Book Review

Book reviewed 22 April 2014 by Rachel Read.

Few people in the attractions industry can be unaware of the contribution made by Electrosonic to AV technology over the last 50 years.  In fact one of Blooloop’s most read articles is “The History of the Video Wall” by Electrosonic co-founder Bob Simpson.

“Electrosonic: 50 Years on the Audio Visual Frontline” , also by Simpson, is a must for professionals in theelectrosonic founders denis naisbitt michael ray and robert simpson attractions industry.  The book tracks the evolution of Electrosonic from a start-up in two rooms in Greenwich Vegetable Market to a multimillion dollar business headquartered in Burbank CA, as well as some of the people who have contributed to that success.  However, AV professionals will be most interested in the comprehensive Products and Technology section which runs from slide projectors to 4K projection and network technology.  The Projects section is also a treat with a selection of Electrosonic’s projects over five decades.

Founders in 1974

Although we can’t claim to have been completely on top of all the technical information in the book, it was fascinating to see how quickly technology has changed – the images of video recorders which seemed so high tech in the 1980s now look like museum pieces.

Also in terms of the attractions themselves, it’s interesting to see the evolution of the visitor experience as technology delivers more in tune with visitors’ expectations.  This is particularly evident with the EXPO projects which have evolved from slide projections for the UK Pavilion at EXPO 67 Montreal to personal ICT mobile devices allowing interaction with exhibits at the ICT Pavilion for EXPO 2010 Shanghai.

A copy of an article about The Amazing 3D Adventures of Spider-Man from 1999, also makes for interesting reading on an influential and ground breaking project.  Sadly restrictions on reporting in recent years mean that we are unable to have access to similar details about the newer rides.

In summary, packed with information and images, “Electrosonic: 50 Years on the Audio Visual Frontline” is not only the perfect gift for the AV specialist in your life but will also interest anyone interested in theme park history and technology in general.