AV Awards 2018


To create dramatic, crowd-grabbing  experiences for the 20th Anniversary celebration of the AV Awards at Grosvenor House. The AV Awards recognise and reward excellence across the audio-visual industry.

The idea was to mirror the event’s creative circus and steampunk themes while embellishing with cutting edge AV technology.

A selection of London’s leading creative agencies and production technology innovators were invited to share their ideas with the AV Magazine Team at a Dragons’ Den-style presentation day. The companies with the most unique, impressive and on-theme suggestions were then chosen to collaborate to bring the show to life.



INITION came up with three solutions: to bring steampunk host Gizmo and his clockwork suit to life, develop a tablet based game as part of a sponsor prize initiative and to develop an interactive giant Steam Mirror.


INITION were immediately drawn to the AV Awards branding, particularly the circus host – Gizmo.

“We wanted to propose something beyond the typical AR/VR solutions so often deployed and unanimously decided to bring a live version of Gizmo to the awards” said Vince McAtamney of INITION.

Firstly, an actor had to be found to play the part of Gizmo.  His remit; to be bold, confident, comfortable using tech, as well as suitably strong, as the suit weighed around 45lbs. Moustache – a bonus!

Actor sourced, the bespoke suit was designed and constructed by our partner team Einstein’s Octopus. Using official pantone and brand guidelines supplied by the event company, the suit was embellished using a leather exoskeleton over a copper frame to house the technology.

The suit was an ingenious combination of AV equipment provided by the sponsors including Sure’s classic chrome mic and LG tablets mounted front and back to Gizmo’s torso, with smartphones displaying sponsors content to each upper arm. This high tech was cleverly contrasted with antiquated features such as steam whistles and mechanical levers and pulleys for the authentic circus punk look and sound.

The suit also comprised
– a bespoke time-challenge game which outputted scores to a remote leaderboard.
– a head-cam which streamed live picture to remote screens around the venue.
– Gizmo mic to allow him to address the audience.

Steam Mirror

The steam mirror added a fun element by allowing guests to be “Gizmo’d”.

An old fashioned looking, gilt-edged, floor standing mirror frame with steampunk machinery such as pipes, boiler, wheels and pulleys, encapsulated a monitor mounted in portrait position allowing guests to see themselves reflected Gizmo style.

The Steam Mirror utilised Facial Tracking, Unity and ARCore. 3D elements such as the hat, moustache, and monocle were created by INITIONs in-house content developers. These were then sewn into a user-friendly interface which invited guests to choose items to ‘wear’. Selected items were placed virtually against the user’s image on screen by the webcam. Guests were given the opportunity to capture the picture and share via social media, accompanied by sponsor branding.


Although the technology used for Gizmo is not unique in itself, its implementation within the confines of a working moving and wearable suit completely breaks new ground. This resulted in a humanly interactive experience to be enjoyed simultaneously by a wide group of people.

The Steam Mirror really did achieve the ‘showstopper’ objective. Combining new with old, traditional entertainment with modern social media. These bespoke pieces will now be rolled out by the sponsors for future events.

Participating sponsors logos and products were incorporated and promoted through these extraordinary media.

Ultimately, over 1,200 people experienced the unforgettable, immersive industry celebration at Grosvenor House with an even wider audience through the additional media channels.