Wednesday, April 9, 2014
iTrack Technology Used in Theatrical Production
OU INC client iTrack was responsible in creating the movement of the sets for Sight and Sounds Theatres’ production of Moses. The Lancaster County, Pennsylvania-based theatre’s production of the Biblical story uses the autonomous vehicle technology created by iTrack to bring the production to life.
Having previously designed the technology for the theatre’s production of Jonah, iTrack understood the trials of the creating movement for a large-scale theatrical production. The massive size of the stage and sets, as well as accounting for the safety of actors and onstage animals became challenges for the iTrack.
Since iTrack’s autonomous vehicles run on navigation systems that register on a higher frequency than other technology, such as cell phones and performers’ microphones, the team was not worried about that aspect. They are confident in their technology’s efficiency.
In fact, through working on Jonah and Moses, the amount of moving pieces on stage has quadrupled. “Now we have six pieces moving simultaneously,” says iTrack CEO Jerry Atkinson. “And in this big theatre, running shows two or three times a day, the labor savings are tremendous.” The technology also enables movements on stage in accuracies not realized before.
This labor savings comes from lessening the production crew onstage. Theatre sets, typically manned by crews, they have limited motion and can be hazardous to those moving them. With iTrack’s autonomous sets, sets can move in multiple directions with greater accuracy and smaller tolerances, while keeping the crew safe at the same time.
All the set movements were put together by iTrack, designed solely for Moses. Sight and Sounds Theatres purchased the technology, but with sold out shows and a production scheduled to run until March of 2015, Atkinson knows that the theatre will recoup their costs and more.
Other theatre companies who do not have the funds to purchase this technology for their theatres may want to rent it as well. Atkinson understands that eventually autonomous sets will be more affordable, and therefore more available to these theatres, but it will take time.
“The technology we have right now didn’t exist two years ago,” Atkinson says. “But we’re slowly moving toward that point.”
iTrack is currently working on a variety of projects, including designing autonomous commercial lawn mowers and working with manufacturers in factory and warehousing industries.