2020 Visual 1st Awards go to Profoto, Mobius Labs, Dotphoton and Snapbar

At this year’s just concluded virtual edition of the Visual 1st conference, which focused on promoting innovation and partnerships in the photo and video ecosystem, a panel of high-powered industry experts presented the four Visual 1st Awards to the most outstanding among 28 products competing in this year’s show-and-tell demo sessions. The judging panel for the Visual 1st Awards is composed of prominent representatives of the hi-tech media, intellectual property and investment communities, whose endorsement is so critical to app developers.

This year’s judges were: Sami Niemi, Partner at Spintop Ventures, Anna Dickson, Visual Lead, Google Image Search at Google,,Marcel van der Heijden, Partner at Speedinvest, Andy Kelm, Managing Director, Palmarés Advisors

Best of Show Award: Profoto

Sami Niemi, Partner at Spintop Ventures, and one of the four judges, explained the judges’ choice as follows: “Profoto has leading products in light shaping (Directional illumination) which are hard to replace just by software or by illumination from the camera device only. We really like how the company has embraced the smart phone camera as a revolutionary new platform for future photography with its even increasing quality and creative capabilities. Profoto’s latest smartphone software in combination with their light shaping hardware will take photography to new levels.”

Best Business Potential Award: Mobius Labs

Fellow judge Anna Dickson, Visual Lead, Google Image Search at Google: “As the world becomes a more visual place and the use of imagery continues to expand across professions, understanding, organizing and leveraging those visuals becomes more important than ever. We were impressed by the work that Mobius Labs is doing in the space of AI and visual content management.  There’s an opportunity to grow the use of this technology across any business leveraging visuals today and we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Best Technology Award: Dotphoton

Fellow judge Marcel van der Heijden, Partner at Speedinvest: “When a company founded by two quantum physicists and a professional photographer join forces to build an imaging company, we have to take note. Dotphoton is using deep insights into the quantum processes occurring at the image sensor level to create a lossless compression technology achieving compression ratio’s only seen with lossy methods. With Apple now enhancing support for RAW, the volume and size of images continuing to grow fast, and AI/ML image processing use cases becoming more mission critical in B2B, we believe there’s a bright future ahead for the company.”

Special Recognition Award: Snapbar

Fellow judge Andy Kelm, Managing Director, Palmarés Advisors: “We all appreciated the company’s story of having to pivot with revenues going to zero overnight due to COVID-19. We were struck by Snapbar’s ability to find an unmet need and focus the team to deliver something entirely new so quickly. The early traction of the new product is impressive, and we celebrate the resilient spirit of Snapbar.”

The following companies supported Visual 1st by sponsoring this year’s awards:

Visual 1st Best Technology Award sponsor: Fujifilm

Visual 1st Best Business Potential Award sponsor: Circle Graphics

The companies who competed for the Visual 1st Awards this year by demoing their products to a live online audience of 230 photo & video industry vendors were: Autopilot Print, axle ai, Capsule, Deep Render, Dotphoton, FilmLab, ip.labs, Kaleido, Mediaclip, Mobius Labs, Monument, ON1, Overcast, Photo Lab, PhotoRoom, Phototales, Pixii, PixxiBook, Printbox, Profoto, Snapbar, Solocator, Stampix, The Luupe, Viesus, Vivid-Pix, VsnapU, and Zenfolio.