The winners of the PLASA Awards for Innovation were announced Monday, September 12, during an awards ceremony hosted by PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths on the main show floor at Earls Court. The Awards focus on the best design and development work in the industry. The Awards, which are judged by a panel of professionals, attracted 66 nominations, leading to eight technical awards and an additional award for environmental impact.

The winning products:

Artistic Licence's Visual Patch, a timesaver for converged lighting and video applications, creates an on-screen geographic map of two- or three-dimensional pixel array, while automatically assigning DMX512 start addresses. Described by the judges as another first from an innovative company, the Visual Patch is designed to save hours of programming time in an industry exploding with LED light fixtures.

The judges saw Pharos Architectural Control's Pharos Lighting Playback Controller, distributed by TMB, as a versatile operating system that sets a benchmark for installation controllers. A control system for entertainment and LED lighting in an architectural setting, Pharos supports DMX or DALI color mixing fixtures, dimmable ballasts, and automated lighting. The judges felt that this was a beautifully engineered lighting controller.

Carlsbro's Liberty Wireless System WP-100 is a high-quality audio system that can be used for connecting multiple powered speaker configurations without any loss of quality. Thanks to a receiver system built around two antennas, the signal remains strong and stable at all times. The system picked up an award for its application of modern wireless technology in the field of audio distribution.

The D8++ chain hoist from Hall Stage is a product specifically designed for the event rigging sector. It features a dynamic, irreversible worm gear that prevents a load from slipping–even with extreme overload. The judges felt the D8++ represented a significant advance in its market by employing a mechanism that made it ultra safe and virtually silent.

The SpectraConnecT5 from LDDE is a fluorescent tube characterized by high luminance and compact design. It features the newly developed smooth_operator technology which offers continuous control from 0-100%. It picked up an award because it has finally delivered "a dimmable tube that dims" using existing technology.

Outline's COM.P.A.S.S. is the first robotic speaker enclosure: it can be used alone or combined with other elements to form a vertical line array. Thanks to a sophisticated mechanism moved by five motors, the system can adjust vertical and horizontal directivity simultaneously from 60-150 degrees on the horizontal plane and from 0-15 degrees on the vertical plane, which can be operated via remote software. The judges liked it for its high level of innovation and that fact that it had delivered a solution long overdue.

The FogScreen is a penetrable, immaterial projection surface, consisting of dry fog, made from pure tap water. The fog feels dry and cool to touch, and can be walked through, taking only seconds for the images projected upon it to reform. Images seem to magically float in thin air as there is no frame around the screen. The FogScreen can also be made interactive, with presenters using their hand to write in the fog or control a presentation using their hand as the mouse. The judges believe the FogScreen to be a genuine first, offering a unique effect.

Stage Technologies' BeamHoist is an easy-to-install, cost-effective automation hoist system for lifting scenery and lighting bars. Described by the judges as beautifully engineered, the view is that it will have many more applications than originally conceived.

With the demand for energy efficient technologies growing, an award for environmental impact was re-introduced. In the current climate of impending legislation concerning waste recycling and material use, Osram's aluPAR–a family of lamps which are 66% lighter and up to 10% brighter–proves that the message has been taken on board. Using an aluminium reflector instead of a glass reflector, the lamps also feature a mechanically linked reflector and front lens, ensuring that the aluPAR can be easily disassembled and its components disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

During the ceremony, the £10,000 raised from the entry fees was presented to three charities: the International Committee of the Red Cross; The Live Music Forum, chaired by Feargal Sharkey; and the Elizabeth Foundation. Both Feargal Sharkey and Shirley Metherell, founder of the Elizabeth Foundation, attended the ceremony. For further details on the awards and a list of nominations, visit the PLASA Show 2005 website, www.plasashow.com.