It was apertus’ first appearance at NAB, the Las Vegas trade show originally named after the National Association of Broadcasters. We only had vague expectations of what would happen at the world’s biggest trade show for cinema gear and film industry supplies. We started our journey with a real ‘American road trip’ after arriving at Los Angeles International from Europe. Our anticipation for the show stretched out during our crossing of the desert after a (naively) unexpected five hour traffic jam in LA stalled our progress.
On the first day of the NAB exhibition we were still skeptical that our voyage would really be worth all the effort. Although we didn’t have to pay for the booth, thanks to the kind support of Denz, it was still an investment of both time and money. We wouldn’t be ‘selling’ anything at the show other than our philosophy, and we thought if people were interested in our project, they could just read about it on the website. So what could we really gain from this?
However we soon realised that actually physically being there made a big difference. NAB is like a small village, and everybody has a small hut (the organiser called them ‘booths’). We visited a few of these huts, and our hut was also visited by quite a number of big camera manufacturers, accessories manufacturers, image sensor manufacturers and more. In these huts we exchanged ideas, contact details, and future plans. It was surprising how open most of these people were. The major difference was that we were talking to engineers directly and not just to the companies public relations representatives. We learned that a lot of the people working for the big names were either crowd funding backers, watching us very closely for a long time, or were die hard AXEÖHM fans.
It was also great to have the opportunity to meet many crowd funding contributors, discuss their feedback and concerns, as well as listening to what people are planning to shoot with their Betas. We brought with us to NAB the very first complete hardware AXIOM Beta prototype with a finished PCB stack and completely tested electronics. There are still minor tweaks and fixes to be done here and there and some PCBS do not have all their features populated/implemented yet, but we are very close to having an operational camera. The software is still in development though, so the Beta we showcased was not outputting live images yet. All in all, we were convinced the desert trek to NAB was a very worthwhile experience for the apertus° team and the future of AXIOM.