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Display technology trends at ISE 2017

Visual technologies are always an important part of the ISE experience, and the 2017 proved to be no exception. Here are some of the key trends in displays, projection and digital signage that were evident on the show floor.

New LED technologies: OLED displays were central to LG’s stand, while Samsung launched its QLED (quantum-dot LED) displays and Sony was showcasing its CLEDIS (crystal LED integrated structure) technology for the first time at an ISE show. All of these offered impressive performance, with strong colours and high levels of contrast.

Show attendee Paul Childerhouse, group director at integrator Pioneer Group, said: “The stand-out part for us was the OLED displays on the LG stand. We are seeing a surge in internal communications as a vertical for digital signage, so the LG totems and OLED stretch products were really timely for those kind of applications, as well as dedicated digital signage displays from a lot of the leading manufacturers.” (Pictured is an 88in vertical stretch OLED display from LG, alongside an even-bezel videowall.)

His view was echoed by Jim Harwood, managing director of integrator Focus 21: “LED was everywhere, which reflects just how much that technology is at the forefront of projects in all kinds of verticals, from corporate to retail. LG’s OLED and transparent LED were both major draws and the creativity of the flexible displays will look great in a statement lobby space.”

Projection: The trend to lampless projection continued, with few exhibitors not having one or more solid-state models on display. Additionally, many manufacturers launched single-chip DLP models in the 5,000-15,000 lumen range. “This reflects the appetite for medium- to high-brightness but otherwise lowly spec’d product in mainstream installation areas,” said Chris Mcintyre-Brown, an analyst with Futuresource.

Additionally, with flatpanels continuing to displace projectors in traditional smaller room environments, projector manufacturers demonstrated applications that played to the technology’s greater flexibility, including mapping and digital signage.

Digital signage: The strongest trend in digital signage was the growth of system-on-chip (SoC) displays. Samsung’s SoC offering made use of its Tizen operating system, while others, including Panasonic, Philips and Viewsonic models were using the Android platform. “Panasonic’s new AF1 digital signage series was a particular hit with the Focus 21 team with its Android connectivity,” commented Harwood.

Interactive displays: With collaboration a popular theme within the industry at the moment, many manufacturers were offering interactive panels, including BenQ, InFocus, Panasonic, Samsung, Viewsonic and Vivitek. NEC launched its Infinity Board all-in-one meeting room solution.

Martyn Barnett, managing director of visual communications integrator RMG Networks, noted an increased solutions focus from exhibitors. He explained: “We gave a talk each day on the Ashton Bentley stand about live data visualisation and the power of visual communication in the internal communications environment. The positive reception we received reflected a move from the industry to focus on the content and interactivity of displays rather than on the hardware itself.”

Creativity: Blair Parkin, principal at AV consultancy TEECOM, outlined a trend relating to creativity in the use of display and other visual technologies. He said: “The immersive array of new display technologies, LED screens, curved display panels, very short-throw projectors with no lamp, LED lighting controlled via network and much else besides, is unleashing a new wave of designing and leveraging audiovisual-based installations that are appealing, have an amazing user experience at their heart and are designed in inspirational new ways. A good example was the short-throw projection onto two-sided circular screens on the NEC booth. Also worth a mention was the very creative application and demonstration of technology on the LG booth.”