At just 50 years into the so-called “Digital Revolution,” today’s consumers and work force take for granted the fact that — up until the early 1980s — all of the household gadgets, business machines, and industrial machines we rely on were once powered, controlled, and connected by mechanical and analogue systems. From medicine to aerospace, from telephony to automotive, from building systems to home white goods – nary a device exists today doesn’t have a hard-working PCBA in its innards.
The Cascade Systems team was recently reminded of this easily overlooked truth – and how the digital revolution both continues and, indeed, is accelerating — when a producer of advanced, LED lighting systems for movie sets charged us with helping them manufacture an advanced control system that enables precision, on-set lighting to be deployed (not unlike a film’s soundtrack) to better evoke mood, emphasize on-screen action, or even pinpoint actor’s expressions. (I can’t divulge the name of the first movie that’ll use it, but suffice it to say it will be exciting to see it when it is released to a theater near you – or, if need be in the Covid-19 era, on your laptop, home theater, or TV… Each of them also enabled by advanced PCBAs, I might add!)
Of course, lighting is just a fraction of the PCBA-enabled infrastructure on a film set that’s rich with opportunities for innovation or, continuance of the aforementioned ‘revolution.’
In fact, beyond the equipment a layman would expect to find on a set (e.g. cameras, lighting, booms, tracks, motorized dollies, hand-held and body-mounted rigs, etc.), a typical shoot requires a vast array of ancillary gear like monitors, sound boards, lighting controls, power supplies, special effects generators, teleprompters, headsets and speakers, and much, much more… All of it reliant on and enabled by onboard, PCBA-based computing power.
Neat as that is to our firm and electronics devotees, what CST finds most interesting and invigorating are the functionalities and possibilities that tomorrow’s PCBA technology will allow us to bring to an application like this.
Point being, with each new innovation at the board level come a host of equally intriguing and exciting innovations at the equipment level. It just takes an OEM with commitment to imagine and offer it, PCBA manufacturers and other partners nimble and creative enough to help execute it, and an end-market eager to adopt it.
Got an idea for a breakthrough product in the film industry – or any other sector for that matter? Send me a note and we can imagine it together!
– Shantanu R. Gupta,
CEO — Cascade Systems Technology