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Modern theatre lighting rigs are getting more and more complicated. Moving lights are becoming more prolific in both venues and on tours, and yet we are still trying to control them using the same sort of rotary encoders and command-line based interfaces as found on the consoles of almost 30 years ago. Admittedly, such consoles paved the way to where we now find ourselves, and we have a lot to thank them for, but whilst the output technology has moved on, the physical input interface has not.

FocalPoint has been developed as a 21st Century way for programmers and / or designers to literally hold the rig in the palm of their hand, introducing motion control* and augmented reality** to the production desk. It will enable us to quickly and seemlessly realise those creative ideas in our heads, without the interface getting in the way, whilst at the same time utilising the power of our favourite lighting consoles to control the data that it produces. Gone are Pan & Tilt, and in their place is 'put it there', 'stage right', 'stage left', 'upstage', 'downstage', and anywhere in between.

FocalPoint is designed to be scaleable. You don't need smartglasses, you don't need a motion controller. You don't even need a touch-screen computer (but it does make things more efficient!) to begin benefitting from running FocalPoint on your production desk, as even if you need to use a mouse to operate the software, I can guarantee that you will still save valuable time during setup/plotting that can then be used for creative work (or an extra cup of tea).

Inital release will support ETC EOS-series consoles, but I am hopeful of ultimately getting it talking to any other systems that incorporate a suitable way of getting data into the console programatically

* LeapMotion camera required for motion control
** Smartglasses required for augmented reality functions

Copyright © Ian Wilson 2018