Industry Innovator Award

No person was ever honored for what he received.
Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

Calvin Coolidge

30th U.S. President

Laser Tag Industry Innovator Award


The laser tag Industry Innovator Award is a special and very rare honor presented to an individual in recognition of their significant contributions towards the advancement, development and growth of the laser tag industry. Only three Industry Innovator Awards have ever been presented. Those honors have been given to acknowledge the following individuals for their tremendous contributions to laser tag.


Industry Innovator Award Presented on Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mr. George A. Carter III is the founder and inventor of the first commercially viable laser tag product known as Photon. Mr. Carter is regarded as the father of the laser tag industry. Photon laser tag became a world-wide phenomenon and spawned many of the competitors that exist today.

Photon’s grand opening was held on March 28, 1984 in Dallas, TX with 30 player units and a 7,000 sq. ft. arena that did not have black lights.  Photon opened to great excitement and drew national exposure in mainstream media, newspapers and TV news shows.  Ultimately, there were approximately 47 different Photon franchise locations opened throughout the world.


The Laser Tag Industry would not exist without the efforts of George Carter III and his team.  His vision and persistence created the sport of laser tag and the entertainment activity enjoyed by millions of players every year.

It is quite fitting that the first Industry Innovator Award was given to Mr. George Carter III.  Our industry must thank George and Photon for the contributions that created the laser tag industry.



Industry innovator Award Presented on Thursday, November 12, 2012

Mr. Martin Shoebridge received the Industry Innovator Award for his contributions to the laser tag industry development and growth.  The award was presented to Martin at the annual International Laser Tag Association’s Industry Dinner held in Orlando, FL.  The Industry Dinner was held during the IAAPA trade show week and provided an opportunity for the major suppliers, operators, developers and prospects to gather and share in the enjoyment of being in the laser tag industry.


Martin received the Industry Innovator Award for his contributions in the creation, development or assistance with at least five different laser tag manufacturers.  Martin was instrumental in product development for Laser Force (UK), Pulsar, Laser Chaser, Actual Reality and Veqtor.  No other person has helped create as many different laser tag systems as Martin Shoebridge.

The presentation was emotional for everyone in the room. Martin was flown all the way from the UK without knowing the true reason for being in the audience.  His wife, Carol, was also present to see Martin be presented with the award. The Industry Innovator award has only been given out once before and that went to George Carter III for the creation of Photon and the laser tag industry.

Martin has truly been overlooked in the history of the laser tag industry and the award will be the beginning of understanding just how much he has helped the industry to grow with little personal benefit.



Industry Innovator Award Presented on  Friday, May 19, 2020