For much of the past decade, live events have evolved into immersive experiences that are ideal for audience interaction. Throughout the last 40 years, TAIT has been the leader in advancing these types of experiences and have done so with a dynamic, talented team of designers, engineers, fabricators and integrators. But, the secret sauce is our proprietary technology, TAIT Navigator Automation Platform.
As live event production continues to thrive, so does Navigator; and Kierston Powell, Marketing Coordinator at TAIT is here today with Jim Love, VP of Engineering and Head of Navigator, to discuss the evolution of TAIT Navigator, its hardware and software, and its newest software product, iQ powered by NAVIGATOR.
KP: Hi Jim! Good to see you here today. I think the last time I saw you was at the iQ powered by NAVIGATOR product launch at LDi in Vegas.
Jim: Ah yes, LDi was such a success! We had a great time networking with our clients at our VIP happy hour and giving attendees LIVE demos of our newest entertainment automation software, iQ powered by NAVIGATOR.
KP: We did have a blast! But, before we get into too much detail about iQ, let’s talk about Navigator.
KP: Great! So, there may be a few readers who are unfamiliar with Navigator, can you explain what Navigator is?
Jim: Sure. In a nutshell, Navigator is a powerful entertainment automation platform that maximizes the creative potential for live events. The platform consists of hardware and software products that are designed to control any interface, system or device, from industrial-factory robots to light and sound desks, to winches and pulleys that fly performers through the air to create the most dynamic live event experiences.
KP: So it’s capable of more than just controlling stage machinery, then?
Jim: Yes! It operates more than just stage machinery like winches and lifts. By adding specific products to the platform, we can provide show control to coordinate all the technical aspects of a project.
KP: Ok. So, regarding Navigator products, can you explain the difference between hardware products vs. software products?
Jim: Of course! So, you can think of hardware products as the physical products on the backend which run Navigator’s software products on the front end. For example, our operator consoles, such as Antares, Atlas, Centauri, Compass, or Polaris, would be considered hardware products as well as the hardware products running on the backend such as NAV ESA, NAV Server, NAV Point, or the Estop Pendant. Hardware products are used to control the individual pieces of equipment as well as act as the platform’s safety system. On the other hand, Navigator software products include the Navigator GUI and iQ powered by NAVIGATOR. Software products allow users to interact with the platform while the hardware products are doing all of the behind the scenes work such as keeping the system safe, moving the motors, or controlling the hydraulics. Make sense?
KP: Yes. Do you have to be an automation genius to be able to use the Navigator Platform?
Jim: You certainly do not have to be an automation genius to run Navigator. In fact, Navigator is used in so many facets of entertainment and each facet uses the platform’s capabilities in a different way. For example, a Navigator user could be a high school student on summer break operating a ride at a theme park. On the flip side, it can also be used by the smartest automation tech in the business who is operating the most complex show in a very short amount of time. Needless to say, the prospective Navigator user varies depending on how they intend to use the platform, but at TAIT, we strive to simplify the Navigator automation platform as much as possible so that all roadies, operators, programmers or commissioners can operate it.
KP: Alright, so, different users have different titles. Can you explain the difference between operators, programmers and commissioners?
Jim: Sure thing! We like to classify Navigator users into three categories: operators, programmers, and com