The Laval Virtual Awards reward the best VR/AR projects of the year.
Crédits photos : Laval Virtual 2023 / Prisma
On Thursday, April 13, the Laval Virtual Awards ceremony took place as part of the international exhibition on virtual reality and metaverse. This is one of the highlights of Laval Virtual, which brings together the entire XR community and rewards the best immersive projects of the year. Let’s take a look at the winners of this 2023 edition.
Winners of the general categories
Mixed reality, star of the ceremony
The Laval Virtual Awards recognize VR/AR projects in eight categories. In the first category, Enterprise & Productivity Solution, the French company Synergiz, from the Microsoft village, was distinguished. The Synergiz Harbor solution deploys mixed reality in companies through a collaborative management tool and 3D visualization. Its objectives are both organizational and ecological.
Mixed reality also stood out with HTC Vive winning in the Hardware category. The VIVE XR Elite is a multi-use mixed reality headset: it can be connected to a PC or standalone, it can be used with controllers or without thanks to the hand-tracking, and it allows to have a vision in mixed reality and virtual reality. This is a confirmed success for HTC Vive, already rewarded at the last CES.
Virtual worlds are popular!
In the category dedicated to virtual worlds, the company Aptera was rewarded for its metaverse platform. This solution allows the creation of personalized virtual worlds in an accessible way. It is compatible with collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, to easily integrate into the professional world.
In the same spirit, Noise Makers’ Virtual Acoustic Mixer received an award in the Developer & Authoring Tools category. This solution allows to generate advanced acoustic simulations and audio effects in binaural sound in virtual environments.
Immersive and inclusive solutions
The XR for a Cause category recognizes projects that serve a particular cause. This year, Laval Virtual awarded a prize to Kanagawa Institute of Technology for its Meta Table β tool. It’s a table that allows people with disabilities to control an avatar-robot in a café. They then take on the role of a waiter and can interact with real customers on the spot, bringing them out of their isolation.
Audace wants to help another segment of the population: job seekers. In collaboration with Bridegstone, they have designed a training program combining classroom courses, virtual reality immersion and simulation in a mini-factory. With this immersive training, Bridgestone wants to give a chance to unqualified job seekers to acquire the technical skills necessary to get a job in the company’s production line.
Marketing and entertainment in the spotlight
The Marketing or Advertising Campaign category rewarded advertising or marketing solutions. The project “From Fire to Flame: The Journey of Light” by Vrisch Multimedia Production received the Laval Virtual Award. This experience takes the user on a journey in virtual reality to retrace the history of light and the evolution of lighting in our world.
On the entertainment side, four projects were in the running. The winner was “The Horizon of Khufu”, a 45-minute adventure around the last remaining wonder of the world. The experience can be individual or multi-user, and allows to immerse in the history of Egypt, its people and its heritage.
Review of ReVolution competitions
The ReVolution competitions highlight young companies and avant-garde projects using immersive technologies. Every year, this is the most innovative area of the Laval Virtual event! In 2023, 46 projects were presented and 3 received recognition from the entire XR community.
Innovative experiences on the front
In the #Experiences category, which recognizes creative and production studios, the Ink & Fire experience from KwO XR studio and VRXP amusement park was named the winner. It is a virtual exhibition that takes users back in time to meet the first inhabitants of the Americas. It presents for the first time to the general public the most important group of cave paintings in Brazil.
On the startup side, it’s a British company that won. Move.ai has created an application that allows anyone to use motion capture, without any sensors and with a disconcerting ease. The patented technology uses advanced artificial intelligence to extract real-time motion data from a video shot with a smartphone.
In the #Research category, for university or private laboratory research projects, the avant-garde experiment MEcholocation won the award. The main question asked by the project is: are you able to see the world without your eyes? It allows us to try out a new means of communication, echolocation, used by bats and dolphins, among others. With this experiment, the University of Gifu hopes to increase awareness around visually impaired people.
Several student projects rewarded
Finally, the #Students category highlighted student projects. The “Demo” part rewarded students of the Master MTI3D of the Arts et Métiers Institute of Laval specialized in interactive technologies. Artificial intelligence is at the heart of this playful immersive experience, where the students have integrated the GPT 3.5 language in addition to virtual reality. In the “Limited Time” part, where several teams participate in a 30-hour hackathon, the IUT of Tarbes received an award for its Quality Assurance Test Protocol experience. This is an asymmetric game where two players try to collaborate in order to determine if a prosthesis is authentic and functional or not.
Of the projects submitted to the ReVolution competitions, two received special awards. “The Unclaimed Masterpiece” received the IVRC award, in addition to its Laval Virtual Award in the #Students category. The student creators of this immersive experience have the chance to present it at the next IVRC au Japon. The “Inclusive Quiet Room” project won the SIGGRAPH award and will be exhibited at the next Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques show.