The winners of this year’s PLASA Awards for Innovation were announced last night at PLASA Show at Olympia London. The awards, run in association with LSi magazine, are respcted industry-wide for celebrating future-focused technology that improves safety, efficiency and performance through new methods and materials.
40 products were entered this year, with the judges ultimately awarding eight products, including one highly coveted Gold Award. This year’s judging team comprised 12 independent technical specialists from a wide array of backgrounds, chaired once again by the chartered engineer and LSi columnist, James Eade.
The winning products and judges’ comments are listed below:
Astera, PlutoFresnel: The judges said that the versatility of this battery powered Fresnel-come-profile is unmatched and it will find a home in many rental companies.
Code Audio, SPADE: The judges felt that although flat panel speaker technology is not new, this product provides an innovative approach to the market need for wall speakers to be heard and not seen.
Elation, Netron EN6 IP: The judges say that this device brings lighting control distribution and format conversion to the outdoors at an accessible price point.
Funktion-One, VX M-BEAM: The judges were impressed by the innovative speaker rigging system and how it will enable greater use of the products in venues with single-point hangs.
Martin, MAC Aura XiP: The judges say that this product brings a different, considered approach to IP rating to the table without compromise on weight or output. “With an innovative lens system, it is indeed the first nodding bucket!”
Robe Lighting, Footsie: The judges say that this product will be welcomed by anyone who needs to route cables across the front of the stage. Integrated safety marking lights, performer markers, integration with the Robospot, coupled with the ability to light actors in a traditional manner impressed the judges.
Robe Lighting, iForte LTX: “The full feature set in an IP-rated enclosure allows the light to be used as a long-throw or short-throw followspot, as well as a good moving light. “Coupled with the interchangeable camera, the combination of features impressed the judges.”
Each year the judges also have the option to award a Gold Award in recognition of outstanding innovation. This year, they decided to award one to…
Brompton Technology, Tessera G1: The judges said: “This unassuming circuit board demonstrates true future-focused innovation, and facilitates the next generation of video panels. It is a true enabler for those manufacturing RGB LED video products with high frame rates. And the developers have considered a wide range of applications. It will prove a game-changer for virtual productions and the use of LED in TV and film.”
In addition to the winners, the judges commended six additional products, which are:
Cameo, PixBar 400 IP Generation 2: The judges commended this product for the innovative rigging and integration hardware.
Innovate Audio, panLab Console: This is commended for making spatial audio available to the masses.
Offstage Controls, Protocol Emulator with RDM Net: The judges felt this is a great training tool for the next generation of lighting technicians.
Singularity (UK), Art Net Compliance Tester: This software is commended for its ability to give end-users confidence in their products as well as enabling manufacturers to check their equipment.
SpectralBot Djinni & the SpectralBot Platform: The judges praised this product for showing a glimpse of the future of systems integration.
APT-GB, conn AV: The judges felt that this is a really useful Swiss Army Knife of AV integration at a good price point.
Judging chair James Eade, comments: “This year’s PLASA Awards for Innovation saw a very high standard of entry, this led to a larger than usual number of commendations. And of course, the Gold Award which was awarded to Brompton Technology for their unassuming yet future-focused circuit board.”
Following the Innovation Awards, a prestigious Gottelier Award was presented to Howard Eaton of Howard Eaton Lighting. This award, named after renowned industry innovator Tony Gottelier, recognises individuals or teams of people who have made sustained and significant contributions to the development of entertainment technology.
Howard Eaton is well-known for their bespoke solutions which have brought magic to countless theatrical productions around the world. From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s flying car, to the crashing chandelier in The Phantom of the Opera, to the flying Olympic rings at London 2012. Upon receiving his award, Howard said, “Thank you, I’m rather overwhelmed, I did not expect this! Thank you to all those who voted and thank you to PLASA – it’s a great honour.”
Find out more about the awards at www.plasashow.com/awards