With the annual Augmented World Expo (AWE) going online this year, they’ve taken the XR technology awards show Auggie Awards with them. Nominations closed last week and public online voting is now open.
The initial idea for this article was to write a review of all of the nominations. However, when public voting opened, a striking 208 companies, applications, games, and devices had been nominated.
So, instead, let’s take a look at how voting works and what the timeline looks like for the rest of the awards.
Voice of the People
The public nominations period lasted from December 4 to April 20. During that time, anyone with an AWE profile was able to nominate their favorite examples of XR technology, applications, and organizations in fifteen categories.
Having a profile to vote for Auggies is free. It’s different from having an account and ticket to attend the AWE’s online offerings. When you register with a profile, you get 100 votes, with no more than five to be used in each category.
As to be expected, the selection for each category varies drastically. “Best Enterprise Solution” has over 20 contenders. Meanwhile, Best Interaction Software only has two.
Some nominees are in multiple categories but can only get one vote. Between that and the small number of nominees in some categories, it’s technically possible to vote for every nominee in a number of categories.
There are an additional five categories that can’t be nominated by the public but are awarded by the judges. (We’ll meet the judges in a moment.) Those categories are Best in Show for both Augmented and Virtual Reality, Startup to Watch, the Nextant Award for a pioneer in XR technology, and the Awesome Award for a “moonshot concept or prototype.”
Public voting is used to narrow down the 208 nominations that we mentioned above to five finalists in each category. That’s where the judges come in. Public voting is currently open and ends on May 8.
Some of the categories have long and storied histories that make the event even more fun. For example, WebAR content creation tool and platform Zappar is a nominee for their tool ZapWorks – the third consecutive year that the XR technology company has had an Auggie nomination.
“We’ve been keen followers of the Auggies since their launch and are honored to have two Auggie awards proudly displayed at Zappar HQ that we picked up in 2018 and 2019. It’d be great to make it three in a row and scoop best Authoring and Publishing Tool for 2020,” Zappar co-founder and CEO, Caspar Thykier, said in an email. “The biggest product update in Zappar history is launching at AWE next month which we’re super excited about. Watch this space…”
Four categories (Best Indie Creator, Best Use of AI, Best Healthcare and Wellness Solution, and Best in Location-Based Entertainment) are new this year.
Voice of the Judges
The Auggie Awards judges panel consists of 14 judges, all accomplished in the XR technology industry. Examples include Graham Roberts of the New York Times (Auggie for Best Consumer App, 2019), and representatives from Verizon, Qualcomm, Google, Adobe, and others.
Judges have three main roles. We’ve covered the five special categories and selecting winners from among finalists. Judges can also “save” nominations that they are passionate about but that didn’t make the top cut in public voting.
The judges’ role begins on May 13, five days after public voting ends. They then have one week to confer.
Announcing the Auggies
Usually, the Auggies are announced at the end of AWE. While the awards won’t happen in person this year, they still take place on the last day of AWE – May 28.
While we’re missing out on the in-person social aspect that this event usually has to offer, voting for our favorite XR technology is a great way to get involved.