The 2009 PLASA Awards for Innovation, together with this year’s Gottelier Award, were presented to a packed audience at the PLASA Show in Earls Court, London – continuing to reflect the wide diversity of products nominated from across the entertainment and installation technology spectrum, ranging from the spectacular to new twists on essential tools of the trade.
Over 60 products were nominated for the Awards, all of which are on display, both on the winning exhibitors’ stands, and in the centrally located Innovation Gallery at PLASA09, which continues until 5.00pm on Wednesday 16 September.
Adam Afriyie MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities and Skills presented the Awards, which were judged by a panel of independent judges drawn from across the industry.
Eight Awards for Innovation were presented, and the judges also singled out three products for a commendation.
The eight Awards for Innovation went to:
LumenRadio (stand 1-D36), for the CRMX Nova, which the judges felt advanced the technology behind wireless DMX distribution. It’s low latency, RDM control and cognitive co-existence techniques will open up more applications for wireless data transmission in harsh radio environments.
D.T.S. Illuminazione srl (stand 1-E42), for the XR300 Beam. The judges were refreshed to see this significant development in existing moving light technology. The XR300 allows full continuous rotation of both pan and tilt axis at some speed which will dramatically increase the creative possibilities using such fixtures.
Robe UK Ltd (Stand 1-F47), for the Robin 300 series PLASMA. The opportunity to deploy new technology in the form of the PLASMA lamp led Robe to perform a ground up rethink and redesign of the traditional moving light. The result is a fixture that impressed the judges with its quality of light, low power of operation and rich list of features.
Cast Group of Companies (Stand 1-G15), for the WYSIWYG R24. The plethora of LED display technology caused Cast to re-evaluate its design and visualisation software which has led to a significant redesign of the graphics engine and fixture attributes. It now allows the full visualisation of modern display technology including video and LED screens and their content.
Coda Audio (Stand 1-H12), for the SC8 Sensor controlled subwoofer. The concept of monitoring sub bass loudspeakers and tailoring the audio input to ensure a good coherent output has existed for some time. Coda are the first though to come up with a novel integration of velocity sensors into actual speaker drivers which has enabled its speakers to be accurately measured and performance compensated in real time.
ETC (Stand 1-G39), for the ETC Selador fixture, a significant step towards the ultimate goal of energy efficient incandescent replacement lighting, ETC has developed this LED fixture with a colour output that gets close to the spectral curve of traditional incandescent source, thereby making LED technology a step closer to wider use in theatres and similar applications.
JoeCo Limited (Stand 2-R10), for the BlackBox Recorder, which the judges said provides a neat, compact solution for capturing multichannel audio and combines ease of use with good functionality; features that will see it deployed in many pro audio applications.
Midiator Vision (stand 2-S9), for the Midiator. The judges felt that this new breed of show controller combines all the creative elements of a show and enables them to be under the control of one designer. It synchronises visual and audio events together via a simple user interface and the Judges noted that “Like a beautiful rug it ties the visual elements of a room together.”
According to the Awards Chairman, James Eade, “This year the entries displayed a range of technological advances which resulted in a considerable amount of products vying for one of the coveted eight awards. We did whittle it down to the eight after a considerable debate, but there are also some notable commendations”.
Those commendations (in no particular order) are;
Klein & Hummel for its SMS speaker installation tools, designed with the specific aim of assisting the installation contractor to install its speakers quickly and reliably.
Artistic Licence for its Two-Play installation DMX controller, a compact unit that combines a DMX recorder and playback device with a host of features for remote control integration and protocol conversion; all at a cost-effective price.
SRS Light Design for its WMC12 Wireless Hoist Controller Unit, a motor controller that the judges felt was well thought out and designed. It is scalable up to 64 motors, useable with any existing systems and features a wireless remote riggers handset.
Finally, the judges chose not to award an Environmental Award this year, as they felt there was no product which in itself offered a significant environmental advantage. However, the Judges did feel that both Element Labs’ Cobra tiles – made from recycled aluminium – and Global Design Solutions’ Liteware event lighting system – which features an optional solar charging facility – were notable for their consideration of sustainable materials and energy.