Aspire voice-activated Lightstand System announced

A wireless electro-mechanical light stand can rise and lower in response to commands from an iPhone or PC.

A Illinois startup has announced a system that lets photographers adjust light stands by remote control. The Aspire Lightstand System, designed for big studios, is a light stand with a mechanism near the base that raises, lowers and rotates the centre column automatically, allowing hard-to-reach lights to be repositioned more quickly. There is also a wall/ceiling-mount version.

Aspire mechanism
The current system has to be plugged into the mains

The product, made by Chicago-based Aspire Tech Ltd, will be the first voice-activated light stand that doesn’t talk back, as in addition to the company’s own 2.4GHz controller you’ll be able to control the system via iPhone, with Siri-like voice commands coming soon, the company says. The WiFi interface also connects with a free PC/Mac app, but so far there is no Android or Windows Phone support.

In case you think talking to your camera equipment might be misconstrued as a cry for help, you can make adjustments using the in-app touchscreen/desktop interface instead, or adjust the stand directly. The column is raised and lowered by a series of wires and gears mostly hidden inside the lowermost tube.

You’re unlikely to find yourself using these on your one-man location shoots, however, as the smallest and only model so far isn’t exactly portable: it weighs a beefy 7kg and has to be plugged into the mains for the electrically-powered mechanism to work. The heavy-duty Aspire Lightstand 2G2B-TLS will support lights and modifiers up to 6lbs in weight and extend to 7ft, but for mere mortals a much lighter-duty (and cheaper) model should be coming later this year.

No retail dealers have been publicly listed yet, but according to Aspire one US “major distributor” as well as a Chicago rental house have expressed interest. They don’t specify who, or what the street price might be, however.

Would you buy one? What would you use it for? Leave a comment below.

For more information on the Aspire Lightstand System, visit the company web site.

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.