Last weekend I was in Florida for LDI 2011. Although it was wet and rainy Friday and Saturday morning the convention center was quite sunny, so to speak. From the programmer's perspective i'll give a brief overview of the show.
Electronic Theatre Controls had their "EOS" line of consoles including, Eos, Ion, Element, and the new Gio. The Gio has been released to fit in between the Ion and Eos. That is, a board to fill the gap between the big dog Eos and the high school modular-Ion. It is lightweight, has a scratch resistant surface, and tilt-able multi-touch screens. The software doesn't yet put to use the multi-touch screens, but the hardware is ready.
Jands Vista showed their Vista T2 with their stylus approach (rather than touch screen) to lighting control. Another unique feature is the timeline style of playing/timing cues in a stack.
LSC brought their new Clarity Consoles with three versions in the series including: LX300, LX600, and LX900. I spent some time on the LX300 which is a PC based software with a programming wing. The approach to the LX300 is always having a hand on the mouse. There was no encoders nor was there a numerical keypad. The right hand (if you're right handed) should stay on the mouse at almost all times.
Martin Professional showed their new M1 console. Seemed to be intuitive, but honestly, I didn't spend any time there.
A.C.T. had their booth stocked with the MA Lighting GrandMA 2. They had U2's 360 Tour loaded on each console along with a visualizer. The "stage view" has many more features including camera positions, like front, side, top, etc... more ways to navigate, i.e. panning, orbit, and move. In addition to the 3d stage views there are 2d views too, which are convenient for selecting fixtures. There is a new style layout view (which is quite similar to that on the Jands Vista) where one can orient individual fixtures in free space rather than organizing them on the matrix of boxes in the group pallet. In addition to fixtures, the user can place anything they like in the layout view i.e. other pallets, macros, groups, etc... The 9" multi-touch screen was in easy reach and seemed to be crucial for adjusting colors. The multi-touch function was limited. I was able to adjust Red, Green, and Blue all at once (using different fingers for each), although it wasn't necessary it was neat.
There were several other manufacturers present which I didn't have enough time to visit. BTW, High End and the Hog 3/Roadhog were a no-show. It was a great show and technology is ever-changing. Did you see TMB's model of a house with projection...ghost busters!!! ETC came out with an Android App, aRFR.