There was a lot of hype over headsets in 2020 but there was also a growing number of increasingly immersive WebXR applications accessible through browsers on just about any connected device. The Polys is a new award ceremony meant to celebrate achievements in the field.
What Is The Polys?
The Polys is a new awards ceremony dedicated to “honoring the pioneers of WebXR and showcasing the importance of the growing medium to provide ubiquitous access to immersive content through the web,” according to a release shared with ARPost.
A recurring theme throughout The Polys website and their other prepared material is that WebXR isn’t just more accessible in terms of hardware. It’s also more open in terms of creation and distribution. As a result, the Polys look at WebXR not just as the affordable version of more immersive forms of VR and AR, but as a bastion of media in its own right.
A Look at the Categories and Honorees
The Polys homepage, is itself a 3D experience that can be navigated in VR or on 2D displays. Visitors move through the space to learn about how to experience the ceremony and about the awards that will be given.
The following fields will be recognized:
- Single User Experience of the Year
- Multi-User Experience of the Year
- WebXR Developer of the Year
- WebXR Site of the Year
- Ombudsperson of the Year
- Lifetime Achievement
- Framework of the Year
- Game of the Year
- Innovation of the Year
- Entertainment Experience of the Year
- Education Experience of the Year
This year’s ceremony will recognize contributors and contributions from 2020. Nominations were preselected and winners are selected by a jury.
How to Attend The Polys
Anyone can register on Eventbrite to attend the Polys Awards. Registration is free, but those who choose to contribute an optional donation will be recognized on a “Wall of Thanks.”
The event takes place entirely online on Saturday, February 20. Virtual red carpet interviews hosted by Sophia Moshasha of the VR/AR Association begin at 11 am PST, and the Awards ceremony hosted by MetaVRse and XR Women co-founder Julie Smithson begins at 12 pm PST.
The virtual experience will be compatible with the following headsets:
- Oculus Quest, via Chromium
- Magic Leap, via the Hello browser
- Oculus, VIVE, Pico, and HoloLens via Mozilla’s Firefox Reality browser
The 2D experience will also be supported on the following browsers:
- Samsung’s Internet Browser
- Mozilla Firefox
- Viewer for iOS
Industry partners will be holding watch parties in Altspace, Engage, Tivoli Cloud, Mozilla Hubs, and VR Chat. Instructions on how to join watch parties will be emailed to registered attendees before the ceremony begins. The ceremony itself will incorporate live feeds from the various VR platforms, as well as live footage from the “VIP Zoom Green Room.”
“This novel configuration will be remembered as a milestone in the history of entertainment, as it debuts the awards show for the communication medium of the 21st Century,” the release says of the unique ecosystem that it calls “the meta-multiverse.” The website invites attendees to “after the Ceremony, mingle and partyhop in parties across VR platforms.”
The Polys was founded by Ben Erwin, media innovator, XR producer, and head of Powersimple, and the ceremony is executive-produced by David King. The Polys trophy was designed by Lina Ricci.
See You in WebXR
The Poly Awards bring attention to the individuals, organizations, and experiences directly recognized. It also brings attention to WebXR as its own important and cherished medium. Hopefully, we’ll see you there.