DWR Distribution was delighted to welcome the founder of ArKaos, Marco Hinic and colleague Benjamin Bauwens to South Africa for the very first time in August. They visited clients in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and also presented training at DWR’s offices.
ArKaos MediaMaster software and Media Servers offers a solution for show and lighting used all over the world, allowing lighting designers to create visual projection on video screens or LED Walls.
“Although we have worked remotely with DWR for a few years now, it was our first physical contact with South Africa,” said Marco. “I had a feeling that we were in for a nice surprise and indeed we were overwhelmed by the warm welcome and hand of friendship from everyone. I was thrilled I could take a day at the end of the trip to explore the beauty of Cape Town. All we can think of is now is when can we plan to come back!”
This year ArKaos celebrated their 20th anniversary. “We focus on the winning formula which is making our products easy to use and relentlessly pushing their performance. Because of this dedication, we grew a very substantial user base. I think what distinguishes us is that we have a large range of tools that took many years to build. We have purely software products that cost a few hundred euros, to full blown 6 outputs monster servers ready to shine for big events. Of course over the past 20 years, the industry has evolved and we saw our software approach being emulated by many other companies. We are very proud to be leading the way with our contributions in the industry. Our latest product, Kling-Net was developed with the same philosophy in mind - making technology efficient and easy to use. We’ve also got a more exciting products rolling out in the next few months!”
A days training was hosted in Johannesburg and presented by Benjamin Bauwens and Marco and both were encouraged by the good attendance. “I took a group picture of everyone to bring back to our office and share with the team,” said Marco. “Attendees were asked to install their laptops with MediaMaster ahead of time which worked out very well. Their success in doing this on their own beforehand is testament to how user friendly we’ve made the process. During trainings such as this one, we can validate our approach. For example, we had a mix of Macs and Windows laptops and everybody could follow the examples we were showing and quickly start mixing and mapping video. We truly enjoy seeing the new users’ surprised expressions when they are able to manipulate videos relatively quickly and start having fun with it. Within a day, we covered a large range of subjects such as video mixing, DMX triggering, LED mapping, managing multiple video outputs and video mapping. It’s pretty motivating for the delegates to leave the training and have the tools they need to get started installed on their personal machine.”
Marco has a passion for music and one can imagine him, all those years ago, tinkering away as he developed ArKaos, not realising what the full implication of his invention would be. “Music is always around me, from Jazz to Punk and also Classical,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing like Bach to put your brain in the right mood to focus on development! I was my very first user and I still understand the joy of having a new fun tools that help me do things easier and faster. Back in 1996, I created a one window application where you could drag and drop a picture and it was instantly available to be triggered by a music instrument. Just like that, we enabled perfect music visual synchronisation. When we saw how powerful it was, we knew we were onto something back then! In a lot of ways, we did things backwards by creating a tool for us first and then realising that others would want to use the same tool too. In the end, we stay true to our philosophy when creating new versions of our software and we always start from the perspective of the user. We also believe in regularly inviting users in when designing new tools. In our world, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by technology and that’s why we spent a week in South Africa. Connecting to the users in South Africa was very special.”
Marco ends, “We could not have had such a successful training without the dedication of the DWR team so a huge thank you for all of your support! We were very impressed by your professionalism and enjoyed abundant meaningful dialogue with the DWR team. We are excited to see what the next steps are and collaborate together again. We’ve taken to heart your feedback and will give priority to some features to better assist you. We counted 22 companies we visited together, a very impressive number! Thank you for helping us shape the next release to make it more successful for everyone. One last comment, the FOOD was simply amazing!”