ISE 2024

11 Mar 2024

Barcelona Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of AI

by Jason Allen

I went into this show expecting to see a lot of new products with AI running under the hood. Last year, Biamp’s Parlé video conferencing bar and Williams AV automatic language captioning systems blew me away with capabilities that I’d never seen before.

Both used AI, and I was particularly struck by Biamp’s use in noise reduction – what I heard was impossible using any form of traditional audio processing.

I expected a flood of new products that used this powerful technology in a range of ways I’d never thought of. After all, the real value in AI is that you can train it to change what’s ‘bad’ into what’s ‘good’ and apply that to any digital data. So I was surprised to see… not much at all.


Sure, the term AI was everywhere at the show, especially in the lectures and keynotes made by numerous artists working in digital fields, who were all using it to create spectacular visuals, music, and text. But not in the gear. Yet.

Getting Cloudy

What was a solid trend in the digital realm is putting everything in the Cloud. Yes, control and monitoring of your gear, but it’s so much more than that.


The most extreme example of going into the Cloud was a teaser of Clear-Com’s new Gen-IC cloud intercom system. This audacious leap from hardware to software-as-a-service enables event teams across the world to connect virtually using computers, tablets and phones. Clear-Com ‘spin up’ an instance (to use Amazon Web Services parlance) and you pay according to size and duration. Of course, you can connect it to Clear-Com hardware too.

It’s scalable; 12 or 24 Channels, 8 to 384 Virtual Clients, and up to six linked Gen-IC instances, running securely on public internet and cellular networks.

Q-SYS is Tracking You

One notable exception was QSC Q-SYS’s integration of Seervisions’ AI-based presenter tracking technology. Its AI brain can identify what’s human and what’s not, and track the body, giving it the ability to direct PTZ cameras to follow a whole person, or go to a headshot. It can also have ‘zones’ designated in it that will cut to a different camera, or tell the presenter to get back in the shot when they go outside the area.

Shure Cloud

Shure were previewing a beta version of Shure Cloud, a powerful new software platform to control, monitor, log, maintain and measure performance across their now huge range of products for education, corporate, institutional and more.

Fohhn Gateway

While most manufacturers approach Cloud management by having every single device connected directly to the network, German loudspeaker and amp manufacturer Fohhn have taken a simpler, and possibly more secure

approach. This unassuming black box is the Fohhn Gateway, previewing at ISE. The Gateway provides a single point of connection to the internet for a Fohhn system, eliminating the need for every single piece of the system to have a network connection. Instead of what could be hundreds of connections, this single point of entry is easier to keep secure, while still allowing full access and control.

dBTechnologies Aurora Net Cloud

Similarly, loudspeaker and amp manufacturer dBTechnologies are moving their AuroraNet control and monitoring platform into the Cloud, supporting their growing range of installation products. Chatting with their product manager, it was interesting to see Cloud migration from a manufacturer’s perspective. Yes, the end user gets to oversee their systems from a laptop wherever they are in the world, but the manufacturer gets data; lots of data. They can see how their products are actually used, globally. Are most users dropping in a filter at 1.6kHz on a certain speaker? Let’s revisit the design to make it flatter. Are certain features never used? Cut them to make the product cheaper. The potential for improvements in product, price, and customer experience are huge.

LEA Connect Series

LEA Professional amplifiers were born Cloud-ready. The company is only four years old, and their amplifiers were built from the ground up for the network era.

Uniquely, LEA Professional amps use a built-in Amazon Web Services IoT Core. The LEA Cloud Platform offers remote control and monitoring capabilities that can be accessed from anywhere without the need for a VPN connection. Integrators can connect, manage, and deploy amplifiers at scale and maintain peace of mind with secure connections and data with end- to-end encryption. This provides a unique opportunity for new recurring revenue streams for integrators to add to their service contracts.


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