Experience Meets Innovation... and Jumbo Bright is Born!
What do the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pyramids of Giza, the David statue, the Taj Mahal, and the Jumbo Bright Prompter all have in common? Besides being incredible displays of art and science, each was commissioned for production. Specifically, these marvels were conceived from a challenge laid at the door of progressive innovators.
Now, we realize that the Jumbo Bright will probably never make the list of "The 7 Wonders of the Modern World," but when you get next to one of these units, you'll definitely want your picture taken.
Approximately 9 years ago, a request was made for a larger teleprompter system with several displays to be placed far from the stage in what is now the world's biggest theater-style building.
Since this structure is large enough to fit 2 Boeing 747s side-by-side, it needed a prompter system that could accommodate its 21,333 seating capacity.
Early engineering attempts by others were less than adequate, as the units were not bright enough, and some of the audience could read the speech on the prompters.
Our Story Timeline
Practical Application Converges with Science Theory
Enter the Experts
- Dr. Justin Peatross, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, accepts the challenge and joins a team from the Mechanical Engineering Department on what they simply call "the prompter project." Their main directive is to design a teleprompter that is both large and bright enough to be placed away from the speakers, without the audience reading along.
- The next several months pose a great challenge for the team as they juggle designs, components, and formulas to overcome significant engineering hurdles and optical constraints.
- After the initial optical layout is improved, the team begins to focus on construction of the prompter frame. The early stationary model is made from heavy wood and therefore difficult to reposition.
- They discover that the invention is bright enough to be used outdoors – even in broad daylight
- The team completes building a workable prototype. Shortly before the debut event, they are asked to make additional prompters. They complete this request just in time for the initial unveiling. Conference organizers give the team glowing reviews for their new prompters.
- Additional large prompters are built for two other local venues.
- A patent is granted to Brigham Young University for the novel prompter concept.
A Great Big, Large, Huge, Colossal, Jumbo Idea
- Al Azad, a long-time owner/operator of a Salt Lake City based teleprompter company, lays eyes on these new large prompters... and immediately wants his picture taken next to one. He later requests to have one mounted over his fireplace... but his wife refuses.
- Al contacts Dr. Peatross to buy a unit for his prompter company. At first, Al intends to provide these prompters on a rental basis, as he does his standard teleprompters. However, his thinking quickly takes a dramatic shift.
- As he closely examines the potential for this new prompter system, Al wants to make it available to AV professionals on a much larger scale. According to Dr. Peatross, the catalyst to pursue this course is Al's experience in the teleprompter industry, combined with his insistence that people in the field were already asking for a solution that they didn't know existed.
- Dr. Peatross buys the patent from the University.
- Al recognizes that the original model is too bulky and too heavy. He determines that the next version needs to be more portable, light-weight, and easier to use. He asks Dr. Peatross to skip teaching his university classes in order to make these changes – by noon the next day! Dr. Peatross graciously and tactfully sets Al straight.
- A year... and many modifications later... Jumbo Bright Prompters is born.
- Jumbo Bright Prompters begins renting their large prompters for local and national events. The response is tremendous, ranging from immense gratitude to overwhelming excitement.
- Al and Dr. Peatross continue fine-tuning and perfecting the large prompters. People begin inquiring about buying their own system. Preparations are made to make these units available for purchase.
- Kevin D. Gulledge enters the picture. He immediately sees the potential in this innovative prompter system.
- After years of research, product modification, and use in a variety of settings, Jumbo Bright Prompters enters the teleprompter world. And as they say, the rest – is history in the making.