Another LDI gone, and with record attendance and exhibit space, the word on the street is that it was an extremely productive show for exhibitors and attendees alike. Immediately post-show, many manufacturers were overheard saying it was the best LDI to date in terms of booth traffic and potential business. Early numbers showed attendance at an all-time high of over 13,500.
And with attendance so high, it was clear attendees were in Las Vegas to see products, products, products. While the Products of the Year were already announced in the October issue, the Debuting Product Awards were selected onsite and presented during the Saturday night awards ceremony that also served as an auction benefiting The ESTA Foundation’s Behind the Scenes charity and raising over $10,000. We have to thank all of the judges who gave many hours of their precious time to walk the show floor, kicking the tires of the debuting products; asking the hard questions—is it ready to ship, how much will it cost, and will it be real or vapor; and for sharing their opinions about what they considered to be the best of the best. There was a lot to choose from; there were a lot of close calls; and at times, some back and forth tug of wars over which judges product pick should win.
In the lighting category, the judges chose the new Wybron for its InfoTrace system. InfoTrace allows scrollers, dowsers, and other DMX devices to be remotely addressed and monitored on a variety of performance standards. “A breakthrough in how to quickly set up, troubleshoot, and maintain any lighting rig, using RDM technology,” say the judges.
The second product in the lighting category went to the EOS console from ETC. The EOS console represents an evolution in the integration of control of conventional luminaries and moving lights; together in a desk designed to meet the changing needs of our industry. The judges felt that the “EOS is a radical move forward in console design that allows everyone to see whichever displays they prefer.”
Honorable mention in lighting went to the Apollo Right Arm moving yoke, which not only can support ellipsoidals, Fresnels, and PARs, but projectors and other devices you want to swing around..
In the rigging and staging category, the judges logged many hours trying out all of the flying toys and tools that make hoisting heavy loads over people fun—and safe. The first award went to SECOA for its Fire Curtain FC3 winch, which is designed especially for flying fire curtains. It features an integrated gear motor and centrifugal descent brake in a compact self-contained unit. The judges liked it for “its size; its price; the ease of installation and operation.”
The second award went to the new Tomcat Sky, a ladder beam truss product and star connectors for overhead, wall structures and limitless configurations. The judges feel that this is “trussing meets erector set.”
Honorable mentions in rigging and staging went to Fisher Technical Services, Inc. for its High Speed Precision Captured Track System and to Applied Electronics for its I-Tube, an extruded tube for fabricating truss with 25% more strength.
In the projection category, one of the best debuting products is Green Hippo’s Hippotizer V3 for outstanding versatile sophisticated and intuitive user interface across multiple platforms. The judges were impressed by the overall ease of operation, image database integration and multiple systems integration.
The second product is Robe’s StageQube 324 for its innovative engineering integrating structural support in each display module. The judges were impressed with how easily and quickly the system was to set up and maintain by replacing any panel anywhere without taking the system apart.
In the sound category, the first outstanding debuting product is the Soundcraft Vi6 console, with an input-to-mix capacity of 64 channels mapped out on two layers under the control of 32 faders, which are motorized. The judges say: “The Harmon Pro Audio Group has really pushed a systems approach through its HiQ audio networking system, with the Vi6 digital console at the center.”
The second sound award goes to the Meyer Sound Constellation™ electroacoustic architecture, a complete package of equipment and services. The judges were impressed that it uses existing VRAS technology and turns it into a complete architectural-acoustic that makes use of walls and ceiling rather than simply reshaping a room’s signature through altering the reverb characteristics.