Each year we keep our eyes peeled to see who will make the AWE’s prestigious Auggie Awards list of finalists, and 2022 boasts a variety of Unity applications that are helping build the metaverse. These products and solutions, nominated by the AR/VR industry, were voted on by the public and will be judged by a panel of experts. The winners will be announced at AWE USA 2022 on June 2.
Before we dive into this exciting list we want to acknowledge that we may have missed some Auggie finalists that used Unity. If you are one of these, please let us know (just read to the end to find out how). Now onto the finalists!
Big Rock Creative
Best Art or Film – BRCvr: Burning Man (VR Experience) Best Societal Impact – Breonna’s Garden Virtual Reality Experience
Big Rock Creative caught our attention last year with their Auggie nomination for BRCvr, an official virtual Burning Man experience. This year Big Rock Creative captured our attention with the Breonna’s Garden Immersive Experience, a touching virtual reality (VR) tribute to Breonna Taylor in collaboration with Lady Phoenix who won the Societal Impact Auggie last year for her augmented reality (AR) app. The sanctuary honors the life of Breonna Taylor and tells a story of grief, hope and healing. Additionally, we were blown away by Big Rock’s Burning Man (VR Experience) back for a second year. With 200 unique worlds and over 3500 hours of programming, this experience was driven by a desire to connect the Burner Community amid the pandemic.
We are thrilled to have not just one but two projects nominated this year for an Auggie Award. Big Rock Creative brings creators together from many different facets to collaborate on all our projects. It's not just one person, but a grand communal effort to make participatory experiences that are radically inclusive.
– Athena Demos, CEO and Cofounder, Big Rock Creative
Best Consumer App – National Aviation Education Center (NAEC) World War II Nose Art AR App
Best Healthcare & Wellness Solution – VIST Neuro-ID
The Groove Jones team uses Unity to create a diverse set of experiences. Nominated for Best Consumer App, the NAEC’s Nose Art Gallery App allows visitors of the National Aviation Education Center to fly through the air with WWII planes and witness aircraft nose art up close. Nominated for Best Healthcare & Wellness Solution, VIST Neuro-ID uses a VR headset to test cognitive abilities and detect concussions. Designed for wildly different purposes, Groove Jones clearly has the ingenuity to serve many audiences.
Groove Jones leverages the power of real-time render 3D to help our clients bring to life exciting programs for internal training purposes, interactive marketing engagements to connect with their customers, and innovate solutions for health and wellness. Unity Pro is a platform that allows us to break through barriers and develop across any screen imaginable.
– Dan Ferguson, Cofounder, Groove Jones
Best in Location-Based Entertainment and Best Consumer App – Expo Dubai Xplorer
The Magnopus team truly united the digital and physical worlds earlier this year with its Expo Dubai Xplorer. This real-time connected experience allowed millions of onsite visitors to enjoy augmented reality spectacles aligned to real-world locations and allowed remote visitors to access the same AR content from their home.
Expo Dubai Xplorer is a a great example of what the future holds for new and better ways people and places can be united across the physical and digital worlds. This project was a massive chance for us to flex our creative and tech muscles and learn loads along the way. We're now using that knowledge to help others create similar large-scale experiences, without having to develop the technology to drive it.
– Daisy Leak, Executive Producer, Magnopus
Best Use of AI – Volu – A Camera for the Metaverse
With Volu, you can record a video with your own device, and then the app’s AI algorithms perform a volumetric reconstruction, transforming your video into a 3D experience – all powered by Unity’s library and enhanced by Unity’s shaders. The team has plans to build plug-ins that will allow anyone to integrate “volograms” captured with Volu into Unity to create games, AR/VR experiences, and more.
We are very happy to see our amazing AI tech recognised with an Auggie nomination. We have made a great effort to bring volumetric video capture to the smartphone, which will power user-generated content in the Metaverse.
– Rafael Pagés, CEO, Volograms
Best Consumer App – Humanoid AR+
Using 2D static images to explain how the human body’s myriad complex systems work together is like painting a sunset to describe the solar system. With Unity, Octagon Studios created an interactive AR app that helps you understand the details of human anatomy through exploration. Humanoid AR+ has immense educational potential.
Humanoid AR+ offers children and young adults an immersive exploration of the human anatomy, in detail and up close. Utilizing high-quality 3D visualization and powerful developer tools such as Unity, we thrive to provide the best interactive educational apps, as we believe that augmented reality (AR) is the future of learning experiences.
– Chitra Ananda, CMO, Octagon Studio
Best Developer Tool – Anything World
Imagine being able to speak things into existence. That’s the idea behind Anything World. With AI, voice computing, and 3D rendering, this tool is a fast and easy way for anyone to create 3D experiences. This type of genius deserves recognition, not just for the product but for the impact it’s making on creators around the world. After all, the world is a better place with more creators in it.
“We bring 3D worlds to life using machine learning and have over 5,000 creators building out wild experiences with us in Unity right now! We allow people to create living worlds without modeling, rigging or animating anything. We have an incredible team that has made the really-actually-should-be-impossible possible, and we're just getting started. Why not jump in and try and make things fly at anything.world!”
