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Exclusive: AI and “mixed reality” to be a major theme at ISE 2018, says MD Mike Blackman

Michael Garwood 12 October 2017

In an exclusive interview with AVTE, ISE MD Mike Blackman provides an insight into what visitors can expect at what is set to be another record breaking show in Amsterdam

Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be major themes and discussion points at the 2018 ISE trade show event in Amsterdam, according to its MD Mike Blackman.

Speaking to AVTE, Blackman, who launched the first ISE trade show back in 2004 in Geneva, said the use of AR and VR – two terms he collectively describes as “mixed reality” or “XR” for short, will become increasingly relevant in the B2B space and will be a “major theme” at next years four day show (February 6-9).

Without revealing details about the show, Blackman said he believes AI will become embedded in “everything” in the future, something he teased would be made clear during the event.

He added that AR/VR are already starting to transform industries, such as training with simulators and even marketing, with digital signage now increasingly becoming embedded with facial recognition technology to provide more targeted advertising and awareness of its audience. This he says will only continue to spread across other areas of the business world.

“Pilots have been using simulators for years,” Blackman explained. “But now, using VR/AR, you now don’t have to build these huge machines and environments. Pilot just need to sit in a chair that moves and wear some VR glasses to have exactly the same experience. The solutions are phenomenal.

“So for us, this year its VR and AR – we’re calling MXR. New terminology mixed reality, virtual and augmented mixed reality.”

Not just another AI conference 

However, ISE, he insists, will not just be another conference discussing AI – something he suggests has already been done heavily in recent months and years.

“For me, AI now is too general a subject,” said Blackman. “Yes it’s going to come on more and more in AV and it’s going become very relevant, but it’s not something we have put any specific impetus on as we see it being part of everything.

“What I’d hate to do is to just jump on a bandwagon. I see everyone doing AI this year and I looked at it and asked myself, how do we show the relevance of AI in our business as being something special? So this year we have looked at AR and VR. We see this as something becoming relevant because its getting implemented in more and more sectors.

Training / simulation

At this year’s event, ISE hosted Holovis, who demonstrated its commercial solution for industrial training. The VR/AR experience, also included what it calls a ‘Near Death Crane Fall’, with water and fans adding to the immersive experience of being lifted in the air before plummeting back down to earth.

“We had Holovis in last year who showed a commercial solution to do industrial training. I never thought of using VR for industrial training. They showed me it and I understood it. You can feel the wind on your face and you feel like you were there.

“To take somebody and not just tell them what could happen, but show them and put them in the middle of it – the impact is much, much stronger.”

About ISE

ISE is now the biggest and most attended AV trade show on the planet. Now in its 15th year, the show, which takes place at the RAI Amsterdam attracts more than 73,000 visitors, 1,400 exhibitors and  occupies 15 halls, covering more than 550,000 square feet.

The show has increasingly become a go-to event for ‘end users’, representing more than 60 per cent of the 73,000 that attended last year.

For details on ISE, including how to register, please click here 

A full interview with Mike Blackman discussing all things ISE – past, present and future, will appear in our next magazine, out next month (November).

To receive your complimentary copy, please click here . Or, if you prefer to receive a digital copy click here .

You can also follow us on Twitter @AVTechnologyEurope or contact our editor Michael Garwood directly via email: mgarwood@nbmedia.com

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