functional manual roller blind hardware without the more expensive control system automation - allowing clients to gradually "roll" out automated shading in a way to suits their cashflow.

Of course, there was a lot more that this at the show, but for us, these are the stand-out highlights.  Now; we've just got 12 months to recover until ISE 2019!

Please note: These opinions are all our own and haven't been swayed by 'gifts or samples'... though Christmas is only 10 months away guys, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.