– Gordon Midwood, Cofounder, Anything World
Best Developer Tool – The Immerse SDK: The free SDK for enterprise XR developers
There is a massive opportunity for industrial applications of VR, and the Immerse team is making these experiences easy to create with their SDK. This Unity-based free-to-use extended reality (XR) tool gives anyone the ability to create enterprise-grade VR. The tool also supports desktop and untethered VR, Android mobile, desktop applications and webGL.
Built for Unity, the Immerse SDK helps developers get up and running quickly while simplifying and solving the common technical and production challenges of building, hosting and distributing measurable and scalable VR applications. Together with the Immerse Platform, the SDK helps organizations realize the full potential of virtual reality and provides a means through which enterprises can easily scale their own applications and content. For content creators, it also has the added benefits of an upsell path for existing customers and referral opportunities.
– Justin Parry, COO, Immerse
Best Game or Toy – I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and the Liar
The sequel to the smash hit I Expect You To Die is just as fun as the original. I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and the Liar built on what made the first game so fun – with new puzzles, missions, and, of course, more ways to die. Schell Games is noteworthy as one of the studios that is pushing VR games forward.
We are honored I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and the Liar advanced to the finalist round in the “Best Game or Toy” category for the 2022 Auggie Awards! Shoutout to the development team who worked on the original game and the sequel. Thanks to your hard work, we created a VR experience that places players in the heart of intrigue and espionage. We'd also like to thank everyone who voted for our entry during the public voting phase and all the secret agents who supported The Agency over the years. We couldn’t have gotten this far without your enthusiasm and love for the game. Stay sharp, agents!
– Charlie Amis, Project Director for IEYTD2, Schell Games
Best Game or Toy – Blaston: Evolving from Virtual to Mixed Reality with Passthrough API
What the Blaston team achieved with Passthrough API is the perfect example of what is possible when mixing the physical and virtual worlds. With the API, players were able to transform their personal spaces into dueling arenas. As XR technology continues to advance, more game experiences will enrich the physical world with digital content.
The mixed reality arena we’ve added to Blaston is just the beginning. At Resolution Games, we’ve invested in a dedicated AR division to continue building reality-bending experiences for the next generation of AR devices.
Unity has been a crucial part of our VR and AR toolkit; its flexibility gives us the room we need to innovate and be first-to-market with a variety of exciting new products in the games space – and Blaston is a true showcase for that. Not only did it accelerate our ability to become the first game developer to bring an experience to the Quest Store using Passthrough API, but its multiplatform support also helped us solve another problem for the XR community: giving influencers and esports organizers the ability to stream VR gameplay in an way that’s optimized for broadcast with the recent release of the Blaston Spectator app on PC.
– Paul Brady, President and Cofounder, Resolution Games
Best Game or Toy – Petricore AR Experiments
Not one, not two, but all of the experiments housed in the Petricore AR Experiments app were created using Unity’s AR Foundation. This whimsical collection of activities includes taking a family photo, petting a virtual dog, mixing paint colors from the real world, and more. This eclectic app is a celebration of AR.
The AR Paint Bucket game is one of our experiments where a player places an AR paint bucket and has to grab colors from the real world to mix and match a given target color. Our inspiration for this was the TikTok trend of people trying to guess the color of mixing paint. We used Unity to develop the Paint Bucket game, relying primarily on AR Foundation. AR Foundation/Unity made it really easy to jump in and build something that’s fun quickly, which was our goal with these experiments.
– Oliver Awat, Lead Designer & Senior Developer, Petricore
Best Indie Creator(s) – Audio Trip
Fitness doesn’t have to be boring. With Audio Trip, players are invited to dance across 84 different levels and unleash their inner fitness fanatic. The visual and audio experience is so much fun, you forget that you are burning calories. Besides, we have a soft spot for indies.
Being a finalist for the “Best Indie Creator(s)” Auggie award is a tremendous honor for us at Kinemotik Studios. Audio Trip has been a labor of love for the two of us for the past four years. And in that time we’ve had the privilege of bringing the joys of music and dance to the world through VR on a wide array of platforms. For a tiny team of two, only one of whom is an engineer, porting to and supporting so many platforms ourselves while still developing the game would have been impossible without Unity. By doing most of the heavy lifting, Unity has made it possible for us to bring Audio Trip to a much wider audience. We’ve been able to accomplish much more than a team of only two normally would have.
– The Audio Trip Team
Did we miss your Unity creation?
If you’re an Auggie Award finalist using Unity, give us a shoutout on Twitter so we can celebrate you! Tag @DigitalTwin with a brief description and the link to your finalist page.
All of this year’s Auggie Award finalists, made with Unity or not, astound us and inspire us. Our world faces so many problems today, and we need creators to help solve them. Keep creating, and we will see you at AWE.
Unity at AWE 2022
9:35 AM | Keynote: Getting beyond the fiction and seeing the reality in the metaverse
11:30 AM | Faster iteration in AR using Unity
1:00 PM | Revolutionizing the e-commerce shopping experience in real-time 3D
4:25 PM | Real-time 3D changemakers: Solving the world’s biggest problems through tech
1:30 PM | Augmenting reality with AI 2:05 PM | XR input using Unity: What’s new and what’s next