Empowerment on Display
Saturday, 12 May 2001
London-based Optimusic had an interesting demonstration of a potential application for their product at the Frankfurt ProLight & Sound exhibition in April.

Using just one of the company’s OptiBeam units (see L&SI January 2001), the demonstration featured a display window in a booth, in front of which a single light beam projected down onto a reflective floor-sticker. With the OptiBeam in reverse mode, anyone breaking this beam, intentionally or otherwise, triggers one of a pre-programmed sequence of cues, via MIDI.

Designed by Raymond Haeck of Optimusic’s Belgian distributor Demon, the display was a mock-up of a product showcase. The first cue activated the opaque grey LCD glass, revealing the product (a running shoe!) behind it; subsequent breaks of the beam started the product turning on a revolve, triggered a musical soundtrack, switched on a fan to create a backdrop of fluttering tinsel tassles, then changed the lighting states, and so on, before returning the display back to its original state. This was a simple, but effective, demonstration of how just one of these interactive light units can offer members of the public the power to alter their surroundings in retail, museums, themed attractions, leisure venues, and more.

Optimusic’s Mishka Klotz calls this ‘empowerment’ - placing the power in the hands of a usually passive audience. The levels of empowerment don’t stop there: up to 32 OptiBeam units can control up to 99 pre-programmed cues each - that’s a fair number of cues, just waiting to be created.

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