LAS VEGAS, NV—Members of the International Laser Display Association (ILDA) honored the best and brightest in their industry with awards for outstanding technological, artistic and career achievement at the group's annual awards banquet Oct. 23 at the Venetian Hotel. Co-located with the Entertainment Technology Show-LDI,North America's largest entertainment technology exhibit, this year's ILDA meeting featured companies from America, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Russia, many of which received the industry's equivalent of Hollywood's "Oscars" for shows that included outdoor festivals, corporate productions, theme park installations, and special events.
ILDA also presented its first Product of the Year Awards. Cambridge Technology (Cambridge, England) won Laser Display Hardware Product of the Year for its 6215H laser scanner and drivers, which let laserists scan faster and larger images than ever before. The Laser Product of the Year was awarded to Laser Entertainment srl (Milan, Italy) and Laser System Europe (Ruisbroek, Belgium) for their new "Flash" laser, a compact white-light diode-pumped solid-state laser. Laser Visuals Ltd.'s (Sittingbourne, England) new ScanGuard Laser Show Analyzer program was voted Laser Display Software Product of the Year and also won ILDA's prestigious Fenning Award for technical achievement.
ILDA's Career Achievement Award went to Patrick Murphy, a pioneer in laser show software and founder and 15-year president of Pangolin Laser Systems (Orlando, FL). Murphy's software products played a key role in making it possible for just about anyone to create affordable, professional-quality laser shows.
ILDA's artistic awardssaw the addition of three new categories recognizing laser displays in nightclubs and discos, lasers displays used in video and film productions, and laser displays used in live stage performances. There was also a new "Best of Show" category won by LFI International (Bellingham, WA) and Fischer Media Group, honoring what the judges considered to be the most outstanding laser display from among all the winning entries. LOBO electronic of Germany took the most awards, winning three categories, in addition to taking Finalist awards in another seven categories.
In association news, members elected Alberto Kellner of Laser Entertainment srl as the association's new president. Kellner, from Milan, is ILDA's first president from outside the United States. Kellner said it was a "double honor" to be the first non-US president, and thanked the many American ILDA members who supported him for the position. In other action, members voted in favor of a new initiative to create a "Professional" category of ILDA membership. The new category is in response to the desire of members to offer additional benefits to companies that have distinguished themselves in the industry.