Academy Press Releases

Winners Announced for VR Awards 2020

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Press Team

16 Nov 2020 | 6 min read

Walt Disney Animation, Qualcomm, ILMxLAB and Valve Among those Recognised as the Best in Immersive Technology by the Prestigious International VR Awards

● Businesses redefine innovation, creativity and capabilities through virtual reality
● Thrilling VR experiences were created and adapted to support others through COVID-19
● View the full winners list at: https://vrawards.staging.aixr.org/winners-2020/

London, UK12th November 2020 – The Academy of International Extended Reality (AIXR) has announced its 2020 VR Awards winners following the worlds-first fully immersive virtual reality awards ceremony. With over 157 international nominations, 94 finalists went before a panel of 70 expert judges, undergoing a rigorous judging process.

Walt Disney Animation were awarded Film of the Year for their captivating submission – Myth: A Frozen Tale, which took viewers on a visceral journey into a stylised world inspired by the environments, themes, and elemental spirits from the world of “Frozen 2.” Beautifully filmed, it applied the very latest techniques in real time technology and combined CG, traditional animation, and spatial sound to fully immerse the audience in the story.

For the second year in a row, London-based FundamentalVR received the Healthcare of the Year Award after launching a new education mode for their surgical simulation platform. Their efforts in enabling redeployed nurses and doctors to learn how to operate ventilators (in less than 30 minutes) under the direction of an intensive care consultant to try and combat issues they were seeing with training during the early days of the pandemic is laudable. In addition, the technology has enabled surgeons and trainees to continue to practice and learn new skills anywhere – an essential feature during COVID-19.

Continuing to push the boundaries of science and aid remote learning, MEL Science secured the Education and Training Award for their quantum level simulation engine that enables students to zoom down to a microscale to experience atoms and molecules for themselves and interact and play with them. The judges said it had to be seen to be believed – with the attention to detail and interoperability a particular stand-out. With 50 lessons so far available, mapped to US and UK curricula, there’s more to come from this provider as teachers & pupils begin to construct their own lesson simulations within the programme.

Previous winner Valve upped the ante this year and secured a double-win on the night – the VR Hardware of the Year Award for Index, its first virtual reality headset developed and manufactured in house and the Game of the Year Award. Critically acclaimed, Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx blew away competition from likes of Sanzaru Games’ Asgard’s Wrath, nDreams with Phantom: Covert Ops and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners from Skydance Interactive.

Other notable winners include:

● The winner of the Accenture Lifetime Achievement Award – HTC founder Cher Wang. The highest accolade given, this award celebrates outstanding contributions to virtual reality and was voted for by the AIXR committee. Cher was recognised for her exceptional contribution towards a holistic VR ecosystem and creating an engineering powerhouse in HTC ahead of the ubiquity of smartphones we know today. Cher accepted the award via video.

● Previous winner ILMxLAB took home the Out of Home VR Entertainment of the Year Award for Avengers: Damage Control story – a powerful mix of best-in-class storytelling, visuals, and sound from Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB, and 4D VR technology from The VOID. The spellbinding challenge enabled users to fight alongside some of their favourite Avengers in a captivating race to protect the world.

● The public vote saw ThrillSeeker secure the VR Social Influencer of the Year Award – a brand new category for 2020.

● VR Experience of the Year was awarded to Tender Claws for The Under Presents beating the likes of Accenture & the National Theatre, Dimension, Picture This Productions, Funktronic Labs and Force Field Entertainment to take the prize. The multiplayer experience merging VR and theatre to tell the story of two intersecting worlds, wowed the judges. Players could join in with live stage performances and live characters that roam the world and alter the flow of time, determining the fate of the story.

Daniel Colaianni, AIXR CEO commented: “Last night was an extraordinary celebration of the advances made in virtual reality across what has been a highly unusual twelve months. Despite the constraints that COVID-19 has presented, it is evident that innovation and progress in delivering virtual reality to all has not been hindered – in fact it’s use has risen and been applied in an astonishing array of manners – from keeping people connected to training redeployed medical professionals to save lives.

“We were delighted to be able to return the favour and reward the high standards presented by delivering the ceremony in true VR style – a world-first for an awards ceremony. Throughout the evening, our digital guests were treated to a fully immersive state-of-the-art VR experience complete with pre-programmed and live-streamed content.

“They were also able to enjoy networking opportunities, and experience the ceremony by being transported into bespoke virtual worlds created exclusively for the awards. To be truly immersed in every submission by all exemplary VR Award nominees means to truly understand the gravity of their accomplishments in the industry. The evening finished off with an after-party with a live DJ set to play the guests out into the evening.”

For event highlights, backstage interviews with all the winners, clips of the nominated projects and all the latest images from the night’s events will be available at https://vrawards.staging.aixr.org/.

The full list of 2020 winners are detailed below:

VR Film of the Year:
Myth: A Frozen Tale – Walt Disney Animation

VR Social Influencer:
ThrillSeeker

VR Hardware of the Year:
Index – Valve

VR Game of the Year:
Half-Life: Alyx – Valve

VR Experience of the Year:
The Under Presents – Tender Claws

VR Marketing of the Year:
Virtual Market 4 – HIKKY Co., LTD.

Rising VR Company of the Year:
KLIP VR Immersive Technologies Private Limited

Innovative VR Company of the Year:
Qualcomm

VR Education and Training of the Year:
MEL Chemistry – MEL Science

VR Healthcare of the Year:
Fundamental Surgery @HomeVR modality – Fundamental VR

Out-of-home VR Entertainment of the Year:
Avengers: Damage Control – ILMxLAB & The VOID

VR Social Impact Award:
Alcove – AARP Innovation Labs

VR Enterprise Solution of the Year:
BRP-Rotax VR Job Assessment – MEDIASQUAD GmbH

VR Lifetime Achievement Award by Accenture:
Cher Wang, Founder, HTC

The VR Awards is at the centre of recognition and celebration of outstanding achievement in virtual reality. Previous winners include Oculus, Vodafone, Virtualware and HTC.

About VR Awards
Combined with year-round international initiatives, the VR Awards brings together a night of red-carpet highlights, the celebration of excellence and unique access to the world’s most influential names in immersive technology.

The VR Awards is an unmissable awards ceremony for a wide range of decision-making professionals from various industries across the world. The VR Awards are overseen by AIXR’s independent Steering Board.

About AIXR
Internationally, AIXR identifies, celebrates, and exemplifies the very best in immersive technology. By connecting people, projects, and knowledge together AIXR enables growth, nurtures talent, and develops standards, bringing wider public awareness and understanding to virtual and augmented reality industries. Officially founded in 2019, AIXR’s not-for-profit, full time team now boasts over 100 company members, supports a growing network of over 12,000 people internationally and work’s across North America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at https://staging.aixr.org/

Social media
Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @VRAwards
Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @AIXRorg

About the author:

AIXR is an independent, community first, not for profit organisation that exists to support individuals and companies of all sizes as the International trade body for immersive technology industries. AIXR or, The Academy of International Extended Reality, hosts the VR Awards annually. AIXR’s mission is to support individuals and companies in the immersive industry by endorsing, inspiring, and enabling innovators through removing barriers to entry and connecting a diverse collection of trades together.

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