Archives

Categories

Friday, November 26, 2021
EventsExtended RealityImmersive Technology

The First Ever Polys Awards Celebrate the Best in WebXR

Coverage from the webXR “multi-metaverse.”

 

The inaugural Polys WebXR Awards took place across multiple browser-accessible XR platforms this past weekend to celebrate projects and producers of WebXR.

The ambitious showcase ran into some technical difficulties, but ARPost attended the event and worked with organizers to bring you the complete list of award winners and some key quotes from the event as it happened live in the WebXR “multi-metaverse”.

About the Polys

“It’s time for immersive content to be recognized as the medium of the 21st century,” host Julie Smithson said in opening remarks. “What we’re doing tonight is a first… This is an exciting time for our team.”

julie smithson the polys webXR awards

Several award shows in the last few months have been compiled in a similar way, using remote conferencing software. The Auggies ended the Augmented World Expo in a similar fashion last June, but was streamed in 2D just like the rest of the conference. The following month the AIXR VR Awards took place in VRChat.

What made The Polys truly historical was that the event took place concurrently in VRChat, Altspace, Mozilla Hubs, Engage, and Tivoli Cloud VR, as well as streaming on YouTube, Twitch, and DLive. Accessibility was a recurring theme at the Polys, and anyone with a connected device was able to access the event – which was free to attend and had over 500 RSVPs.

The Polys Awards

The Polys Awards celebrated WebXR with awards in the following categories:

  • Framework of the Year
  • Single User Experience of the Year
  • Multi-User Experience of the Year
  • Innovation of the Year
  • Entertainment Experience of the Year
  • Game of the Year
  • Developer of the Year
  • Education Experience of the Year
  • WebXR Site of the Year

A Lifetime Achievement Award was also awarded to Three.js creator Ricardo “Mr. Doob” Cabello, and an Ombudsperson Award was given to Voices of VR podcast founder and host Kent Bye.

the polys webXR awards mr doob

The actual Polys Award was designed to be digital. It’s shape defies physics. However, digital copies were available in the digital worlds of the multi metaverse for attendees to pose and take photos with and award winners will receive non-fungible tokens minted on the Ethereum blockchain in lieu of physical trophies.

“In order for a trophy to have meaning, it has to be authentic. Thankfully, NFT technology, which is used for digital asset verification, allows us to create and deliver minted editions of the Polys to the winners,” Polys Awards founder Ben Erwin said in a release shared with ARPost.

Framework of the Year

The award for Framework of the Year was presented to Troika JS. Jason Johnston accepted the award, presented by Sikaar Keita of eXtended Realities. Johnston was also nominated for Developer of the Year.

“We wouldn’t have WebXR experiences like those that we are celebrating here today without frameworks,” said Keita.

See Also:  You Can Take a Free Coursera Course on XR from the University of Michigan

Single User Experience of the Year

Microsoft Cloud Developer Advocate Ayşegül Yönet presented the Single User Experience of the Year award to the Access to Electricity experience by World Bank and Flow Immersive.

Multi-User Experience of the Year

Laguna Labs co-founder Liam Broza presented the award for Multi-User Experience of the Year to Mozilla Hubs, accepted by Mozilla Hubs General Manager Erica Stanley.

Projects by Mozilla were also nominated for Site of the Year.

Innovation of the Year

Terry Schussler of Deutsche Telekom presented the award for Innovation of the Year to ECSY, also by the Mozilla Mixed Reality Team. The award was accepted by Fernando Serrano.

Serrano was also nominated for Developer of the Year.

Entertainment Experience of the Year

The Entertainment Experience of the Year award was presented by Linda Ricci, the artist who designed the Polys Awards. The award went to “What You Don’t Know” by Jono and Mr. Doob featuring music by Mathew Dear.

“What You Don’t Know” was also nominated for Site of the Year.

Game of the Year

W3C Immersive Web Working Group co-chair and Google Standards manager Chris Wilson presented the Game of The Year award to Towermax.Fitness by SROMLINE.

An experience by SROMLINE was also nominated for Education Experience of the Year.

Developer of the Year

Developer of the Year was presented to VirBELA’s Gabriel Baker by Immersive Web Weekly newsletter editor Trevor Flowers.

VirBELA’s Frame had also been nominated for Multi-User Experience of the Year.

It’s time for immersive content to be recognized as the medium of the 21st century.

Education Experience of the Year

The award for Education Experience of the Year was presented by KaiXR founder Kai Frazier to Dr. Keith Chan for AnVRopomotron.

Site of the Year

WebXR Site of the Year was awarded to Mozilla Mixed Reality’s Hello WebXR! by Ada Rose Cannon, W3C Immersive Web Working Group and Community Group co-chair.

Special Honors

Mr. Doob’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by the Skarred Ghost himself, Antony Vitillo.

“I had a feeling [Three.js] would last two to three years. I didn’t think that in a decade I would still be going,” said Mr. Doob. He also thanked contributors to the platform.

Kent Bye’s Ombudsperson Award was presented by industry thought leader Kavya Pearlman who is, among many other things, the founder and CEO of the XR Safety Initiative.

the polys webXR awards kent bye

“This whole open web vision of what could happen with WebVR has been on my radar since the very beginning,” said Bye. “I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of worlds can be built on this open web.”

We’ll Be Seeing You in WebXR

If you missed the awards and would like to see the full ceremony including red carpet interviews with host Sophia Moshasha of the VR/AR Association, visit The Polys YouTube channel.

The Polys are scheduled to be back to celebrate the best in WebXR again next year, and ARPost will likely be there too.

Jon Jaehnig
the authorJon Jaehnig
Jon Jaehnig is a freelance journalist with special interest in emerging technologies. Jon has a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you have a story suggestion for Jon, you may contact him here.